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Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it boasts one of the largest and best book festivals in the nation. Thousands of people come to the Book Festival each year to meet acclaimed authors and illustrators from all corners of the country. These authors and illustrators will travel to Providence this October for the opportunity to be featured in The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors, hosted by Lincoln School in Providence.

Excitement is already building in the local community and beyond as Providence anticipates welcoming this year’s impressive roster of writers, including R.W. and Zoe Alley, Selina Alko, Mira Bartok, Marc Brown, Gaia Cornwall, Charise Mericle Harper, Alan Katz, Kara LaReau, David Macaulay, Ann M. Martin, Barbara McClintock, Sean Qualls, Jon Scieszka, Melissa Sweet, Chris Van Allsburg, Sarah Weeks and Steven Weinberg. Authors give talks throughout the day, sign books, and enjoy spending time with fans old and new. We will also have food trucks, face painting, tattoos and a hunt to find Waldo!

This year's festival kicks off with the National Premier of the film So B. It (PG-13), written by Festival author Sarah Weeks, followed by a Q & A.

Young readers and their parents have the chance to meet and talk with the authors, have their books personally signed and participate in bookmaking and other crafts. The Festival – to be held on Saturday, October 14th, from 9 am to 5:30 pm at Lincoln School, 301 Butler Avenue, in Providence – celebrates the unique joy that can only be found by opening the pages of a book.

Admission is $5. For a full listing of performances and activities, visit www.lincolnschool.org/bookfestival or call Lincoln School at 401.331.9696, ext. 3135.

Who hasn't wandered along the streets of Providence and found their attention drawn to a historic building or unexpected detail that a sparks curiosity? What could have been here before? I wonder what lies beyond that hallway? Steeped in rich history and quirky legend, Providence has countless stories to tell; we just need to know where to find them.

On Saturday, September 23, you can do more than peek through windows and wonder. For the very first Doors Open Rhode Island Festival, in partnership with local sites, curious visitors are given free behind-the-scenes access to over 20 fantastic spaces in the city. No tickets or reservations needed. Explore one venue or fill an entire day of adventure, from the recording studios of RI Public Radio to the gilded ceilings of the State House.

Best Bets for Kids

While all locations are open to families, Doors Open RI suggests these sites as ideal for young visitors, with fewer lines anticipated. For up-to-the-minute information about participating locations, follow social media Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

State House Library, photo by Caroline Stevens

Ladd Observatory, photo by Christian Scully/Design Imaging Studios

Stephen Hopkins House, photo by Francesca Gallo

RISD Nature Lab, photo by Matthew Clowney

I can remember being in elementary school on the day of a solar eclipse. My mom sent me off for the day with a kiss, my lunch box, and words I recall as: don’t look at the sun today or you’ll go blind. I’m pretty sure I walked directly home from the bus with my eyes to the ground and one hand shielding my brow like a visor. Safe in my bedroom I still had my sight!

On August 21, 2017 there will be an eclipse of the sun. I’m intrigued by stories of people planning road trips toward the “path of totality” and find myself drawn to the occurrence like a moth to a flame. Can I look this time, what do I tell my boys, and what is a path of totality?

Places Everyone

Sometimes when the moon orbits Earth, it moves between the sun and Earth. When this happens, the moon blocks the light of the sun from reaching Earth. So rude! This causes an eclipse of the sun, or solar eclipse. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts a shadow which is only visible from a small area on Earth. The people who see the total eclipse are in the center of the moon’s shadow. The sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. For a total eclipse to take place, the sun, moon and Earth must be in a direct line.

The Path of Totality

Sounds like a great name for a board game or metal band but it is describes the course that will stretch from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina where observers will see the moon completely cover the sun for about two and a half minutes. In Rhode Island, we’re outside this path but will still be treated to a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk.

 

Show Time

According to Dave Huestis at the Seagrave Memorial Observatory in Scituate, the sun will be 72% eclipsed from central Rhode Island, and will last between 1:27 p.m. until 4:00 p.m., with maximum eclipse occurring at 2:47 p.m. Read more at Read A Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 from the Seagrave Memorial Observatory in Scituate.

Hide or Seek

While I didn’t need to hide under my bed, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration better known as NASA, does repeated state to NEVER look directly at the sun: It can permanently damage your eyes! You must use proper safety equipment to look at any type of solar eclipse. The only acceptable glasses are safe viewers designed for looking at the sun and solar eclipses. Not old film, not sunglasses, and not all welder’s helmets.

Activities Around Rhode Island

Many venues have family-friendly celebrations planned, some even providing eclipse viewing glasses. Please visit links to verify and to note if events are free of charge, require admission, or ask for a donation fee.

Solar Eclipse Coloring Project

Print one for each member of the family (or create your own) to color and fill-out together for a special keepsake of the 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Party with Local Flavor

So the solar eclipse is on a Monday and we’re not in the path of totality but it can still be a reason to have fun. Consider having kidos over after school. NASA has resources for hosting an eclipse party. Consider serving milk flavored with Eclipse coffee syrup, our official State drink (noting there must be caffeine so maybe older kids only).

NASA

NASA has created a comprehensive and easy-to-use website guide that provides all things eclipse: activities, events, broadcasts, and most importantly safety information.

 

 

 

 

PVD Fest takes over Providence for its third year, infusing our downtown city streets and parks with music, dance, food, art and play. The Fest is a 4 day series of free events around the city spanning June 1 through June 4 with the big bash taking place from noon into night on Saturday, June 3. Check out the full festival schedule online to plan your day, or simply show up and wander the spaces and stages - everything is in walking distance. Printed programs will be available at Kennedy Plaza and additional information booths. Visit the PVD Fest FAQ page for information including parking, detours, and food.

Saturday is jam-packed with amazing performances to be seen and experiences to be had. Here are a few highlights to share with kids, teens and families in mind:

PVDYouth Fest at Roger Williams National Memorial Park
12:00 PM - 8:00 PM, 282 North Main Street

PVDYouth Fest at Roger Williams National Memorial Park is a family-fun block party of music, art, activities, performance, playtime, and food, curated by poet Christopher Johnson. Enjoy stage performances by: the Manton Avenue Project, Puppeteer Marc Kohler, Magnolia Cajun Band, and Runa Culture. Activities include hula-hooping, comic book creations, balloon animal sculptures, poetry and face painting.

Family Activities and Performances at Burnside Park
12:30 PM - 7:00 PM, 2 Kennedy Plaza

A celebration of local arts, culture and play for all ages unfolds at Burnside Park courtesy of The Downtown Parks Conservatory, Providence's Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, and FirstWorks. Grab a scavenger hunt and a Burnside Passport and earn stamps at activities throughout the park for prizes. Check out performances with Girls Rock! Rhode Island, Ricky Rainbow Beard, Miss Katie of playSCIENCE RI. Also, storytelling with Raffini, drum circle with Sidy Maiga, and a lion dance parade. Build with the Imagination Playground "big blue blocks", play with bubbles, and draw with sidewalk chalk.

Scott Lapham Remix Collage Workshop at Burnside Park (Photo by James Lastowski

PVD Fest Parade
4:00 PM, down Washington Street to Kennedy Plaza

Dress crazy and colorful and bring noisemakers to march the streets of Providence or simply cheer on the parade from the sidewalk and take in the music, dance and floats of local artists and organizations.

Rhode Island Mini Maker Faire
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM, Washington Street between Mathewson and Clemence Street

Maker Faire is a "gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do." Meet the makers (engineers, artists, scientists, crafters) of 3D Printing PVD, RI Computer Museum, AS220 Labs, and TRACIMOC repurposed comic book art.

AS220 Labs at RI Mini Maker Faire

Performances and Screenings at Grant's Block
12:00 PM - 10:30 PM, corner of Westminster and Union Streets

Awesome acts take the stage from Classical Gasoline, the Classical High School Band (12:00 PM), the silly songs of Keith Munslow (1:00 PM), hip hop dancers Project 401 (7:00 PM), theater and dance with Trinity Academy of the Performing Arts (8:30 PM - also at 12:00 PM at 63 Snow Street) and a series of short films with Providence Children's Film Festival (9:00 PM).

Bike Fest RI
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Mathewson Street Stage lot

BMX stunt riders, live entertainment, repair and safety demonstrations, and a bike expo.

Big Nazo take a ride at PVD Fest (photo by John Simonetti)

And More!

There are oodles more art, dance, music and genre-defying happenings for families around the city in the complete schedule.

By Suzy Letourneau and Robin Meisner, Providence Children’s Museum

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Providence Children’s Museum’s recently reinvented Coming to Rhode Island exhibit explores history through four story galleries ­– an English colonist’s farmhouse (1640), the new Fort Adams worksite (1835), a Cape Verdean packet ship (1892) and a Dominican bodega (1961). The exhibit uses these stories to build empathy and foster respect for the diversity of individuals who make up the world. Empathy is the ability to sense, understand and share other people’s emotions, and it allows individuals to take others’ perspectives, communicate and collaborate.

Children develop social and emotional skills like empathy as they begin to understand their own identities and appreciate differences between themselves and others, and research shows that pretending is a natural avenue for this development. In Coming to Rhode Island, children engage with each story through pretend play, allowing them to practice social and emotional skills in developmentally meaningful ways.

Toddlers (and even infants) start to notice and react to others’ emotions, a foundation of empathy. They also start pretending in simple ways and playing in parallel with other children, setting the stage for social skills and later forms of pretending. In the exhibit, a toddler might offer fake food to someone who says they are hungry or share with another child while playing side by side.

Children ages 3 to 5 begin to engage in more complex forms of pretend play, from wearing a costume or using props to creating stories with different roles. Children in Coming to Rhode Island might pretend to cook in a kitchen, build a fort or sail a ship. When pretending together, they talk about their ideas and decide how a story should unfold. In the process, kids learn that other people might not think and feel the same things they do, and they practice seeing other’s points of view and learn to work through conflicts.

Children ages 5 to 7 start to understand similarities and differences between themselves and others, and can take many different perspectives. When playing together, they create elaborate stories and practice empathy by imagining what others might feel in different situations. In the exhibit, kids might take on roles that are very different from their own lives. They might think about what life was like for the people whose stories appear in the galleries, and they recognize differences between their own lives and those who lived in the past.

Children ages 7 to 11 begin to recognize that different people might have different interpretations of the same situation, and that multiple perspectives can be equally valid. They also start to understand that people’s feelings are influenced by what others think and how others act towards them, helping them develop deeper empathy for others. In Coming to Rhode Island, older kids might reflect on how other’s previous experiences shaped the decisions they made and their perceptions of the world.

While children begin developing empathy and perspective-taking very early on, these skills continue to grow throughout their entire lives. In Coming to Rhode Island, older children and adults might question stereotypes and challenge assumptions, and appreciate the diversity represented in our community.

Learn more about Coming to Rhode Island and get a peek at the process of creating the exhibit on the Museum’s blog.

By Megan Fischer, Associate Director, Providence Children’s Museum

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 Step back in time at Providence Children’s Museum to explore a playfully reinvented version of its popular Coming to Rhode Island exhibit. The dynamic environment invites visitors to embark on a time-traveling exploration of the state’s history, immigration and culture through stories and engaging hands-on activities that encourage empathy and respect for diversity.

 For hundreds of years and continuing today, people have come from all over the world to what is now Rhode Island – whether voluntarily, coerced or forced – and everyone has stories about where their families are from and how and why they came. Coming to Rhode Island shares real stories of real people who have immigrated to the state – how they lived, what they left behind, the challenges they met, the solutions they found.

 While Coming to Rhode Island explores history and culture, above all the exhibit is designed to build empathy and foster respect for the diversity of individuals who make up our world. It’s about understanding that diversity makes our communities richer and stronger, and about cultivating compassion for others by making personal connections to their stories. Research also shows that pretend play is one of the best ways to develop empathy and other socio-emotional skills, including taking different perspectives and relating to and communicating with others. At a time of divisiveness and discord in our country and world, empathy is more important than ever.

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 Discover these exciting exhibit updates:

In celebration of Coming to Rhode Island, discover a series of special programs exploring construction and Irish culture in November and December. Build with bricks, engineer tunnels, enjoy lively performances of energetic Irish tunes, and more. Learn more.

Coming to Rhode Island and related activities are free with $9.00 Museum admission.  For more information, visit www.ChildrenMuseum.org.

Get a peek at the process of creating Coming to Rhode Island on the Museum’s blog!

Coming to Rhode Island is supported by The Champlin Foundations; The Children's Workshop Foundation; CollegeBound Saver; June Rockwell Levy Foundation; Murray Family Charitable Foundation; The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund; Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; The Ryan Family Foundation; and Nancy Smith Worthen, in memory of Margaret L. Worthen. The Irish gallery was developed in collaboration with the Fort Adams Trust and The Museum of Newport Irish History.

The RI Comic Con is a major event in the Rhode Island calendar but many Providence kids and teens can't buy tickets or travel to the big convention. That's why Providence Community Library is hosting Alt-Comic Con at Mount Pleasant Library on Saturday, November 12th, 1:00PM-5:00PM, to give them a taste of convention day excitement. Suitable for all ages, "Alternative" Comic Con is a free, interactive event that provides local youth with a chance to meet and be inspired by city artists who are actively pursuing creative careers.

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The library will transform into a mini convention hall; Big Nazo will show off some of its amazing creature creations, Providence Comics Consortium will exhibit comic books created by kids at its workshops, and Providence Roller Derby girls will drop by to support a discussion of Victoria Jamieson's bestselling graphic novel, "Roller Girl." Artists from the Dirt Palace artists' collective and Providence Comics Consortium will create a giant window display and Providence CityArts for Youth also will be on hand to add to the creative flavor of the day. As a free bonus, Alt-Comic Con attendees will be able to dig through donated comic books and take one home at the end of the day.

"The idea is to introduce kids and teens to people and organizations in Providence who are working creatively in the fields of technology, art and pop culture," said event organizer Emily LeMay. "We hope that they will inspire young people to pursue artistic endeavors and possibly consider pursuing a career in creative arts."

Mount Pleasant Library is at 315 Academy Avenue, Providence. For more information about Alt-Comic Con, contact Emily LeMay elemay@provcomlib.org or Sarah Gluck sgluck@provcomlib.org, call 401-272-0106 or visit www.provcomlib.org.

the-rhode-island-festival-of-childrens-books-and-authorsRhode Island Festival of Children's Books & Authors
Saturday, October 15 from 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Lincoln School, 301 Butler Ave, Providence, RI
Admission is $5

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it boasts one of the largest and best book festivals in the nation. Thousands of people come to the Book Festival each year to meet acclaimed authors and illustrators from all corners of the country. These authors and illustrators will travel to Providence this October for the opportunity to be featured in The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors, hosted by Lincoln School in Providence.

10711023_10153492129316393_5325037064831951303_nExcitement is already building in the local community and beyond as Providence anticipates welcoming this year’s impressive roster of writers, including Cece Bell, Sophie Blackall, Bryan Collier, Anika Denise, Christopher Denise, Candace Fleming, Natasha Friend, Mitch Krpata, Eric Rohman, Sergio Ruzzier, Anita Silvey, Chris Van Allsburg and Elizabeth Wein. Authors give talks throughout the day, sign books, and enjoy spending time with fans old and new. Among the line up of talent this year is a total of 16 Newbery, Caldecott and Coretta Scott King medals!

579300_10151288884821393_79650545_nYoung readers and their parents have the chance to meet and talk with the authors, have their books personally signed and participate in bookmaking and other crafts. The Festival celebrates the unique joy that can only be found by opening the pages of a book.

For a full listing of performances and activities, visit www.lincolnschool.org/bookfestival or call Lincoln School at 401.331.9696, ext. 3135.

backpackWhether you're chomping at the bit for the return of routine or cringing at the dwindling beach weekends, or both: back to school time is upon us. To tame the beast of procrastination and shine some light on the transition from summer to school, we dug into the kido archives to share our favorite articles on getting organized, preparing the kids, making lunches to look forward to, and much more.

Getting Ready for School

Lunches

More

June is Great Outdoors Month and the eighth annual Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit is underway! All summer long, families are invited to camp, kayak, fish, hike, and shoot a bow and arrow at Rhode Island's state parks while winning great prizes!

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Here's how it works: Participants register online (free!) and self-print a Pursuit Passport. At each free weekend event attended, "stamps" are earned for the Passport. Attend the finale on August 6 at Burlingame State Campground, and if you present stamps for at least 4 events, each stamp earns a raffle ticket to win prizes including bikes and camping equipment. Last year, more than 1,000 people joined the Pursuit.

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The Great Outdoors Pursuit Kick-Off is Saturday, June 11 from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. Families may also choose to stay overnight for a special camping opportunity (pre-register here) with a campfire, s’mores, outdoor movie and stargazing.

Check out the Great Outdoors Pursuit website for more information and season schedule for the rest of the terrific events through the summer, and keep in the loop on Facebook!

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