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It’s That Time of Year Again

Posted: November 16, 2018
By: GEPL Staff

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Wondering how to kick off the holiday season? Come celebrate at the library on Friday, Nov. 23 from 1-4:30 pm before heading to downtown Glen Ellyn for the annual tree lighting ceremony at 6:30 pm.

Story-performer Chris Fascione will return to share his juggling act, followed by One Voice Choir, Vivaldi Strings, and Glenbard South High School Madrigals.

The annual Holiday Walk has been a GEPL tradition for over 10 years. Individuals of every age are welcome to attend for live entertainment and crafts. Stop by for all or part of the festivities!

Our program is listed here:

1:15 pm: Juggling Funny Stories with Chris Fascione

2:30 pm: One Voice Choir

3:15 pm: Vivaldi Strings

4:00 pm: Glenbard South High School Madrigals

The library will also be selling limited edition Glen Ellyn Library Foundation holiday ornaments! These 3D-printed designs will be available through Dec. 23 at the Circulation desk. Ornaments are $10 and proceeds will benefit the library.

Get to Thirty Million Words

Posted: November 7, 2018
By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

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Do you find the human brain fascinating?
Are you a parent, grandparent, or caregiver?
Are you an educator or are you interested in education?
Are you a speech therapist?
Do you love the power of language?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to read Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dr. Dana Suskind, and come listen to her presentation on Tuesday, November 13.

I originally picked up Thirty Million Words because I wanted to learn the “how and why” behind something that I already knew. Talking to your child is the most important thing you can do to support their future success, especially for young children ages 0 to 3. This is because at this point in life, the brain has the most neuroplasticity.

Thirty Million Words focuses on research that indicates that some children hear 30 million fewer words by their fourth birthday than other children. Let’s pause for a moment and let that number soak in: 30 million (non-unique) words. This gap has a significant, lasting impact on a child’s future. To help close the gap, Dr. Suskind has developed The Thirty Million Words Initiative.

If you are not already convinced that you need to read Thirty Million Words, here are a few powerful quotes.

  • An infant’s brain, at the height of neuroplasticity, can distinguish the sound of every language, from the German umlaut to the Chinese pinyin to the glottal, slightly implosive consonants of the Masai, and is ready to learn the language a sound belongs to, or even several languages with very different sounds.
  • It [a baby’s brain] does not learn language passively, but only in an environment of social responsiveness and social interaction.
  • The brain, unlike almost all other organs, is unfinished at birth. The heart, the kidneys, and lungs function from day one as they will for their entire lives. But the brain is almost entirely dependent on what it encounters on tis ride to full development.
  • Optimal caretaker language, in the very early years of a child’s life, is geared at helping a child toward independence.
  • We have to make the importance of the early language environment part of the American vernacular. Every parent, in fact, every person, should understand it.

Join us on Tuesday, November 13, from 7-8:30 pm to hear Dr. Suskind explain how adults can “tune in, talk more, and take turns” to set the stage for optimum brain development. There will be a Q&A and book signing after Dr. Suskind’s presentation. Prairie Path Books will have copies of Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain available for purchase. Educators will receive one (1) free CPDU credit for attending this program. Reserve your spot.

Veterans Day: Making it Meaningful for Kids

Posted: November 6, 2018
By: Kelli Rolston, Youth Associate

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Every year, on November 11, we honor veterans, living and deceased, who have served our country. It is difficult for many children to imagine the ways service members risked their lives and the hardships they endured to protect our freedom. How can you help your child show veterans their appreciation and gratitude?

1. Display your flag. Fly the American flag at home. Not sure how to display it properly? Learn flag etiquette. Don’t have a flag? Kids can put small flags from the dollar store or received at parades in the front yard. This is a great way for children to express their patriotism!

2. Attend a Veterans Day event. There are many parades and community events that honor veterans. Children will experience a sense of community and feel the excitement of honoring those who have protected us. We have listed below a few local events scheduled on or near Veterans Day.

3. Read stories about Veterans Day. There are titles in many different genres that will give your child a better background of Veterans Day and insight into a soldier’s life. Here are some titles to explore at the library.

Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco
Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner
The Not So Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis
What is Veterans Day? by Elaine Landow

4. Write a letter to or make a card for a Veteran or a soldier who is actively serving. Websites like,, and distribute the cards you send them to veterans and soldiers. Here are a few tips to get started.

  • Begin with a generic salutation, such as Dear Brave One or Dear Freedom Fighter.
  • Express your thanks for their selfless service.
  • Talk about your life and interests – Sports, Weather, Music, Movies, Food, and Books.
  • Don’t include a date on your letters. Sometimes it can take up to a few months for letters to be received.
  • Include only first names and do not include addresses.
  • Can’t find the words? Consider drawing or painting a picture instead.

Are you in middle school and at the Glen Ellyn Public Library in the month of November? You can write a letter to or make a card for a veteran or soldier in the Middle Room, and we will mail it to the organization for you! We will be accepting letters until Friday, November 30.

Hopefully, these four suggestions will help your children understand the purpose of Veterans Day and express gratitude to the veterans and soldiers who protect us. To my father, and all our soldiers and veterans, Happy Veterans Day!

Local Veterans Day Events

Saturday, November 3 | 7-10 am | Cantigny Park
15th Annual Cantigny 5K Run/Walk. A charitable run with all proceeds donated to Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans.

Saturday, November 10 | Noon-3 pm | Cantigny Park McCormick House
Second Saturday: Family Program. Celebrate Veterans Day by creating cards for the Hines VA Hospital. Several other service activities will be planned to benefit local non-profits. Free with parking fee ($5).

Saturday, November 10 | 1-4 pm | Cantigny Park
Brew It Forward Beer Tasting – Family Activities include making cards for veterans at the Hines VA Hospital, Cantina Cantigny hot chocolate station, poppy craft, story time in a WWII-era vehicle, and preparing gift bags for veterans in need.

Sunday, November 11 | 10:50 am | Cantigny Park
Program to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that took place at 11 am in 1918. Parking is free.

Sunday, November 11 | Noon | Glen Ellyn’s Lake Ellyn Park
Veterans Day ceremony with Glen Ellyn American Legion Post 3, the local VFW, and Daughters of the American Revolution.