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Reading up on mindfulness and empathy is a powerful way to understand and reflect on our own mindfulness practice and our how to work within our current divisive paradigms.

Summer reading is a wonderful chance to engage your children with a love of reading, and recent research suggests that reading fiction is also powerful tool for strengthening our empathy muscles.

Audio book lovers rejoice! LibriVox is an online resource offering thousands of recordings of a wide variety of written works. Including everything from Shakespeare to Hans Christian Andersen, LibriVox’s titles are all available through the public domain and read by volunteers, meaning that users can download recordings completely for free! Perfect for a snug winter day indoors.

As a speech-language pathologist, Hilltown Families contributing writer, Kathy Puckett, is a big believer is building a culture of reading for children at home! With the new year upon us with thoughts towards New Year’s Resolutions, Kathy encourages our readers to resolve to carving out time to read more to on your children. Quality time spent reading together is universally acknowledged as being crucial to any level of child development while creating memories and bonds between parent and child. At the end of the day it all comes back to reading…

In this episode of “Under the Hat,” Mister G talks about how as a kid he used to read under the covers by flashlight long after bedtime. After touring around the world (and noticing that kids are looking at screens instead of books), he decided to write a collection of songs that reconnect children with their love of learning and creating. The album is The Bossy E and this video is of the first song on the record, “Love to Read.” Featuring Grammy winner Charles Neville on flute.

Summer affords us a golden chance to encourage our children to open their senses to the world. These are rare formative situations in which a child can absorb the happenings of their community and wider world in a different context, where they explore and get in touch with their own interests- just like a vacation.

In “What to Play? Play Ideas for Family & Community” this month, Carrie outlines creative ways to channel a child’s favorite thing to do and subsequently fuel the desire for them to explore, have fun and enjoy an enriching summer. Carrie’s methods involves opening access to diverse reading materials and encouraging sketching. Through creative-free play comes discovery!

Hatfield Public Library Host Town-Wide Reading Challenge Cheri Hardy, Children’s Librarian at the Hatfield Public Library writes: Starting January 3rd, 2012, the town of Hatfield is being issued a challenge by the Hatfield Public Library: 100,000 pages to be read in 5 months. Citizens of the town, as well as school-choice families, start reading January 3rd and finish May 31st. Participants read as much or as little as they are able, logging… Read More

QUESTION AND ANSWERS Would you ever give your children an e-book reader as a gift? Amanda Saklad writes, “If I had the extra $150 plus to spend, sure! A trip to the library would be little more affordable, though. My 11yo wants one for Christmas.” Karen Bayne writes, “If I had one, and I had the money, I would. I can’t quite wrap my head around giving such a cool thing to… Read More

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