Neighborhood Kids family fun in bellingham & whatcom county


Learn More About Banned Books Week

Depending on their age, the idea of banning books might be a foreign topic for your kids, but there’s plenty you can do this week to educate them, and yourself, about the freedom to read. Here are some easy ways to celebrate reading and teach your kids the value of our libraries.

Learn More About Banned Books Week Celebrate the freedom to read by checking out books at your local library.

History Lesson
Use Banned Books Week as an opportunity to help children learn about some early United States history. Find a copy of the United States Constitution and explain why in 1791, the first ten amendments, the Bill of Rights, were added to the document to clarify and protect the individual rights of citizens. Check out a variety of resources available through the American Library Association on the First Amendment to aid your discussion and lesson with kids.

Frequently Challenged Books
Take a look at the list of most Frequently Challenged Books. Are there books on the list that you read as a child or adolescent? Has your child read any of these books? Visit the library and see if you can find some of the books. Discuss with your children why some people might want to remove certain books from the library. Although you and your family might not agree with the views expressed in some books or you’d like your child to wait a few more years before reading them, emphasize to your children that everyone has the right to check out these books from the public library—it belongs to them just as much as it belongs to you.

Write a Letter
Inform others in the community about Banned Books Week by writing letters to the editor, the school board, and the library board of trustees supporting the freedom to read. A good activity for kids is writing letters or making cards for individual school and public librarians, thanking them for their efforts in helping connect people with all kind of books and information.

Celebrate All Year Round
Banned Books Week is a nationwide effort to raise awareness about maintaining our freedom to read, but the fight to keep books in libraries is a constant battle. Stay informed at your school and library so you’ll know about any book challenges taking place in your community. Give your favorite banned book as a gift or donate a copy to your library. You can also make donations to the Freedom to Read Foundation, an organization dedicated to the legal and financial defense of intellectual freedom, especially in libraries.

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Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is an annual event sponsored in part by the American Library Association during the last week in September each year. This nationwide event began in 1982 when book challenges and banning started to become a frequent issue in school and public libraries. During the week’s celebration, librarians, authors, booksellers, publishers and journalists hope to remind Americans not to take their democratic freedom to read for granted.

Celebrating the Freedom to Read Banned Books Week celebrates our democratic freedom to read.

The Banned Books Week Read-Out! Kick-off event took place at Pioneer Plaza in Chicago, IL on Saturday September 27th. The event featured a number of frequently challenged authors, including Judy Blume, Lois Lowry, and Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, co-authors of the most frequently challenged book in 2006 and 2007, And Tango Makes Three.

According to the ALA website, books are usually challenged in an attempt “to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.” Historically, the top three accusations cited in book challenges have been “sexually explicit” material, “offensive language,” and material “unsuited to age group.”

While book challengers often have a genuine interest in protecting children and others potentially offended by certain material, it is the duty of librarians to provide all library patrons- regardless of “origin, age, background, or views”- with access to books and other library resources, as stated in the ALA Library Bill of Rights.

Rather than challenging, censoring, and removing books from libraries, librarians would rather help parents find alternative materials for their children that they think would be more appropriate for their age and interests. The ALA also encourages families to take trips to the library together, so parents will know what their kids are checking out and can discuss concerns about certain material with them openly.

For more information about Banned Books Week, visit the American Library Association. Or visit your local or school library to talk to your librarian (that’s what they’re there for!) about the importance of Banned Books Week and what you can do to celebrate the freedom to read with your family.

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Flu Shot Clinics in Whatcom County

Flu Shot Clinics in Whatcom County Many clinics provide vaccines for children six months and older, as well as pregnant women.

You’ve got enough to worry about without your or your kids catching the flu this winter. As a preventative measure, arrange to get a flu shot either in October or November. You can check with your family doctor or local pharmacy to see if a flu vaccine is available there, or refer to the Whatcom County Health Department for a list of community clinics, complete with cost, hours and special requirements for each location.

Here are just a few of the possibilities available across Whatcom County:

Fairhaven Pharmacy
1115 Harris Avenue
(360) 734-3340

Cost: $30
Clinic Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:30 AM to 6 PM; most Saturdays, 9:30 AM to 4 PM (please call ahead)
Special Notes: Does not bill Medicare Part B. Available for cooperative children that are used to receiving vaccines and shots.

Hoagland Pharmacy
2330 Yew Street
(360) 734-5413

Cost: $25
Clinic Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM (no appointment necessary)
Special Notes: Available for ages six months and up and pregnant women.

Safeway Store – Lynden
8071 Guide Meridian
(360) 318-0698

Cost: $28
Clinic Hours: Clinic Hours: October 1 & 8, 10 AM to 7 PM; October 22, 10 AM to 4 PM; November 1, 10 AM to 1 PM. Please make an appointment on non-clinic days. Please make an appointment on non-clinic days.
Special Notes: Available for ages 12 and up and pregnant women (please call to verify availability).

Whatcom County Health Department Immunization Clinic
1500 N. State Street
(360) 676-4593
Cost: $25 for adults, $15 for kids plus a $12 visit fee
Clinic Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (please call to make an appointment)
Special Notes: Available for children ages 6 months through 18 years and pregnant women.

Get a full list of Whatcom County Community Flu Clinics for 2008-2009.

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