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Happily Aware

Books For Self-Awareness And Healthy Relationships

By Leslie Williams

Pauline Robinson Branch Librarian

It has been a busy Summer Of Adventure at our neighborhood libraries. The annual reading program for youth has been very successful; hundreds of youth have registered for the program and are working hard, preventing summer reading loss. 

Each summer, we display books for youth to read that librarians have selected as good reads or books of interest. Our display this year was on social and emotional learning.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is defined by The Collaborative of Academic, Social Emotional Learning as: “The process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

There are five components of SEL: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. (See the competencies wheel above for a visual on how this all works.)

SEL is taught in academic settings using curriculums and lesson plans. Our children’s library librarians have prepared booklists on all five components for grades K-2 and grades 3-5. The booklists further demonstrate and explain the five SEL components.

The following are a few reviews on select books. For more titles, visit our blog post on Books on Social, Emotional and Academic Learning at

One final note: Our book display on SEL has been a huge hit! We have had to restock the display twice a week all summer, titles have flown off the shelf.

Self Awareness

by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin, a curious second grader, will delight readers as they journey with her on her adventures as an explorer, painter, and builder. Yasmin’s attitude is never bleak, she always feels like she is enough.

Social Awareness

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Breathtaking illustrations and simple text tells the story of a young boy and his mother leave their home country and move to the United States, and how their public library serves them.

Relationship Skills

Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend by Naseem Hrab & Josh Holinaty

Ira and his family moved to a new neighborhood over the summer and he will be going to a new school. Despite all of his efforts to make new friends, he is known as the New Kid in September. Until he meets Malcolm.

Responsible Decision-Making

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes

Penny finds a marble when she is out for her walk. She takes it home and keeps it. It does not feel right to keep it though. She returns it back where she finds it, and learns a valuable lesson in being honesty and doing the right thing.

Pauline Robinson August Programs

Tech Help Appointments | Tuesdays, noon-1 p.m. 

Get technology assistance from one of our in-house experts on your own device or a public computer. Learn the basics, such as email, social networking, word processing and eMedia. Call the library at 720-865-0290 to schedule an appointment for Monday or Tuesday.

Preschool Storytime | Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for 3-5 year olds and their parents or caregivers. 

Keeping it Simple | Thursdays, Aug 1, 8, 3:00 p.m.

Games and other simple activates for you to participate.

Basic Ukulele (K-5) | Mondays, Aug 5 & 12, 3 p.m.

Learn ukulele and other music basics while playing songs you know and love, as well as start creating your own. A limited number of ukuleles will be available. 

Snacks and Space (Teens) | Tuesday, August 6, 2 p.m.

Chill in our new teen space and help us decorate it. Snacks will be provided.

Trace and Draw (Birth to Pre-K) | Wednesday, Aug 7, 11 a.m.

Be an artist! Draw a self-portrait from head to toe. Ideal for 2-5 year olds.

Canvas Painting (K-5) | Wednesday, Aug. 7, 3 p.m.

Be an artist! Discover your inner artist and create a painting on canvas.

WeFreeStrings | Tuesday, Aug. 13 6-8 p.m.

WeFreeStrings is a string/rhythm sextet performing original music that embodies the ethos of free jazz and the Afro-Atlantic music lexicon. Audiences will journey African American string traditions in improvised music from traditional songs.

The Pauline Robinson Book Club | Saturday, Aug. 24, noon 

This month’s selection: A Season to Lie by Emily Littlejohn.  Drop-ins are welcome. 

Beginning Aug. 19: After School is Cool returns for another school year. The program runs from 4:15-5:15 p.m. Monday through Friday when school is in session.

Park Hill August Programs

All Ages Storytime | Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for children of all ages and their parents or caregivers. Craft activity immediately follows the program.

Baby Storytime | Thursdays and Fridays at 11:15 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for babies ages 0-18 months and their caregivers. Play and social time immediately follow the program.

Toddler Storytime | Fridays at 10:30 a.m.

Stories, songs, rhymes and fun for toddlers ages 18-36 months and their caregivers.

Kids’ Craft: Paint Explorations | Friday, Aug. 2, 3 p.m.

Paint on wax paper to make an easy stained glass art effect and paint a scene with watercolors.

Book Page Flowers | Tuesday, Aug. 6, 4 p.m.

Craft beautiful flowers from book pages with a little glue, old books, and creativity.

Peter Davison Presents “Fun Stuff” | Wednesday, Aug. 7, 3 p.m.

National juggling champion and kinetic comedian Peter Davison creates movement magic with objects, and captivates all ages while revealing how fun ordinary stuff can be.

Kids’ Craft: Yarn Wrapped Cats or Letters | Friday, Aug. 9, 3 p.m.

Be an artist! Wrap a cat shape or your favorite letter(s) in colorful yarn and decorate your room.

BINGO for Books with Breakfast | Saturday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m.

Enjoy family fun as you play BINGO, eat breakfast snacks and win books. Prize books for all ages from preschool through adults.

Teen Advisory Board (TAB) | Tuesdays, Aug. 13 and 27, 6 p.m.

Join the Park Hill TAB. Help plan events and projects, talk about your favorite books, music, movies and make your opinion count. Plus snacks. Ideal for ages 13 and up.

Tween Book Club | Thursday, Aug. 15, 2 p.m.

Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

Activity: Cardboard constructing with MakeDo

Park Hill Underground Comedy Club: Sam Tallent | Thursday, Aug. 15, 7 p.m.

Denver comedian Sam Tallent is known for whip-quick wit and rollicking improvisations. Enjoy one of the sharpest, most original rising talents in comedy today in our underground, after-hours comedy club. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Eighteen and over only due to adult content.

Kids’ Craft: Crazy Hat | Friday, Aug. 16, 3 p.m.

Create a colorful, loopy hat.

Park Hill Remembers: 100 Years of Stories | Saturday, Aug. 17, 11 a.m. (120 minutes | Wednesday, Aug. 28, 6:30 p.m. (90 minutes)

Tell your unique story. Drop in to have your story recorded for the Park Hill Branch Library’s 100-year celebration or email to schedule your session.

Kids’ Book Club | Tuesday, Aug. 20, 3:30 p.m.

This month’s book is The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson. Activity: Paint a wooden shark. Ideal for ages 6 to 9.

Concert on the Lawn: Shelvis and the Roustabouts | Wednesday, Aug. 21, 6:30 p.m.

Lori “Shelvis” Muha transforms into the rock and roll superstar Elvis and is backed up by her stellar band The Roustabouts. Their tribute performance gets the audience dancing and singing, and you are guaranteed to leave with a smile. Bring your lawn chair or blanket for an outdoor concert.

No Strings Attached Book Chat | Saturday, Aug. 24, 10:30 a.m.

Read whatever you want and attend whenever you can. Share a recent read, an old favorite, or anything in between.

Conflict in Our Daily Lives | Saturday, Aug. 31, 2:30 p.m.

Conflict is a part of every relationship, whether it is between family members, coworkers, neighbors, or friends. Learn about how to address conflict as an opportunity for strengthening relationships and for growth through problem solving. Join The Conflict Center in an interactive session to gain the tools necessary to help understand differing perspectives, generate options, and create mutually agreeable solutions.

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