Author-Illustrator Laurie Keller visits the Lower School and teaches us how to draw!


Author-Illustrator Laurie Keller visited the Lower School on October 25th to discuss her newest book Potato Pants!, a wonderfully silly book about forgiveness. Using her main character, Potato, Laurie demonstrated for students in K-3 how to draw different emotions by changing the direction of an eyebrow or adding an eyelid.

Students followed along closely and created their own images of the popular characters, Potato (Potato Pants!, 2018) and Arnie (Arnie the Donut, 2003). Laurie also gave students an opportunity to use their social emotional intelligence skills to create a new story. Choosing from an array of everyday objects, students worked on character development and plot line to create a story about an ordinary baseball who, all of a sudden, becomes terribly sneaky because he is jealous of a popular football that everyone wants to play with!

After our assembly, Laurie signed books and met with fifth grade students. Last year, these students presented Laurie’s first book, The Scrambled States of America (1998), as a skit. Our students were thrilled to meet Laurie and show her the states they used for their performance. Laurie Keller’s visit to Friends Central Lower School was a delightful interactive author event that students will long remember!





Author Paula Young Shelton visits the Lower School



To kick off the upcoming Book Fair, Paula Young Shelton, author of Child of the Civil Rights Movement, presented two assemblies at the Lower School on Friday, February 9. Paula is the daughter of Civil Rights leader, Andrew Young, and her book describes what it was like growing up in the Deep South during Jim Crow. Lower School students learned about segregation, the Freedom Riders, and the Children’s March from Paula, who experienced these events in person as a child.




Our older students had many opportunities to demonstrate their own knowledge of the Civil Rights movement when Paula asked important questions like: “How do you think protestors passed the time when they were arrested and sent to jail?” and “Would you go to jail for something you believed in?” The highlight of the morning was when Paula taught us the freedom song, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” and explained that singing was how protestors communicated and passed time while behind bars. Paula’s powerful message that children can be activists too and change the world made a lasting impression on our young audience.




Ancient Civilizations

The 5th grade recently used the library’s digital and print resources to research ancient civilizations from around the world. Students explored the roles of men and women, the foods, the government, and the religions of civilizations from long ago. This exciting research project culminated in the creation of non-fiction books written by the students. These beautiful self-published titles have been assigned official barcodes and are now ready for circulation through our library collection!


Nursery in the Library

When Nursery comes to the library, we have the opportunity to share our love of reading together! Library time with this age group includes stories, nursery rhymes, songs, and movement. Students also spend time browsing picture books for old favorites and new discoveries. FCS Nursery teacher, Tuesday Vanstory, recently wrote an informative blog post about the wonderful Nursery program at Friends’ Central.

New Books: Nonfiction for young people



Refugees and Migrants by Ceri Roberts and Hanane Kai, 2017.
Poverty and Hunger by Louise Spilsbury and Hanane Kai, 2017.

From the Children in Our World nonfiction series, Refugees and Migrants and Poverty and Hunger address real world issues in a way that is accessible to children. Through beautiful illustrations and thoughtfully delivered informative text, lower school students will learn about current issues in our world. The refugee crisis, immigration, poverty, and hunger are discussed with sensitivity and important facts are provided to educate our students about current events. These new titles encourage empathy and understanding among young people and both books include a noteworthy section on what we can do to help.






5th Grade Book Club

The fifth grade book club is reading The Mixed-up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg and loving every minute of it! This book describes the adventures of Claudia and her brother Jamie, who decide to run away from home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A perfect book choice for this year’s fall classroom theme of “the Arts,” The Mixed-up Files of Basil E. Frankweiler just celebrated 50 years since its first publication!

What’s New in the Lower School Library

In appreciation of the Quaker testimony of peace, the Lower School Library is highlighting the book Enemy Pie by Derek Munson and Tara Calahan King. This delightful story is about learning conflict resolution and how to turn an enemy into a best friend. After reading the book, third graders were asked “What special ingredient would YOU add to your enemy pie?” Here is what some of our students had to say: