Friday, July 24, 2015

Exercise Your Gray Matter

Have you, like many of us, been watching too much television?  A recent study explained in the Washington Post says younger and middle-aged adults who have a sedentary lifestyle and watch 4 hours or more of TV per day  have a significantly higher risk of developing dementia later in life.  Well, that’s not so comforting, especially to those of us who are getting closer to those later years.

But there’s an upside. The study suggests that the protective effects of learning may start decades earlier in life than we may have thought. So, exercise that gray matter. Maybe stop watching so many reruns of Game of Thrones. Think of taking that brisk walk to the downtown Silver Spring Library (exercise is good, too!). Check out some books on puzzles, crafts, games and more.

Hey, why not start learning a new language? You can, for free, with the library’s online Mango Languages Courses. I might try brushing up on my undergrad French, who knows?

Speaking of courses, why not try our free, high-quality, interactive, instructor-led Gale online courses and career training programs, too? Writing and publishing, computer applications, personal development, accounting, and other courses are available at the click of a mouse.

I think I'll time my television watching tonight and try something new.

—Christine

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Early Literacy Center

Colorful tent-like towers in the Early Literacy Centert
Early Literacy Center
The opening of the new Silver Spring Library brought the unveiling of our new Early Literacy Center. It's a fun custom-designed preschool play and learning area where preschool children can practice the skills that will ready them to learn to read. (Check out even more photos on our Flickr.)

Young children learn through play—it's their work. And parents are a child's first teachers. When parents connect with their preschoolers by playing, reading, writing, singing and talking together great things can happen. Children's vocabulary grows, they recognize letters and their sounds and the sounds within words. They become more and more familiar with language. It's a great head start for school. Parents can check out our early literacy tips online, too.

Stroller parking area at Silver Spring Library
Stroller Parking
Parents are also finding this part of the library a great gathering place. Part of MCPL's  motto is "where the county meets." Even in these early days of the new library, our preschool Early Literacy Center is becoming the place to meet. Especially during the morning, parents are parking strollers, reading and playing with their children, and conversing with each other around the center's tall, colorful towers and interactive panels.

Thank you to the Silver Spring Friends of the Library and the Silver Spring community for the generous donations that made the Early Literacy Center possible. Get Ready to Play, Learn, and Read!