71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933

F: 631.277.8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751
T: 631-581-5933
F: 631-581-8429

71 Monell Avenue
Islip, NY 11751

T: 631-581-5933 

F: 631-581-8429


Archive Monthly Archives: April 2016

Kindergarten Orientation Class of 2029 – Here We Come!

On Thursday, June 2, the Islip School district will be offering its Kindergarten orientation for the class of 2029 and then it’ll be back to school in September. As parents and caregivers, we all share in the hope that our children are prepared for their first year of school. There is still time to help your child have a more successful first year of formal education by checking out books that offer practical ideas to prepare them for Kindergarten. The internet also includes many websites that include practical ideas to help with this important goal.

Commonly emphasized points are:

  • Reading daily to your child. Your child learns new vocabulary, develops comprehension, practices listening, and learns to ask questions about the content. Ask your child to retell the story, predict what will happen, turn the pages, hold the book properly. Teachers can easily tell which children are being read to. Please note: The Islip Library offers a read-to-me program each summer. Children share 20 books with a caregiver, participate in contests, win prizes and are invited to attend our summer reading club party in early August.
  • Recognizing and identifying the following: shapes, most letters (upper and lower case), common colors, and numbers 1 – 5. Your child should be able to count from 1 – 10 and write his first name. Teachers expect to teach children the sounds of letters and how to write. You can teach your child all of the above while playing with your child. While sorting legos, shapes, colors and numbers can be reinforced. Playing with alphabet magnets on the refrigerator will help your child learn colors, letter shapes and counting.
  • Developing your child’s fine motor skills. Children need to be able to hold a pencil and write early on in their school experience. Make a bracelet by threading Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner. Mist houseplants using a spray bottle to exercise hand muscles. Use scissors to cut play dough. Color with crayons to practice drawing and writing.
  • Offering opportunities for independence. Encourage your children to use the bathroom and wash hands by themselves, set the table, open their own snacks and drink boxes, and hang up their coats. Regularly give three-step instructions, for instance, “Get your coat, put it on and then meet me by the front door.” Make sure they respond to their names and not just their nicknames.
  • Offer your child the opportunity to be social in social situations at the playground, the library, preschool, play dates and parties. With your help they will learn how to share, take turns, carry on a conversation without interrupting, learn to speak to adults and in class discussions, say please and thank you, and use language to communicate their needs.

Find These Invaluable Library Genealogy Resources At Your Library

Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah once wrote, "By searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family." As a family history enthusiast, I’ve been working on my own family tree for nearly 20 years, and the journey has been thrilling, exasperating, and incredibly rewarding all at once.

Along the way, I have found various library genealogy resources to be invaluable.

Did you know that the Library offers online access to HeritageQuest and historic newspapers? If you come into the Library, you can also use our online Ancestry.com subscription to trace your family tree and perhaps uncover a family secret or two.

Using those free sites, I was able to trace 375 ancestors and even discovered that my 6th great grandfather was a drummer in the Revolutionary War!

Visit our website to link to HeritageQuest or stop by and tap into Ancestry.com to get started on your own family tree. See where it leads you…

9 Children’s Magazines Your Kids Should Read

I know, I know. You don’t want to hear another word about Common Core standards. However, it’s not going away anytime soon. Children’s magazines are a creative way to get your children, in grades K – 6, to read non-fiction and actually enjoy it. Starting them off early (infancy is not too soon) will get your child used to hearing and enjoying non-fiction and fiction as well. Children’s magazines include short articles and stories with loads of photographs and images. These elements aid your child in enjoying more of the content. With various topics, your child is certain to find a magazine that they can relate to. The Islip Public Library subscribes to 45 Children’s magazines with a variety of subjects. Children in grades K through grade 6 will find a magazine just right for their interest and level. Check out the Islip Library’s vast collection, borrow a few magazines and watch your child become a better reader. The Islip Library also accepts magazines as a valid reading option during summer reading club. Magazine subscriptions make great gifts. Everyone loves to get mail. What better way to encourage your child to read than to subscribe to magazines and receive them in the mail regularly.

American Girl bimonthly; for girls age 8 years and up, an appealing, age-appropriate alternative to teen magazines, featuring advice, crafts, contests, puzzles, games, giggles and more.

Babybug Magazine 9 issues; begins a lifelong love of books for infants and toddlers age 6 months to 2 years; for babies who love to be read to and parents who love to read to them; filled with colorful pictures, simple rhymes and fun stories that babies and parents will delight in reading together over and over again.

Highlights for Children monthly; for children ages 6–12 years; this wholesome magazine helps children enjoy reading, learning and thinking; its many recurring features include Hidden Pictures, the Timbertoes and Puzzlemania, all of which aid the development of children’s creativity and inquisitiveness.

Jack and Jill Magazine 6 issues; ages 6–12 years; entertaining stories, interesting kid profiles, hands-on activities, recipes, crafts, artwork and more.

National Geographic Kids 10 issues; ages 6 years and up; a fact-filled, fast-paced magazine, combining articles, photos, facts and fun, to entertain and inspire readers to learn about their world with amazing information about animals, science, technology, archaeology, geography, and pop culture, plus jokes, games and activities.

National Geographic Little Kids Bimonthly; ages 3-6 years; “the magazine for young explorers”; full of learning and fun for today’s preschoolers and their parents; encourages a child’s appreciation of the natural world with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games, each issue is created by noted educators at National Geographic; no advertising.

Ranger Rick 10 issues; for children ages 7 years and up; amazing facts, stunning photos and outdoor adventures that help kids sharpen reading skills and develop a deeper appreciation of nature; published by the National Wildlife Federation.

Sports Illustrated for Kids monthly; for sports fans ages 8–14 years; articles focus on the positive lessons from athletes and the world of sports, including goal setting, overcoming obstacles and challenges, striving to be one’s best, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle; also exciting action photography, performance and nutrition tips, and imaginative artwork.

Zoobooks 10 issues; for children ages 6–12 years; each issue looks at one of 60 different animals through photography, illustrations, diagrams and descriptions; also features activity pages.

(Magazine summaries written by Christopher Rutkowski).

Beware Ransomware

Are you aware of malicious software known as ransomware? Since the beginning of this year ransomware attacks have been on the rise and they’re nasty. Ransomware will encrypt all of the files on your computer. You won’t be able to access any of them and you will be prompted to pay a ransom to unlock all of your data. The ransom varies but, it’s commonly in the range of $200 - $400. To top it off, if you pay these crooks, there is no guarantee they will unlock your computer. Paying them is not advised in any situation. Once your computer is infected, there is nothing you can do to unlock it. The only real choice you have is to wipe your hard drive clean and start over from scratch. Yes, in the process you will lose everything on your computer.

Recent attacks have been so nasty, that the United States and Canada issued a joint cyber alert on Thursday March 31, 2016. A link to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security cyber alert can be found at the end of this post for more information. For now, let’s take a look at some of the highlights:

How does Ransomware happen?

Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or through drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user unknowingly visits an infected website and then malware is downloaded and installed without the user’s knowledge.”

  • Department of Homeland Security

Ransomware may lock up your entire screen prompting you with a message to make you panic and give in to their demands. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security provided these few examples:

  • “Your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve the issue.”

  • “Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $100 fine.”

  • “All files on your computer have been encrypted. You must pay this ransom within 72 hours to regain access to your data.”

Please remember, paying the ransom is not advised. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released; it only guarantees that the malicious actors receive the victim’s money, and in some cases, their banking information. In addition, decrypting files does not mean the malware infection itself has been removed.”

How can I protect myself against Ransomware?

  • Backup all of your files onto an external hard drive. Once your backup has completed, safely disconnect the external hard drive from your computer. If the external hard drive is still connected to the computer, ransomware can infect and lock up the external hard drive as well.

  • Use application whitelisting to help prevent malicious software and unapproved programs from running. Interested in application whitelisting? Check out this article from howtogeek.com. The article explains the Family Safety feature in Windows 8. Instructions will be similar for Windows 10 and they note how to get this feature for Windows 7.

  • Update your operating system and software to the newest version. Staying current reduces your risk of an attack.

  • Have anti-virus software installed on your computer and make sure it is up to date. When downloading files from the Internet, scan the downloaded files before you open them to check for malware. In addition to anti-virus software, get anti-malware software such as Malwarebytes.

  • Restrict user permissions from installing and running unwanted software, and apply the principle of “Least Privilege” to all systems and services. This may prevent malware from running or limit its ability to spread through the network.

  • Avoid enabling macros from email attachments. Enabling macros will activate the malware installation coding to run.

  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails. Be careful when clicking on any links in an email, even from people and organizations you know. Crooks have gotten very good at making their email scams look very professional.

Take precautions to protect yourself from ransomware. Back up your files as soon as possible. Losing all of your data will be devastating. I highly recommend you look over the official cyber alert from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for more information by clicking the link below:

Click here to read the cyber alert
Lost url

Land of the Lost URL! Part 1: Great Websites for Kids That You Probably Never Heard about

There’s a lot of garbage out there. Many websites for kids are filled with advertisements, and are sponsored by companies that want to sell you something. There is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you want to find an activity for your kids that may be fun for them, will open their minds to a new subject, and may actually teach them something.

Then you’ve come to the right place. In this reoccurring blog I plan to showcase the best non-profit, educational, and government websites dedicated to entertaining and informing kids. Some of these sites are truly wonderful and many are unfairly overlooked. Hey, you can actually learn about something on the Internet!

U.S. Geologic Survey

This very nice looking website has all kinds of learning activities for kids relating to the U.S. and our outdoor environment. There are videos and animations, interactive activities and maps.

A really great section of this website is USGS KIDS, featuring Zot the Frog. It has coloring pages and games and is focused on grade school kids.

Another stand-out section of this site is Geology of National Parks in 3D that displays eye-popping 3D images and photographic tours of U.S. Park geology and natural history.

U.S. Department of Agriculture - USDA for Kids

Who knew? The Department of Agriculture has a site that presents their different services with activities for youth. There are many services to explore and they have Smokey the Bear!

One section that is out of the ordinary is Animal Improvement Programs Laboratory (AIPL) Kid's Corner. This is described as an educational resource where children can learn about cows, and the dairy industry through games and puzzles.

The Beetle Busters Freeze & Collect Game deals with the Asian Long-horned beetle. Kids earn points by freezing them.

MyPlate Blast-off Game is a fun learning experience where kids try to use food and physical activity to fuel a rocket.

Forest Service This is a pretty site featuring our natural forests with lots of things to do for the kiddies.

Junior Forest Rangers Become a Junior Forest Ranger and help to find new ways to enjoy the natural wonders of our nation.

Nature Watch Learn about the wonders of nature on this fun site.

FS NATURE LIVE This is a series of webcasts, webinars and online resources about many topics. A few that caught my eye were about Monarch Butterflies and another about Bees and pollination.

Web Rangers This is the National Park Service's site for kids of all ages. Sign up online and take part in some great activities. I recently signed up my son and we are having fun!

Sesame Street National Park Videos There are some nice videos here that have Elmo and other characters from Sesame Street presenting our National Parks.


This site is incredible! It is filled with distinctive sections that may entertain you as much as your children. There are many areas to explore so I will only feature a few of my favorites.

Shutterbugs A game exhibiting our national zoos.

Smithsonian Postal Museum Like stamps? This is a site about our postal service, stamps and their history.

Expedition Insects An eBook all about insects.

Digging for Answers An amusing interactive game about paleontology, geology and archeology.

Interactive Dinosaur Tour This is an entertaining virtual museum with dinosaur fossils.

Prehistoric Climate Change See how scientists use fossils of leaves and flora to uncover clues to climate change

The Disaster Detector This game uses a fictitious island to teach kids on how we prepare for disasters and how we help disaster areas.

All these sites have to be experienced in order to see how wonderful they are. I hope you enjoy them. In the meantime, if you come across a website that you think I should feature leave a comment below!

Poetry Month

April Is National Poetry Month – Poem in Your Pocket Day Is April 28th

Who needs poetry anyway? You do!

Not all poems are difficult to understand, many are quite accessible and inspirational.

You like music, right? What do you think song lyrics are?! Poetry of course!

Poetry calls us to slow down and listen. The language and rhythm of poetry invites us to break out of the trap of logical thinking, and to tap into our deep intuition - our inner knowing. A poem that really speaks to us can demand our attention in such a way as to offer us possibilities beyond what we have dared to dream of in our “real” life.

Here are a few short examples:

​Give me the pulse of the tide again
And the slow lapse of the leaves,
The rustling gold of a field of grain
And a bird in the nested eaves…

Alfred Noyes

​Dance me to the children who are asking to be born.
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn.
Raise a tent of shelter now though every thread is torn, and dance me to the end of love.

Leonard Cohen

'Hope' is the thing with feathers --
That perches in the soul --
And sings the tune without the words --
And never stops -- at all

Emily Dickinson

And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night
We walked on frosted fields
Of juniper and lamplight
I held your hand…

Simon and Garfunkel

Like those? I hope I’ve whet your appetite for more poetry!

Stop into the Library during the month of April and check out our display of poetry books.

Take it even further and celebrate National Poem in Your Pocket Day, by selecting one of the photocopied poems (or choose one of your own) from the table display. Keep the poem with you all day on April 28th and take time to read it to yourself and to anyone willing to listen throughout the day!

Poetry helps us all to be more fully engaged - more fully human.

Consider this quote inscribed on the headstone of the great artist Jackson Pollock in a cemetery on the East End of Long Island:

Artists and poets are the raw nerve ends of humanity. By themselves they can do little to save humanity. Without them there would be little worth saving.

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