Hour of Code Resources

The following message comes courtesy of The Connectory. For more information visit their website at www.theconnectory.org

Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) runs from December 9-15, 2019. This annual campaign inspires K-12 students to take interest in computer science (CS) and to connect with the broader community around the need for and value of CS education. 

Accessible Hour of Code CSEdWeek and Hour of Code Resources
You will find many Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week resources online. Browse the resources on Code.org or look to your local public libraries for additional materials. Code.org also features hands-on, computer-free “unplugged” coding basics for those without devices, without reliable internet, or for kids who may learn better this way.

Find all the resources you need to bring attention to your Hour of Code. Not sure where to begin? Start with the Hour of Code how-to guide for hosting an Hour of Code! Then promote and inspire using: Handouts, videos, posters, social media posts, stickers, and more.

Below are some additional resources to get you started:
Google Hour of CodeNew Hour of Code activity from Google CS First
This year’s Hour of Code is all about using our coding power for good. That’s why the CS First team at Google has created a new activity where students can use their imagination to turn a real-life hero into a superhero using code. Code Your Hero is an activity that honors the everyday heroes in our students’ lives who use their powers to better their communities. Students will use Scratch, a block-based coding language, to animate and bring a story or game to life with movement, dialogue and more. Using the CS First tutorial videos available in both English and Spanish, anyone can become programmers for the day.

“Code Your Hero” is a fun, interactive activity that can be completed in 15 minutes to an hour. Anyone can teach it and no computer science background is required. Review the digital lesson plans and other materials for educators.
Quorum Logo

For students who use a screen reader, the Quorum tutorial for beginners or the Quorum tutorial for comfortable students is a great place to start. Quorum started as an interpreted language designed to be accessible to screen reader users. Eventually, it became a general purpose programming language designed for any user.

The Code.org tutorials are all designed to be used with or without sound. All the videos have captions.
Libraries Ready to Code LogoLibraries Ready to Code
The American Library Association’s Ready to Code Collection provides resources and strategies for coding and computational thinking activities that are grounded in research, aligned with library core values, and support broadening participation. They have three experience levels to help library staff connect with resources that reflect their own computational thinking (CT) experiences, communities, goals, and interests.

First Things First Parent Resources

First Things First offers a variety of helpful resources to parents. Created by Arizona voters, First Things First partners with families and communities to help our state’s young children be ready for success in kindergarten and beyond.


“There’s no one right way to raise a child, and sometimes parenting a baby, toddler or preschooler can be a challenge. You don’t need to be perfect. To help you do the best you can, here’s some information and resources for supporting your child’s healthy development and learning.”

For more information visit:


National Novel Writing Month

Have you been putting off writing a novel?  Now is the perfect time to start.


“National Novel Writing Month began in 1999 as a daunting but straightforward challenge: to write 50,000 words of a novel in thirty days. Now, each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. They enter the month as elementary school teachers, mechanics, or stay-at-home parents. They leave novelists.

NaNoWriMo officially became a nonprofit organization in 2006, and our programs support writing fluency and education. Our website hosts more than a million writers, serving as a social network with author profiles, personal project libraries, and writing buddies. NaNoWriMo tracks words for writers like Fitbit tracks steps, and hosts real-world writing events in cities from Mexico City, to Seoul, to Milwaukee with the help of 900+ volunteers in thousands of partnering libraries and community centers like… well, like nothing else.

NaNoWriMo is internet-famous. It’s community-powered (hello, Wrimos!). It’s hosted authors drafting novels like Water for ElephantsWOOL, and Fangirl. It’s a teaching tool and curriculum taught in 5,920 classrooms, and NaNoWriMo’s programs run year-round.

Whatever you thought NaNoWriMo is, it’s more than that.”

For more information go to:



Native American Heritage Month in November


Explore Native American Heritage at the library this November.  Get started by checking out our list of titles here: Native American Heritage Month Booklist

About Native American Heritage Month

(from https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/)

What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.

One of the very proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the “First Americans” and for three years they adopted such a day. In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kans., formally approved a plan concerning American Indian Day. It directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to observe such a day. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of each May as an American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, rode horseback from state to state seeking approval for a day to honor Indians. On December 14, 1915, he presented the endorsements of 24 state governments at the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

The first American Indian Day in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any recognition as a national legal holiday.

In 1990 President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations, under variants on the name (including “Native American Heritage Month” and “National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month”) have been issued each year since 1994.

More info @ https://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/

Books for All

As of November 1, 2019, Macmillan Publishers will allow libraries (no matter the size of their city or town) to purchase only one copy of each new eBook title for the first eight weeks after a book’s release.

Here’s the truth: Limiting access to new titles for libraries means limiting access for readers like you.

Macmillan is the only publisher to institute such an embargo, and readers cannot stay silent!

Why this matters 

Pressuring Macmillan to lift the embargo will benefit many stakeholders, including: 


  • Libraries, whose mission is to ensure that all people have access to the world’s knowledge, regardless of format.


  • Library patrons, especially those with visual and other disabilities, who rely on eBooks for adjustable text size and spacing, and who particularly benefit from lightweight, easier-to-hold eReaders.


  • Authors, especially new authors, who depend on libraries to provide exposure for their creative works and opportunity for readers to discover them.


  • Publishers, who rely on a constant supply of readers and demand for their products, which libraries provide at no charge to the publisher.

Tell Macmillan Publishers that you demand #eBooksForAll.

Sign the petition at https://ebooksforall.org/

Booker Prize 2019

The Booker Prize is a leading literary award in the English speaking world, which has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over 50 years. It is awarded annually to the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK or Ireland.  This year the award was given jointly to two authors for the following works.

The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood


In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

The Judges Say:
“Spoiler discretion and a ferocious non-disclosure agreement prevent any description of who, how, why and even where. So this: it’s terrifying and exhilarating.”

Girl, Woman, Other
by Bernardine Evaristo


A magnificent portrayal of the intersections of identity among an interconnected group of Black British women.

The Judges Say:
“Evaristo manages to depict a vast collective of intergenerational stories moving through different spaces with a dazzling rhythm.”

Day of the Girl

A message from Girls Who Code and March for Sisterhood:

Dear Friends,

It’s the Day of the Girl and the #MarchForSisterhood is in full swing. Already this week, thousands have joined in, posting videos of themselves marching for what matters to them. Let’s make this the biggest online march in history.

If you haven’t shared your march yet, the time is now!

Here’s how to #MarchForSisterhood:

  • Record yourself walking towards the camera (grab a friend to help, or shoot it selfie-style). You can carry a protest sign, pick a location that’s meaningful to you, put a soundtrack behind it — make it your own!

  • Post your march video to social media. Make sure the caption includes the reason you’re marching, and don’t forget to mention @girlswhocode#MarchForSisterhood, and #DayoftheGirl.

  • Tag a friend to march alongside you!

In celebration of Day of the Girl, we released a brand new video this morning about #MarchForSisterhood and the movement we are building together. Watch it now:

And if you love the video, share it on your channels to help us spread the word!

Thank you for supporting a better world for women and girls, and making the #MarchForSisterhood a powerful showing of what girl change-makers can do.

In Sisterhood,
Reshma Saujani



Contest Open to High School Students

Vibrant Publishers is excited to announce the launch of a new book, Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing: With 15 Sample Prompts by Dr. Aimee Weinstein.

To celebrate the launch of this new book, Vibrant Publishers is hosting My Thoughts: ACT essay writing contest.

  • The ACT Essay follows a predictable pattern. This contest will help the students to practice and prepare beforehand
  • The ACT Essay can be used to show off the student’s writing skills to a prospective college

The contest is open to any U.S. high school student between Grades 9-12. Encourage your patrons/students to participate in this contest and win lots of exciting cash and giveaways.

To register and for more information, visit their site here:



Any real person who is a permanent resident of the United States and is a high school student between Grades 9-12 is eligible to enter the contest. Students attending a public, private or home school are eligible to submit their entries. Teachers/Youth Directors can submit a collection of essays on behalf of their class. In such a case, request a Teachers’ form by emailing us at reachus@vibrantpublishers.com
Submission Criteria:
Those entering the contest will be emailed an ACT essay prompt. The student needs to write the essay on the printable sheets provided in the email. Essays not written on the given Answer sheets will be disqualified. Your name or your school’s name should not be written on the Answer sheets. The handwritten essay responses should be scanned and emailed to actessaycontest2019@vibrantpublishers.com. Entries sent to any other email id will not be accepted. On receipt of your essay, you will receive a confirmation email from Vibrant Publishers. One person can send the essay only once. Essays should be written by a single person; co-authored essays will not be accepted.
Judging Criteria:

Submissions will be juried by a qualified panel of judges. Panelists will judge the essays on ideas and analysis, development and support, organization and language use and conventions, in line with the ACT essay writing guidelines. The essay should be original, unpublished and plagiarism free.

Scoring will be based on the ACT essay scoring rubric.

The decision of the panel in respect of all matters to do with the contest will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The last date for receiving the entries is Oct 31, 2019, 23:59 Pacific Time. Any essay received after the deadline will be disqualified.


Top-scoring essay will be awarded $100(Visa Debit Card) and a signed copy of Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing: with 15 Sample Prompts by Dr. Aimee Weinstein. The winner will also get a chance to have a 15 min skype conversation with Dr. Weinstein. The top scoring essay will be published on Vibrant Publishers website. The winner’s school will receive a donation of 5 copies of the book, Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing: with 15 Sample Prompts.

Runners up

5 runners up will get suggestions for improvement on their essays and a signed copy of Winning Strategies for ACT Essay Writing: with 15 Sample Prompts by Dr. Aimee Weinstein.

Code Club Grant

Apply to be a part of the IMLS grant “Code Club for Small & Rural Libraries.”



The Institute of Museum and Library Services is funding a grant to deliver all the resources necessary to run a code club in small and rural libraries. Those resources include one-on-one training sessions, code club software, Ozobot and Sphero robots, and ongoing coaching and support. 50 libraries will be selected to participate in this grant.

A code club is an informal program that takes place at a library where kids ages 8-18 learn computer programming skills. Teaching kids computer programming skills can dramatically impact your community by providing kids with 21st century career opportunities and instilling a valuable set of life skills, like computational thinking and problem solving.

With Prenda’s help, code club does not require any coding knowledge to run. It does, however, require:

  • Computers (laptops or desktops)
  • High-speed internet
  • A space in the library
  • Library staff/volunteer to facilitate

To be eligible for this grant you must qualify as a “small or rural library.”

  1. Small = any library with a service area of 15,000 or less
  2. Rural = any library more than 25 miles from an ‘urbanized area’ (as defined by the US Census)

This project is funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and is administered by the North Dakota State Library, in collaboration with Prenda. (IMLS Grant information)

Application due date is October 31, 2019. Recipient selections will be made by November 8th, 2019, with the expectation that your Code Club will begin in January 2020.

National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 - October 15. Background, poster, greeting card, banner design. Vector EPS 10

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

For more information please visit: www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov