Child in a Strange Country: Exhibit and Events


The traveling exhibit from the Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, "Child in a Strange Country: Helen Keller and the History of Education for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired" officially opens this Friday, May 2, with a reception featuring library director Josie Parker, Museum Director Micheal A. Hudson, harpist Deborah Gabrion, and refreshments.

But the exhibit is already assembled enough (in the Downtown Library's lobby and 3rd floor) to see it will be fun and informative featuring a big globe with raised features, selections of writing such as Valentin Hauy’s tactile book and Louis Braille’s dot code, and insights, events, and photographs from Helen's life.

The title of the exhibit comes from Anne Sullivan's report about Helen in which she said, “For the first two years of her intellectual life she was like a child in a strange country,” and noted that no learning was possible until she could overcome the communication barrier posed by blindness and deafness. With that in mind, “Child in a Strange Country” explores four primary subjects: Reading, Science, Math, and Geography. Using Helen Keller’s educational journey as a lens, the exhibit uses tactile reproductions and authentic artifacts to uncover the roots of modern education for children with vision loss. The exhibit is designed to be fully accessible and interactive. You can touch and explore that big globe as much as you want.

If the exhibit whets your appetite, come see Child in a Strange Country or Why is Helen Keller at the Water Pump the Only Person Who Was Blind that Most Americans Know?, on Sunday, May 4 from 2 - 3:30 PM, a talk by Museum Director Micheal A. Hudson in which he explores major advances in learning and literacy since 1784 for people who are blind or visually impaired, introducing characters that most people do not know. Also join us on Wednesday, May 7 from 7 - 8:30 PM for Sensory Communication: Relaying and Receiving Information Through Touch, in which UM Performing Arts Technology Professor Sile O'Modhrain discusses touch, communication, and Helen Keller.

You may also be interested in Visions 2014 in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College on Wednesday, May 14 from 10 AM - 3 PM, where a variety of exhibitors demonstrate the latest products and services for people with vision loss. The fair also features presentations by guest speakers from the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Disabled, UM Kellogg Eye Center, WLBPD @ AADL, and the AT Guys.

Spring GED Preparation Classes

Ann Arbor Public Schools Adult Education is offering an opportunity for students to prepare for the new 2014 GED Test. GED preparation classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 pm from May 29th to June 26 at Ann Arbor Tech High School. Registration for classes is May 27 and 28 from 4 to 6 pm at Ann Arbor Tech High School in room 210. These classes are available for presently enrolled GED students as well as newly registered students. There are no class or testing fees. If you have questions, please call (734)997-1250.

If you're working to get your GED, be sure to check out AADL's Homework Help page. There are many resources available to help you on your way!

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor: February 20 & March 27

For the last year, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

The next Nerd Nite will be next Thursday, February 20, at LIVE (102 S First St.). Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm. What topics are on tap? Find out where beer came from, what the inside of your hand looks like, and just who is looking through all the cameras you see everywhere! Cover is just $5 (payable in cash at the door, or in advance).

There's big news about March's Nerd Nite: AADL will be co-presenting the March 27 edition of Nerd Nite (thus making that date free for all to attend). We're still finalizing the speaker line-up, so if you have something you'd love to talk about, submit your talk idea ASAP. There's a chance you could be of the speakers!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome!

ACT Plus Writing Tips With Kaplan Experts

Tuesday January 14, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for teens (grades 9-12).

A Kaplan expert will guide you through the process of preparing to write an essay for the March ACT Plus Writing.

Film: Sundance Film Festival Award-Winner: American Promise

Thursday January 23, 2014: 6:30 pm to 8:45 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, American Promise is an intimate and provocative account, recorded over 12 years, of the experiences of two middle-class African-American boys who entered a very prestigious and historically white private school on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The Dalton School had made a commitment to recruit students of color, and five-year-old best friends Idris Brewster and Oluwaseun (Seun) Summers of Brooklyn were two of the gifted children who were admitted. The boys were placed in a demanding environment that provided new opportunities and challenges, if little reflection of their cultural identities.

Idris' parents, Joe Brewster, a Harvard- and Stanford-trained psychiatrist, and Michèle Stephenson, a Columbia Law School graduate and filmmaker, decided to film the boys' progress starting in 1999. They and members of the large Summers family soon found themselves struggling not only with kids' typical growing pains and the kinds of racial issues one might expect, but also with surprising class, gender and generational gaps.

American Promise, which traces the boys' journey from kindergarten through high school graduation, finds the greatest challenge for the families--and perhaps the country--is to close the black male educational achievement gap, which has been called "the civil rights crusade of the 21st century."

This event is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. For more information, visit http://www.pbs.org/pov/

Test Taking 101 with Kaplan Experts

Wednesday, November 13 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Pittsfield Branch | Grades 9-12

Approach the ACT or SAT test day with confidence! A top Kaplan instructor will present strategies for preparing for the tests and guide you through some questions, demonstrating how to arrive at the correct answer.

Hands-On Lab: Finding Funding for A College Education - November 6 & 7

Wed. & Thurs. November 6-7, 2013 |7:00 pm to 8:30 pm | Pittsfield Branch: Training Center

This event is intended for teens (grade 9 and up) and adults

UM Foundations and Grants Librarian Dr. Karen Downing and French Studies Librarian, Jennifer Bonnet present a workshop for high schoolers, their parents, and anyone seeking funding for college.

Learn about a variety of specialized Web resources, how to articulate a plan of study, identify potential funders, and apply for relevant educational grants.

We will also compare free Web resources and subscription-based services (U-M pays the subscription and provides free access). Participants will have time to search for scholarships during the session.

Amazon Teen Bestseller: I Am Malala

Check out I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, which currently is #7 (hardcover) and #12 (Kindle edition) on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Teen & Young Adult Books. The book is by Malala Yousafzai with help from Christina Lamb. From Amazon: "When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive . . . "

College Night: Solving the College Admissions Puzzle

Wednesday September 25, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for adults and teens (grade 9 and up).

For those involved in the college selection process, it's AADL's 7th annual College Night with the co-authors of "Solving the College Admissions Puzzle: A Guide for Students and Families About College Selection, Essay Writing, and High-Stakes Testing"- Community High's college prep counselor John Boshoven; Debbie Merion, the founder of Essay Coaching; and performance coach Geraldine Markel.

Learn about the college selection and application process: Part 1: Finding the College that Fits; Part 2: Applying to College: Those Pesky Essays; Part 3: Applying to College: Those Pesky Tests.

This event will include a book signing with copies of the book available for purchase.

Ready or not, it's time to head back to school!

Just in time, jump.aadl.org is here for parents looking for everything that AADL has to offer kids of all ages. Recommended reading lists, the details on the best upcoming events, homework help, and even guidance on planning your visit to AADL -- jump.aadl.org has it all.

JUMP's is divided into four basic sections:

Recommended Stuff helps you find some of the best books, materials and kits by age or grade, reading level, and topic. Library staff have also compiled handy lists of award winners and favorites.

Plan Your Visit is a section that guides you through the various features in our five locations, gives you links to explore to all sorts of library collections, events and exhibits, and provides tailored information for visiting with various age children and patrons with special needs.

Storytime and Events is your spot for a master list of all of our programs for parents and children.

Homework Help offers direct links to online resources for research and reports, as well as Brainfuse's on-demand/online homework help and information on other in-person fee-free tutoring offered at the Library and in the community.

Whether you're a seasoned library user or new to town, jump.aadl.org gives you the scoop on what's happening for kids at the Library. Take a peek, start exploring, and let us know what you think!

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