Wellesley Free Library, which has been trotting its newly acquired NAO robots around in recent weeks as part of a #nametherobots social media campaign, concluded the contest on Saturday afternoon by holding a meet-and-greet with Sky (the blue robot) and Lava (the red one).
A 10-year-old named Oliver Laybourn gets credit for coming up with the names for the talented humanoid robots, which can teach you to do everything from program to dance to tai chi. More than 500 entries were submitted for the naming contest.
Even if you missed the reception, you can still interact with the robots. The library is signing up people to learn the robots’ drop-and-drag Choregraphe programming language, and Sky and Lava will also be accessible during upcoming demo days.
The acquisition of the NAO robots was made possible through a grant from the Wellesley Free Library Foundation.
Equine portraits decorate the entryway at Wellesley Free Library this month, courtesy of Judy Brown, professor of physics emeritus at Wellesley College.
Playing off the popular term Internet of Things, in which everything you can imagine from refrigerators to cars is networked, Wellesley Free Library is building up a select Library of Things for loan. To emphasize this point, the library has been showcasing one of its cake pans for loan at its main desk.
Wellesley Historical Society, in partnership with Wellesley Free Library, is presenting a slate of 5 lectures between October and May. All of the presentations will be held at Wellesley Free Library, 530 Washington St.
A History of the American Lighthouse (Thursday, Oct. 27, 7pm)
Local author and historian Eric Jay Dolin will discuss the history of these iconic beacons, which are fixtures along New England’s coastline. Dolin will explore the technology of lighthouses, their role in wartime, and the lives of the men and women who took care of them.
The Loss of the U.S.S. Quincy (Sunday, Nov. 20, 2pm)
In honor of Veteran’s Day, local historian Bob Begin will discuss the history of the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Quincy from her launching in her namesake city during the Great Depression to her fateful role in the Pacific during World War Two. He will also explore the lives of some of the men who served on board her during the war.
The Lowell Mill Girls (Sunday, March 19, 2pm)
In honor of Women’s History Month, local author and historian Doug Steward will discuss the Lowell Mill Girls–young women from New England farms who became the labor force that powered New England’s textile mills in the first half of the nineteenth century. He will also explore the workers’ links to the early American labor and women’s right movements.
The American Home Front in WWI (Sunday, April 2, 2pm)
In honor of the centennial of America’s entry into the Great War, longtime Society board members Nan Morrow and John Dirlam will discuss life at home during WWI. They will base their discussion on the large collection of original United States government posters assembled by Nan’s father during WWI.
Wellesley Then and Now (Thursday, May 4, 7pm)
Kathleen Fahey, curator of the Wellesley Historical Society, will present a brand new version of her comparison of Wellesley today with the much smaller and more rural Wellesley of 100 years ago. She will use a combination of modern photographs and older ones from the Society’s archives to show how the town has changed over the years.
For more information about our programs, please call the Society at (781) 235-6690 or email [email protected].
Sisters Ruxin and Ruyi Shao, natives of China who attend Weston High School, are brightening the hallway at Wellesley Free Library with their calligraphy and brush painting. There have even been a limited number of free books at the art display showing off their works.
Not to put a damper on things, but yes, here in Wellesley summer is almost halfway over. School starts on Wednesday, August 31, and that means it’s time for students to get going on their summer reading. As long as you tuck a couple of titles into your overnight campers’ next care package, among the fresh socks and contraband candy, all should be well. Every grade in Wellesley has a list of summer reading books, which you can find at the links below.
So don’t anybody panic, whether they’re at home or away, there’s still plenty of time to get your kids engaged in that most lovely of summer activities, cozying up with a good book. Help them find a nice spot outside in the hammock or sprawled out on a blanket at the beach, make sure a tall glass of lemonade is within easy reach, and before they know it, they’ll be transported.
Generally, at the middle school each student must read two books of their choice, and each grade has an assignment attached to those books. At the high school level the book depends on which class the student is taking, while at the elementary level there is an entire website with pull-down menus for picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, and more.
Summer reading, Wellesley elementary schools
Elementary school students are encouraged to keep a list of some of their summer reading titles and to read approximately 30 minutes per day. You can access the entire elementary schools summer reading list here. Below you can find a few titles on the extensive list that was put together by a dream team of library teachers representing each of the seven elementary schools in town.
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! Elise Parsley (picture book)
Reminds me of back when I did some volunteering at the Natick Community Organic Farm and I wanted to bring in the piglets to my second-grader’s classroom. Yes! said an enthusiastic teacher. No, the principal gently ruled. Something about Health Department regulations. Right, and those baby chicks under the incubator lights are so sterile.
Bad Kitty, Drawn to Trouble, Nick Bruel (beginning chapter book series)
Bad Kitty is the best. Back when we were immersed in the read-aloud world, there really wasn’t anything a kitty/bunny/doggie could do that could shock us. Until Bad Kitty scratched Grandma in his first book. Now that’s a bad kitty.
Coding Computer Games with Scratch, Doris Kindersley Publishing Staff (non-fiction)
Two Friends: Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, Dean Robbins (biography)
Summer reading, Wellesley Middle School
All Wellesley Middle School students must read two books they haven’t read before. There’s a list, but the kids can go reading rogue and choose something different if they want.
Here’s the 6th grade list, with a couple pulled from it that looked good to us (below):
Assignment: “You will have to rate the best book you read this summer and talk about what you think the message of the book is. Then, read and rate some other books! This assignment is due on the first day of school.”
Found, Margaret Peterson Haddix
When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel.
Growing Up Gronk, Gordon Gronkowski
Tells the Gronkowskis’ story, revealing how they were raised, how they were motivated, how they trained, how they played, even how their mother kept then fed.
Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking, Erin Dionne
Instead of spending a carefree summer exploring downtown Bostonwith best friend Ollie, thirteen-year-old Moxie must solve a famous art heist in order to protect those she loves from her ailing grandfather’s gangster past. Includes facts about the 1990 Gardner Museum art theft. [Read more…]
My background doesn’t exactly raise any eyebrows here in Wellesley — I had a suburban New England upbringing, went off to college, graduated, lived in the big city for a while, found me a husband, had a couple of kids, and started blogging. Sure, I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants, but it’s all been terribly exciting. And yet, like many adrenaline junkies who crave even more drama, I’ve harbored a secret ambition, one I will dare share: to run away and fly through the air with the greatest of ease as a circus trapeze artist.
So imagine my excitement when I found out that someone who actually has traveled with a small three-ring circus while photographing it and later writing a book based on her experiences is not only coming to town, but is right now displaying some of her vintage photographs in the Wellesley Library’s Wakelin Room. Not only that, Elizabeth C. Wellington will be be reading from her book Circus Girl on July 16, 3pm – 5pm.
At age 16, an adventurous Wellington left high school to travel around the world alone. She lived in India for a year, and one adventure led to another until the rolling stone had lived in five countries, learning three languages along the way. Eventually, Wellington settled down and gathered some moss by becoming a language professor, and has lived a quiet life as an academic ever since.
Circus Girl, from which she will be reading, is a work of fiction based on Wellington’s experiences on the road and the stories of the circus people she knew. The novel starts off in the summer of 1971, when seventeen-year-old Sarah runs away with a traveling circus. On the road, she falls in love with West, a handsome performer and swamp rat from Florida with a gift for handling wild animals. When she is given a job as a roustabout in order to follow the show, she is privy to the secrets of jailbirds and misfits from the Deep South. Just before the circus reaches the end of its tour, Sarah makes two unwanted discoveries: that her lover is a drug smuggler, and that she is pregnant with his child.
The book is a work of fiction. The photos hanging in the Wakelin Room and their brief accompanying narratives are as real and gritty as it gets. Step right up, folks, the author will be available to answer all questions, sign copies of her book, and tell the stories behind the photographs, all of which are for sale.
Artist Lynda Goldberg is exhibiting her work during the month of July at the Wellesley Free Library. She is showing monotypes that are inspired by nature and that reflect her fascination with it. Goldberg says that she starts with an idea or feeling which she then expresses in textures and colors using natural and man-made found objects.
If you want to see more of her work, you can put in a library request for the HBO movie Olive Kitteridge — three small pieces of Goldberg’s work can be glimpsed in that movie in the New York City brownstone scenes.
From Wellesley Free Library:
The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf gets underway at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 at Wellesley Free Library
Potential witnesses and jurors may register online at www.WellesleyFreeLibrary.org through the calendar starting on July 13 in order to testify or serve on the jury. To qualify for this live action, role playing event, you must be between three and one-hundred and three years old, willing to play a part of a storybook character and able to tell the truth. No experience is necessary.
One of the charges against Big Bad Wolf is being brought by little Red Riding Hood who alleges, “That nasty old Wolf actually ate my Granny!”
Mr. Wolf is also charged with huffing and puffing and blowing down 2 Little Pigs’ homes.