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These books can help you share Olympic memories with children

SALISBURY — Despite the controversy surrounding this year’s Winter Olympics, people throughout the world are ready to stay up late and watch with bated breath, hoping the athletes from their countries earn gold medals.
Over these next two weeks, news stations will bring us the latest on the problems and controversy, but the event broadcasts will bring the best of sportsmanship, victory and defeat into our living rooms.
The Winter Olympics began in 1924 as an add-on to the modern Summer Games, which debuted in 1896. Today, the Winter Olympics will hold 98 events in 15 winter sport disciplines. These disciplines include speed skating, short track speed skating, alpine skiing, freestyle skiing, Nordic combined, cross country skiing, ski jumping, snowboarding, bobsled, skeleton, biathlon, curling, ice hockey, luge and figure skating, which has added a new team event to its roster this year.
The games are under way and now is the perfect time to introduce your child to some interesting winter sports that they have never seen before.
How do you go about getting a child excited about the games? Start by visiting the Rowan Public Library. The library has books about the history of the Winter Olympics, such as the “Olympic Winter Games” by Caroline Arnold and “Inside the Olympics” by Nick Hunter, or there are books focusing on the science behind a sport like “How Figure Skating Works” by Keltie Thomas.
Information on snowboarding and its equipment can be found in the children’s non-fiction section, along with many other winter sport books. There is a graphic novel about the 1980 USA hockey team defeating the Soviet Union and going on to win the gold medal called “Miracle on Ice” by Joe Dunn, and books about the famous snowboarder Shaun White, who plans to go for two more gold medals this year, in the children’s biography section.
Is your child interested in records? The book “Amazing Olympic Records” by Paul Hoblin would be for them. It showcases some of the best Olympic records to date from both the Summer and Winter Games, which means, after this month, this book could be outdated.
What about those special moments in Olympic history that stay with us? Children can explore some from years past in the book “Great Moments in the Olympics” by Michael Burgan. This book contains a favorite figure skating moment, when Sarah Hughes skated flawlessly to come from behind and win the gold medal, beating out the two favorites, Irina Slutskaya and Michelle Kwan, along with many other poignant events.
By introducing children to the meaning of the Olympics and the world stage, they have the opportunity to learn about sports that are not always popular in the United States. While most Americans don’t watch skiing or curling on TV or follow the athletes that participate in these sports, for two weeks these athletes become household names and children will remember these athletes for years to come.
Many adults remember the Jamaican bobsled team from the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics who wowed the crowds and became international stars even though they never officially completed the competition.
Children today have the opportunity to experience a valuable lesson in competition and sportsmanship with the possibility of new special moments of underdogs winning gold and athletes reaching their dream of competing even if they don’t win. Now is the time to share these memories with your children and the Rowan Public Library is a great place to start.
Children’s Storytime: Weekly Story Time through May 2. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Toddler Time (18- to 35-month olds) — 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, headquarters; 11 a.m. Mondays, East.
Baby Time (6- to 23-month olds) — 10 a.m. Wednesdays, headquarters; 10 a.m. Mondays, East.
Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds) — 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays, South; 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Thursdays, East.
Noodlehead (4- to 8-year-olds) — 4 p.m. Thursdays, headquarters; 4 p.m. Mondays, South.
Tiny Tumblers (6- to 35-month-olds) — Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., South.
Children’s art programs: Learn different art techniques and start a new art project; runs weekly during storytime. Art in the Afternoon, headquarters, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; Art Party, South, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.; Art with Char, East, Thursdays, 4 p.m.
Book Chats for children at South branch: Feb. 20, 4:15 p.m., “Mercy Watson to the Rescue,” by Kate DeCamillo, grade 2. Children in grades 2-5 are invited to participate in Book Chats at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
Chocolate festival for teens: All 5:30-7 p.m. Chocolate trivia, chocolate games and a chocolate fountain. For more information call 704-216-8234. South, Tuesday; East, Feb. 24; headquarters, Fab. 25.
Classic chicks film festival and spa night: 6-8 p.m.; Tuesday at headquarters, Feb. 17 at South. Rowan Public Library presents the second annual festival and spa night. We will begin the evening with light refreshments, followed by a series of short musical and comedy films. In between films, there will be foot soaks, facials and more. Admission is free, but space is limited. Ensure your spot by registering online at www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or by calling 704-216-8229.
Free workshop on children and nutrition: Headquarters, Feb. 19, children’s room. Families with children ages birth to 5 years old are invited. Attendees will learn about popular food ingredients and how they affect the body, ways to make healthy foods attractive to children and simple physical activities to get adults and children up and moving during the day. There will be interactive discussions, a fun nutrition craft, a healthy snack and each family will receive a book to take home and enjoy. This program is presented by Smart Start in cooperation with Rowan Public Library.
Boost your mood workshop: South, Feb. 24, 5:45-7:15 p.m. Participants will learn fun ways to improve mood through exercise. This program will be led by the South Rowan YMCA. Professional massage therapist Travis Alligood will give free chair massages. All ages welcome, but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. There will be a chance to win door prizes. Participants who attend four out of five workshops will be entered to win grand prize. While there is no charge to participate, registration is required. Visit www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or call 704-216-7734 to register or for more information.
Computer classes: Feb. 17, 7 p.m., South; Feb. 18, 1 p.m., East (registration required for East only, call 704-216-8242); Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m., Headquarters. If you’re new to computers or if you’ve just never felt comfortable with them, this is the class for you. We’ll go over the very basics of computers, from discussing computer components to how programs are opened and closed. Classes are free. Sessions are about 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Book Bites Club: South (only), Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., “Catch Me If You Can,” by Frank Abagnale. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.
Displays for February: headquarters, log cabins, North Hills Christian School; South, student art, Corriher Lipe Middle School; East, 4-H by Ann Furr.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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