This month, we want to share with you the work of Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work who has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Dawn first stumbled upon Brown’s TED talks last year and immediately ordered and read her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012). Last month, Dawn also had the opportunity to see Brown speak at the Emerging Women Live Conference in Boulder, Colorado. Brown’s engaging storytelling captivates audiences as she authentically shares her research and her own struggle with vulnerability. If you watch the TED videos, be ready to laugh, but at the same time be ready to get hit in the gut as she holds up a mirror to aspects of ourselves we normally try to shield.
The latest featured item from the Flow Circus Skill Toy Museum* is a 19th Century diabolo. Many of you have played with a yo-yo. Now imagine a bigger yo-yo that can actually come off the string. Players move two hand sticks connected by a string in order to get the toy to spin. Once spinning, it can fly off the string, jump over body parts, and do other tricks. Some players even juggle two or three on one string. More…
We’ve been busy doing research in areas of positive psychology, motivation, and other related fields to better explain the outcomes of our tween/teen and adult programs. We realized that the books we have been reading and TED talks we have been watching might also be beneficial to those of you that are educators, parents, program evaluators, and grant writers. So we are kicking off a regular feature on our blog – a featured book or TED talk.
The first in our series is Growth Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck (2006), a researcher in the fields of personality, social and developmental psychology at Stanford University. More…
Starting this month, we are going to bring you a featured item from the Flow Circus Skill Toy Museum. The museum doesn’t physically exist yet, but we have been collecting vintage skill toys over the last few years and wanted to start sharing them. The first item captures the story of a toy and an entrepreneur. The yo-yo has a long rich history dating back as far as 500 BC. Vases from Ancient Greece depict children playing with the toy and a few terra cotta yo-yos from that time still exist. The yo-yo was played on several continents throughout its history, but this story of this yo-yo starts in the Philippines. More…
The results for Summer Reading Program 2013 are in: Flow Circus performed 122 Dig into Reading shows and conducted 15 tween/teen workshops in just 11 weeks! We visited 8 states from Alabama to Connecticut. Our home state of North Carolina hosted us for the largest number of programs with Pennsylvania coming in a close second. We were invited to visit many new libraries this summer as well as return to some of our favorites from past summers. To see more photos from Paul’s Can You Dig It show, visit our Photo Gallery. Special thanks to all of the libraries that hosted us this summer. Here’s some of the feedback we have been hearing:
A most exciting, high-energy show which was engaging and entertaining and educational all at one time, and equally entertaining for adults and children. Paul added a lot of humor, enlisted volunteers from the audience, and provided 45 minutes of continuous, high-quality fun! Barbara McNutt, Upper Dublin Public Library, Fort Washington, PA
You guys put the pro in professional and the f in fun. Your pre-show contact and information is always spot on and your follow up is the best of any performer I’ve worked with hands down. Your continued exploration of new areas and new ways of reaching children with your art speaks volumes of your dedication and determination. I hope to see Flow Circus again and again and again for many years to come. Jess Willis, Florence County Library, Florence, SC
Performer Paul Miller has been busy creating his new Summer Reading Program library show for 2013. For many this summer’s CSLP theme, Dig into Reading, will send people down into the dirt. Paul, on the other hand, will dig deeper at his library to uncover new adventures. Below is a brief description:
Can You Dig It?
Performer Paul Miller of Flow Circus takes us back to one memorable summer when his eccentric uncle comes to visit. Unlike any other adult Paul knows, his uncle opens up an exciting, new world of play through stories, books, juggling, magic, and more. More importantly, he encourages Paul not just to copy what others are doing, but to dig deeper and explore his own unique interests and talents.
Paul’s comedy juggling and magic show engages audiences of all ages. Credits include Disney Cruise Lines, Off-Broadway, and performances from coast to coast. He also loves to share his passion for play at schools, libraries, and camps throughout the year.
Our SRP 2013 tween/teen workshops will encourage participants to explore Beneath the Surface and discover skill-based talents such as juggling and skill toys at their library.
We currently have over 100 shows and workshops booked in 8 states, but there are still a few openings. Visit FlowCircus.com/Library for more information about our programs.
Connecting Fiction and Non-Fiction
Some of your library regulars may love reading stories while others use the non-fiction section to satisfy curiosity about dinosaurs, bugs, and sports (oh my!) There’s also that third group that might come for programs and gaming nights, but avoid reading. How can you develop programs to engage all three? How can you bridge fiction, non-fiction, and active learning? Why juggling, of course!
Visit the Connections Page for resources needed to get tweens and teens excited about juggling through hands-on workshops that you can run regardless of your juggling skill level. A reading list with both fiction and non-fiction books will help them dig deeper and explore their new interest in juggling. These resources can also serve as a model for other programming ideas to help bridge this gap.
This site has been developed with libraries in mind, but can easily be adapted for schools, camps, and afterschool programs. Flow Circus is available for hands-on training sessions to help your staff take full advantage of this resource. We are available to present sessions at conferences or regional meetings. These workshops are free if we are on tour in your area.
For other free resources and DIY projects, visit FlowCircus.com/freeresources.
We love Dr. Seuss! One of Paul’s favorite comments from a student came after a school show when the boy compared Paul to the Cat in the Hat (we can’t imagine why!) Our favorite Dr. Seuss book is If I Ran the Circus and Paul has been known to incorporate the book into his storytelling.
We thought it fitting to plan a tour in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday which has been designated by the National Education Association as Read Across America. We will be traveling throughout the Northeast (MA, CT, NY, &NJ) the week of February 25 and the DC area the week of March 4th. We have already booked several shows, but still have openings available to help your community celebrate Dr. Seuss!
If you are interested in booking Paul’s Read Yourself Silly performance or any of our other programs for your school or library during this tour, visit FlowCircus.com for more information. For activity ideas and other resources from the NEA, visit their Read Across America page.
We are thrilled to announce that Dawn’s debut book Grounded for Good won a Moonbeam Award. It won the gold for Best First Book – Chapter Book. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. Each year’s entries are judged by a panel of youth educators, librarians, booksellers, and book reviewers of all ages.
Grounded for Good tells the story of 8th grader Derek Dawson’s summer gone wrong. After an incident on the last bus ride home from middle school, his plans of summer camp and hanging out with friends are dashed. Instead he must do community service at a library, work at his family’s store, and spend the rest of his time grounded at home. Torture, until he meets a colorful crew of kids in the next town that help him uncover his hidden talents. As one reader commented, “All in all, Grounded for Good is a book that will have you rooting for Derek Dawson from beginning to end as the searches for the answer to the question inside so many of us…Where do I fit in?“
To see the complete list of winners and categories, visit the Moonbeam Award website. Scroll down to #37 to see Dawn’s name. To learn more about the book visit DawnDaria.com and to order your copy of Grounded for Good, visit FlowCircusPress.com.
Flow Circus was selected by Lackawanna and Luzerne County Library Systems in Northeastern Pennsylvania to develop a performance about financial literacy for preschoolers as part a grant they received from PNC Bank’s Grow Up Great program. Performer Paul Miller kicked-off the program with fourteen shows during a week-long October tour and looks forward to returning in April to visit more libraries in the region.
In Juggling Money, Paul tells the story of how a trip to the library led him on an adventure filled with high-flying juggling, amazing magic, and the wonders of circus. In the end, he learns that hard work and smart choices lead to rewarding results. The show had a wonderful response as you can see in these photos in our Photo Gallery and this quote from the Nancy Kay Holmes Library in Scranton:
In and of itself, his act (the magic tricks/pantomime/juggling) is amazing, but more importantly, the flawless (and fun!) way he incorporates the themes of Spending, Sharing, and Saving into his act is beyond impressive! Our parents and kids LOVED this event, and this was a TERRIFIC way to kick-off the PNC Grow Up Great financial literacy campaign!
To learn about our other library programs, visit FlowCircus.com/library. Contact Flow Circus if you are interested in learning more about Juggling Money or if your organization would be interested in having Flow Circus customize a performance or workshop to fit specific grant objectives.