Tall tale: Library takes storytelling to the extreme

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The Illinois State Library has awarded a $54,868 grant to the Oak Park Public Library's Children's Services Department to develop an innovative "Extreme Storytime" program. The program, which begins this month, includes Fearless Fun for Under Ones, book sharing sessions for caregivers and babies from birth to 12 months; Traveling Storytime, a troupe of college interns trained to take Extreme Storytime into the community; Science Storytime, an interactive program with a science theme including hands-on activities; and Foreign Language Storytime in German, Polish, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French.

"A major goal is to actively promote reading aloud as a daily habit and to make the reading process more fun through hands-on, play-based learning techniques," explains Lori Pulliam and Heather McCammond-Watts, co-authors of the grant proposal.

Call the Children's Services Department at the Main Library, 452-3420, for dates and times and to register.

Pontificating in Chile

Matt Crossett, a 2001 graduate of Fenwick High School, spent the fall term studying at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile, as part of an Institute for the International Education of Students program. He's been taking courses in Latin American studies, partipating in internships, and taking field trips to historic and cultural destinations throughout Chile. A senior at Lawrence University, Matt is the son of David Crossett and Mary Walsh of Oak Park.

Zeroing in

Antoinette Seidelmann of Oak Park received her Ph.D. in mathematics education from Illinois State University. Her dissertation is titled, "Students' Conceptions of Zero." The daughter of the late Jeanette Pighetti and the late Anthony Pighetti and the wife of James Seidelmann, Antoinette is the math department chair at Thornridge High School in Dolton. She received her bachelor's degree from Illinois Teachers College and her master's degree in mathematics from Northeastern Illinois University.

'Hold On,' soon released

Shawn Gilley, a sophomore at Oak Park and River Forest High School, presented a free concert on Jan. 9 at Oak Park Temple. The concert featured songs from Gilley's soon-to-be-released CD, Hold On, which, he explains, features "songs written over the past year. Some of the songs are Jewish songs that talk about peace, the Jewish homeland, healing for the sick, and hope. Along with these songs are several secular songs written more recently. The idea of the CD is holding on to hope and always remembering the better times." The concert was sponsored by Oak Park Temple B'nai Abraham Zion, West Suburban Temple Har Zion and the Committee for Fairness in the Middle East.

Gilley leaves Jan. 31 for a semester studying in Israel. He's been active musically at Oak Park Temple, OPRF and Camp Shalom.

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