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Everyday in our office we receive a number of interesting products that we are lucky enough to review. Now, we are by no means experts on some of the products we receive, but we try to find the products that we feel “help parents…parent.” Sometimes the products are just fun, like Wii console games. I love Wii, I remember the days of playing Super Mario Brothers with my brothers on the original Nintendo game console. Today, my brothers and I still love to play Nintendo games they are just more high-tech.

Recently, the staff received My Ballet Studio for Wii and Storybook Workshop for Wii. My Ballet Studio My Ballet Studio for Nintendo Wii allows players to practice authentic ballet moves. Young ballerinas are encouraged to study hard at ballet school and learn real techniques in movement and position lessons and performance modes. Gamers will be able to track their progress and measure how close they are to perfecting their dream routines. Very cool, if my niece was older this would be a great present for her. Since we are also big on writing a reading activities for children, I love the Storybook Workshop game concept. Storybook workshop is an interactive reading-based game involving classic folk tales from around the world. Recordable readings, voice alteration and a Singalong mode bring each tale to life. You’ll earn rewards, such as having your Mii (your Wii game player) appear in select stories, while introducing your children to the same beloved stories you heard as a child.

Isn’t it amazing how many games there are out there? Check out ago The National Parenting Center’s: “The Best Family Wii Games – Holiday 2009,” there are some good choices on there. I feel like playing some games right now, what about you? Do you have any funny memories of playing video games or even board games? Maybe your children have a Wii and you secretly (or not so secretly) love to play with it. Let us know below and the best comment will win either My Ballet Studio for Wii or Wii Storybook Workshop!

Youngsters who cannot check out books due to overdue fines are invited to take part in the Read Away Your Fines Program offered by the Newburgh Free Library during December and January. It’s an easy and simple program that helps children make a fresh start so they can once again check out books or use the Internet.

 Head of Youth Services & Children’s Librarian, Lisa Kochik, says that this sort of program has been offered at numerous libraries including the Queens Public Library in the past and Newburgh has always wanted to try it. According to Kochik, the library’s goal is to “offer kids an opportunity to regain their borrowing privileges, without dependency on parents providing money to them, and then encourage the kids to keep their cards “clean” afterward so that they can enjoy using the library again and feel proud and accomplished that they created that opportunity for themselves!”

For the program, children fill out a “read away your fines” contract and spend time at an Open Reading Session which allows them to read silently in the library for up to 45 minutes at a time. For every 15 minutes that they read, children will earn one Library Buck which equals $1 in fines. This program is for Newburgh Free Library Card Holders Only.

Library Bucks can be earned to pay down fines or to pay for one (1) lost item if it was owned by the Newburgh Free Library. Additional lost items or lost items that were lent from other Libraries will need to be paid for with actual money.

Open Reading Sessions are scheduled during Winter Break on Dec. 21, 22 & 23 from 10am-12pm and every Tues., Wed. & Fri. from 3:30pm-4:45pm during January. Children may bring in required reading for school, a book from home, a magazine or select something to read from the Library. Materials must be reading-level appropriate.

For more information, contact the Youth Services Department at the Newburgh Free Library, 845-563-3616 or call the main number, 845-563-3600.


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