Greetings from Flow Circus
Read Across America, Teen Tech Week, & National Library Week
‘Tis the Season
Summer Reading Program 2012
Greetings from Flow Circus: We normally send this newsletter out on the first of the month, but last week we had quite the adventure. It started with our first performance of the season being cancelled due to snow! Hopefully, you all weathered last weekend’s snow storm okay and have had your power restored. During the storm, we ran into car trouble on the Cross Bronx Expressway. You would think that would be the beginning of an awful story, but we had a series of fortunate events and met wonderful people along the way. Long story short, we finally retired our Honda Civic with over 224K miles and finally upgraded to an Odyssey Minivan. We had become very good at maximizing space in the Civic to accommodate our many tours up and down the East Coast. But it was time for a more spacious vehicle as Flow Circus continues to grow and offer more programs.
We look forward to many future tours with Homer (that’s for all of you literary folks). In the meantime, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and start to your holiday season.
Paul & Dawn
Read Across America, Teen Tech Week, & National Library Week: As you plan for the winter/spring months at your school or library, we wanted to remind you of several upcoming events to promote reading and library services. As many of you know, March 2nd is the birthday of Dr. Seuss and the National Education Association has established it as Read Across America day. Various events are scheduled at schools and libraries across the United States to motivate children and teens to read. Visit the NEA’s site to find activity ideas and other resources. Paul was once told by a child that he is like the Cat in the Hat and his Read Yourself Silly performance is a great fit for Dr. Seuss related events. We will be on tour in New York and New Jersey February 25-29 and the DC area March 1-2 if you are interested in having Flow Circus add a little Seussian silliness to your celebration.
The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) encourages libraries to celebrate Teen Tech Week March 4-10 to encourage teens to be competent and ethical users of technologies especially those offered through libraries. The 2012 theme is Geek Out @ Your Library and a variety of programming ideas can be found on the Teen Tech Week website. In addition to the activities they provide, you can also find free activities to engage teens in using both print and non-print resources at FlowCircusKids.com. Browse the site and then click on the Play and Teach tabs to find both active and passive programming ideas. We would love to hear from you if you use any of the Flow Circus Kids resources.
Every year, the American Library Association establishes a week in April as National Library Week. This year the theme is You Belong @ Your Library and it will run from April 8-14. More information about the event as well as promotional materials can be found on the ALA website. Paul has helped many organizations to celebrate and promote the work of libraries in past years. We will be in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area during National Library Week this year.
If you are interested in having a Flow Circus perform or conduct tween/teen workshops during any of these events, contact Dawn@flowcircus.com or (919) 604-3462 to check availability.
Team Work: Last week, we conducted a team building workshop for 85 library staff at Montgomery County – Norristown Public Library in Pennsylvania. Due to the large size of the group, we developed a new team creative challenge. In addition to creating balloon dog assembly lines, teams used balloons of all shapes and sizes to illustrate book covers for a variety of Dr. Seuss and Early Reader books. Select titles included The Cat in the Hat, My Many Colored Days, A Great Day for Up, and Go Dog Go. Visit the Flow Circus Photo Gallery to see how many you can identify.
During the debriefing process, teams reflected on what factors helped them to work together effectively. Clear communication, active listening, flexibility, motivation, recognizing strengths/weaknesses, encouragement, and creating an atmosphere of fun were among the variables mentioned by the teams. The goal of our session was to remind participants of quality team work in a playful and memorable way. The next time they sit down with a team, the will inevitably think of our morning with balloons!
If you would like Flow Circus to help create a unique staff training day for your team, contact Dawn@flowcircus.com or (919) 604-3462 to learn more.
‘Tis the Season: We may not want to admit it, but the holiday decorations are up in stores and seasonal music is starting to play on the radio. We just wanted to remind you of ways we can help make your holidays a little more playful. The first is our Flow Circus Store which has been renamed Skoyz (a fun and easy way to say Skill Toys). If you are looking for gifts for teen/tween family members, prizes for holiday programs, or have end-of-year budgets that need to be spent yesterday, visit Skoyz.com to browse a variety of high-quality juggling props and skill toys. If you are purchasing items for your organization, contact Paul@flowcircus.com or (919) 426-9157 for our educational rates.
Some of you may not know that in addition to Flow Circus educational performances, Paul also performs a 100% clean comedy juggling show at corporate events, festivals and fairs. If you know of anyone looking for entertainment for company holiday parties or other events, please share JustPaul.com with them. We appreciate your help in letting folks know.
Summer Reading Program Grants: It’s a bit of a jump from talking about the holiday season to planning for Summer 2012, but we know many of you are already starting to think about it. We wanted to share two grants we found that may help you with your programming budgets. The first is the BWI Summer Reading Program Grant available to Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) members that develop theme based summer programs in a public library for ages birth-14 years. The award is $3000 and the deadline is December 1, 2011. More information can be found on the ALA website.
If you are a YALSA member programming for teens (ages 12-18), you may be interested in applying for a Dollar General Summer Reading Grant. The award is $1000 and the deadline is January 1, 2012. For more information visit the YALSA website. Feel free to contact us if you want to incorporate Flow Circus Teen Kits into your proposal. We will be happy to provide you with a program description that includes objectives, impact, and sustainability.
We are still finalizing our Summer 2012 tour schedule and will have more details about when we will be in your area in our next newsletter. In the meantime, if you are booking for a regional or county system and are interested in several days of programming, contact Dawn@flowcircus.com or (919) 604-3462 .