NPR in Town and at the Library

Did you know that you can access some of your favorite NPR shows and their related materials through the library? The AADL has full episodes of This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion as well as excerpts from some of the more famous segments of the shows all on CD. These are great to listen to at home or in the car, and most are appropriate for all ages. The library also has a collection of CDs called I Heard It on NPR, which showcase some of the more popular singers and musicians that have appeared over the years on the radio station.

Garrison Keiller, the host of A Prairie Home Companion, has also written several novels about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, which he often references in the show. These include Pontoon: A Lake Wobegon Novel, Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance, and Lake Wobegon, Summer 1956, among others, all of which you can find at the AADL.

In addition, the NPR show Radiolab, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, is on live tour this fall, and is stopping next week at the Michigan Theater here in Ann Arbor! You can listen to recordings of previous Radiolab shows on their website, and there are plenty of tickets still available through their site for the live show on October 7, 2013.

Take a Hike@ Barton Nature Area

Thursday May 8, 2014: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Barton Nature Area

This event is intended for all ages

The City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff will lead a Spring nature walk in Barton Nature Area, a 102 acre park with wonderfully diverse natural features.

The park is in two sections: the larger is known locally as the oxbow, and connects to Argo Nature Area; the smaller is known as Foster, and is accessible only by boat from Barton Pond. The main trail in the oxbow is wood-chipped, and connects the two bridges that lead to the parking area. Most of this area is open field, but some areas are shrubby, and lower wet areas support sedges and marsh plants. Foster has a small trail through a relatively open woodland on its eastern side.

We'll meet in the parking lot off of Huron Drive just north of the intersection with Bird Road.

Affordable Care Act

For those looking for more information about the Affordable Care Act and associated changes, the government offers as the one stop shopping point. Beginning today, October 1, people seeking healthcare can go there to explore options. While they are encouraging people to begin at the site, there is a toll free number people can use to ask questions: 1-800-318-2596.

Consumer reports has published a booklet called, "Health Reform: Seven Things You Need to Know Now." This booklet aims to help people understand the changes brought about by health care reform. This booklet is also available in Spanish as "Reforma del Sistema de Salud: 7 cosas que necesita saber ahora." The Michigan eLibrary pulled together some resources to help Michiganders understand changes in health care law. AARP has also compiled several factsheets that explain how the Affordable Care Act affects different groups of the population.

Finally, AADL is offering an event called How the Affordable Care Act Affects You on October 2, 7:00-8:30 in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library. This program is intended to provide community members age 64 and under with the information and resources to correctly navigate the decisions that must be made in order to comply with new healthcare laws.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2014: the final two!

The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads screening committee has narrowed this coming year's read to two finalists, with the theme A Very Good Read. A panel of well-known locals – musician Mark Braun (Mr. B); radio and TV personality Lucy Ann Lance, Ann Arbor Chronicle publisher Mary Morgan, Ann Arbor City Council Member Sally Petersen, and Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber – will be reading the two books "The Garden of Evening Mists" and "Between Shades of Gray" to determine just will be selected.

You, too, have a say – just head on over to and leave a comment about which book you'd prefer! The selection committee will be keeping an eye out for your feedback.

Take a quick look at the descriptions of our two finalists:

The Garden of Evening Mists, by Tan Twan Eng: Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys: Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life--until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?

The official read will take place in January through February 2014. For more information, check out

Developmental Screening for Children

Are you interested in learning more about your young child's growth & development? If you do and live in Washtenaw County, you can take part in the Ages & Stages Questionnaire or ASQ-3 This screening tool can help you understand more about your child's development from 2 months to 5 years of age. On-going developmental screening in the early years can help to ensure that children are on track, and can help identify areas where additional support may be needed. The ASQ-3 includes questions about your child's communication, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social skills. If you live outside of Washtenaw County and have concerns about your child's development, you my want to contact: Early On, call 1-800-Early On or go to

Wild Swan Theater: The Ugly Duckling

Wild Swan Theater will present "The Ugly Duckling" Oct. 17-Oct. 19 in the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. Resident playwright Jeff Duncan has put his own spin on the classic tale by H.C. Andersen. The performance is designed for children in preschool through second grade. More information is here.

More Than Words: For Parents of Children with Autism

As in the past 13 years, More Than Words - A Hanen Program for Parents of Children with Autism will be offered through the Washtenaw Intermediate School District beginning on Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

More Than Words is a family-focused program that was developed to meet the needs of children with social communication difficulties and/or autism spectrum disorder. This program teaches parents of young children (5 and under) practical ways to help their child interact and communicate during everyday activities. Children DO NOT need a diagnosis of ASD, or be involved in other programs or interventions, such as special education, to participate in this program.

The program runs from October 15, 2013 - February 18, 2014 and includes:
* A pre-program orientation on Tuesday, October 15th from 6:00-7:30 pm
* A series of eight parent education/training classes held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 29; Nov. 12, 26; Dec. 10; Jan. 7, 21; Feb. 4, 18)
* A pre-program consultation with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist
*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and communicate

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

TalkAbility: For Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum

As in the past 3 years, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District will be offering TalkAbility: The Hanen Program for Parents of Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum to families of verbal children (3-7 years old) living in Washtenaw County. Children DO NOT need to have a diagnosis to participate and benefit from this program.

Research shows that children who have conversations with parents about what others think and feel learn to appreciate different points of view. This program helps parents learn to use this kind of talk at home, and how to apply it to help their child "tune in" to other people. The program guides parents in helping their child to make friends, providing many ideas and strategies such as finding the right friend, knowing when to step in to help the friendship along, etc.

The program consists of:

* An Orientation Meeting held at the WISD on September 24th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Participants will receive an overview of the program, and program materials.

*An individual consultation for parent and child with the Hanen certified speech-language pathologist before the program begins.

*A series of eight classes (for parent only) held at the WISD on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00 pm (Oct. 8, 22; Nov. 5, 19; Dec. 3, 17; Jan. 14, 28)

*Three individual consultations for the parents and child with a Hanen certified speech-language pathologist during which:
-communication goals and specific strategies for their child are discussed
-parents are videotaped interacting with their child, so they can "see" what is helping and what else they can do to help their child learn to interact and have conversations

Much more information is available at the Hanen website. There is currently no fee for participants. Enrollment is limited to 12 families. Parents can register online or call (734) 994-8100 ext. 1663.

Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

Are you wondering how to create a safe sleep environment for your child? Come and learn how to keep your baby safer!

Washtenaw Area Council for Children presents Rock-A-Bye Your Baby To Safe Sleep

2nd Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm
Academic OB/GYN Clinic, Reichert Health Center
5333 McAuley Drive
Suite 2110 - Waiting Room
Ypsilanti, MI 48197

This class is open to parents as well as family members having direct care with your infant. Class size is limited! Call to reserve a spot: 734-434-4215

Performance Network: "An Iliad"

Performance Network Theatre in downtown Ann Arbor presents "An Iliad" adapted by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson from September 26 through October 27. The Performance Network webpage offers this description of the play: "In this present-day retelling of Homer’s classic, a lone figure appears on an unadorned stage and shares the tragic narrative he is fated to tell for eternity. This epic narrative brings humor, pathos, and excitement to the ancient tale of the Trojan War, colliding it with the contemporary world and creating a wholly captivating theatrical experience." Performance Network is located at 120 East Huron St. and ticket information is here.

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