EOTR - Kids & Family Notebook 2012

Holiday Tree Trimming at THERARC On Monday, Dec 3 from 6-8 p.m., join them for their annual tree trimming holiday party. There will be plenty of family-friendly holiday activities, performances, pictures for children with Santa, and holiday treats! Free and open to the public. THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org. Photo: Steve Vaccariello

I love snow! at Kenilworth Park

On Dec 2 and 9, from 1-1:45 p.m., discover the secret life of animals as you hunt for footprints in the snow with Ranger Lee at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave. NE. Appropriate for all ages. Free. For more information, call 202-426-6905 or visit nps.gov/keaq.

Largest Playground Improvement Project in DC History

Mayor Gray, D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation Director Aguirre and Department of General Services Director Hanlon have announced that the District government would be undertaking the largest playground renovation project in its history. Mayor Gray prioritized this initiative and worked with his budget team to identify additional end-of-year capital funds to both add additional playgrounds to the project and accelerate the pace of renovations. As a result, a total of 32 playgrounds will now be renovated in Fiscal Year 2013.

The following Wards 7 and 8 playgrounds will be renovated. Ward 7-Hillcrest Playground at 3100 Denver St. SE; Benning Park Playground, Southern Ave and Fable St. SE; and Neval Thomas Playground, 650 Anacostia Ave. NE. Ward 8-Fort Greble Playground, MLK Ave. and Elmira St. SW; Douglass Playground, 2100 Stanton Terrace SE; and Oxon Run Playground, 6th St. and Mississippi Ave. SE. Renovations are expected to start this fall, with completions during 2013.

"Teach to One: Math" Program Begun at Ward 8's Hart Middle School

DC Public Schools and Teach to One: Math have unveiled an innovative, technology-driven math program for all students at Hart Middle School in Ward 8. Teach to One: Math is revolutionizing math instruction at Hart by providing instruction on multiple skills at multiple academic levels each class period. Every day, each student receives a unique math schedule that targets skills the student is ready to learn and provides instruction at that student's academic level.

Over the summer, Hart was remodeled for Teach to One: Math, so math students now sit in two large, open classrooms. At any time, there are six to eight different types of instruction, delivered in a variety of formats including live teacher-led instruction, collaborative learning, live virtual instruction, software-based learning, and independent practice. One group of students, for example, might work with a teacher on probability while another group uses software to practice specific skills. A complex set of algorithms, based on each student’s understanding at the end of the previous lesson, creates a customized schedule for the next day. In this way, each student moves through a rich, individualized learning experience at his or her own pace. And teachers are able to leverage their time and expertise to better support student learning.

Disney @ Deanwood

Enjoy Disney movies each month at the Deanwood Library. On Nov 28 see "Bambi" and on Dec 19 see "Snow Buddies." All movies are shown at 5 p.m. They are appropriate for ages 6-12. Deanwood Neighborhood Library, 1350 49th. St. NE. 202-698-1175. dclibrary.org/deanwood

Winter Basic Skills Program at Ft. Dupont Registration Open

Fort Dupont Ice Arena offers group skating classes to area youth, ages 5-18 (kindergarten to 12th grade), through its Kids On Ice program. Kids On Ice is a free, community program whose mission is to make skating accessible and affordable for Washington-area children. Children are accepted into the program on a “first come, first served” basis. Priority is given to returning students (returning is defined as a skater who has had regular attendance in a class during the last calendar year). Winter Basic Skills registration deadline is Dec 14. Register online or in person at Fort Dupont Ice Arena, 3779 Ely Pl. NE. (Fort Dupont Holiday Show-save the date is Dec 8.) 202-584-5007. fdia.org

Young Artists Create at Anacostia Community Museum

On Saturday, Nov 17 at 11 a.m., enhance the creativity of your kids with art projects inspired by Reclaiming the Edge exhibition on view. Materials provided. Make reservations. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. anacostia.si.edu

Levine School of Music: Jade Simmons

On Saturday, Nov 10, 3-6 p.m., the Levine School of Music piano department presents one of the most innovative and exciting musicians of our time, Jade Simmons, for a special master class and solo recital. The public is welcome to watch Levine students participate in the master class, and then stick around for the rare opportunity to see Jade perform. This event is free and open to the public. Children interested in learning to play the piano are encouraged to attend with their parents. For more information, visit levineschool.org/piano or email gcho@levineschool.org. This event is at THEARC, 1901 Mississippi Ave. SE. 202-889-5901. thearcdc.org

Geography Awareness Week T-Shirt Crafting Workshop

On Saturday, Nov 17 at 2 p.m., join the District of Columbia Geographic Alliance and DC Public Library in celebrating Geography Awareness Week! This workshop will increase your knowledge about the global connection that we all have with our T-shirts, and it will enable you to create new wearable items from gently worn T-shirts. WHO KNEW? Your old T-shirt could become your new bracelet, scarf, etc…Bring a couple of your old t-shirts and get ready to play! Snacks will be available. Ages 8-14. Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library, 3935 Benning Rd. NE. 202-281-2583. dclibrary.org/benning

Saturday Morning at the National Free Performances for Children

On Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. there are free live performances for children in the Helen Hayes Gallery. Tickets are required and distributed first come-first seated. Tickets are distributed 1/2 hour prior to performance. One ticket per person in line. The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. 202-783-3372. Nov 17-The Frog Prince. Baltimore’s award-wining Black Cherry Puppet Theatre tells the classic Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a beautiful princess, a talking frog, and the importance of keeping one’s promises. Beautiful handmade puppets and an original soundtrack tell the merry musical tale. Dec 1-Oh! Hanukkah! Nell and David Greenfieldboyce combine music, comedy and puppets to bring out the Hanukkah spirit in everyone! Two enchanting puppet tales of Jewish life in the old country combined with a novel retelling of the story of Hanukkah brings the seasonal tale of the “Festival of Lights” to life. Dec 8-Christmas Dreams from The Nutcracker. Saturday Morning at the National families eagerly await the annual presentation of the Virginia Ballet Company and School’s selections from Tchaikovsky’s glittering confection. Snowflakes and Sugar Plum Fairies fill the air in a dazzling presentation full of lovely costumes, lively dances and elegant holiday cheer. Dec 15-Chris Davis: A Christmas Carol. Join Tim Cratchitt (all grown up) and his blushing bride, Rose, in recreating Charles Dickens’s classic tale A Christmas Carol. Kids in the audience take roles in the show, playing Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Christmas, and the cantankerous old miser himself to the delight and merriment of all!

Chancellor Henderson Announces Taskforce to Support School Libraries

In an effort to broaden access to reading for students, DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson has announced a task force to better support school libraries. The DCPS Library Task Force will make recommendations for consideration and possible implementation in the 2013-2014 school year. The task force’s first meeting was this week.

Specifically, the task force will be asked to evaluate the current status of school libraries and library programs, including staffing levels, instruction provided and collections; evaluate the best practices for library instruction and programming; determine the basics of a quality school library system; develop recommendations to improve the quality of school libraries and library programs; and recommend any voluntary/community-based strategies designed to increase and improve school libraries, library programs and collection development.

November 17 is National Family Volunteer Day

Kids are never too young to volunteer! See how your kids can make a difference at school and at home! Go to generationon.org/kids to find some great projects and ideas for volunteering.

Fall Harvest Scavenger Hunt at Brookside Gardens

On Nov 16, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., have some seasonal fun throughout Brookside Gardens. Start at the Visitors Center and follow the colorful leaf trail leading you to the conservatory and back again. Along the way, hunt for seasonal clues and participate in fun activities, exercises and crafts. Guided garden walks leave on the half hour beginning at 10:00 a.m. Last walk leaves at 12:30 p.m. An adult must walk with each child and assist in the activities. This event is designed for ages 2-6. $5 per child. Please register online at montgomeryparks.org/brookside. Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton, MD. For more information, call 301-962-1400 or visit brooksidegardens.org.

DC Youth Orchestra Concert at the Kennedy Center

The DC Youth Orchestra Program launches its 53rd concert season with its Youth Orchestra's Fall Concert at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Terrace Theater on Saturday, Nov 17 at 2:00 pm. Led by Maestro Jesus Manuel Berard, the program includes "Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage" by Felix Mendelssohn, Charles Ives’ "Fugue" from his Symphony No.4 and Beethoven's Symphony No.8. The concert is free and open to the public, although tickets are required. Tickets are available at dcyop.org or through Eventbrite at dcyopfall2012-efbevent.eventbrite.com.

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