Novinger Notes

An occasional newsletter from fourth grade.

What a wonderful year! Our year has come to a close. I have loved getting to know all our fourth graders throughout the year. Everyone has grown so much both in their academic knowledge and skills and in their height!

Each child should bring an addressed, envelope home today. If your child has the chance (or is "bored"), I would love to receive a letter.

Thanks to everyone whose children made me sweet cards, gave me hugs, and gifted me with other things today. I did not have a chance to get thank you notes written, but appreciated everything I received today (and all year). This has been a wonderful class of students and parents.

Have a great summer! I hope your child will stop in and say hello next year when they are big fifth graders.

Melani Novinger

Summer Things to Do!

Texas Nature Challenge

One of my family's favorite summer activities is the Texas Nature Challenge. In fact, it is the Texas Nature Challenge that introduced us to geocaching! The Texas Nature Challenge consists of different outdoor activities in the Austin/Waco area. You can do as little or as much as you wish. It's a great way to find things to do that you may have forgotten about or didn't know about before. Some things are free, others have minimal entrance fees. Personally, I am excited about checking out the Junior Mammoth Ranger challenge at the Waco Mammoth National Monument.

Summer Reading Clubs

Many places do summer reading programs over the summer, allowing students to earn "free" things by reading books. Check out the following:
Barnes and Noble: Summer Reading Triatholon. Kick off event June 4 at Barnes and Noble. Read three books, get a free book.

The Austin Public Library has ongoing events at libraries around town. Our closest branch, Milwood Branch on Adelphi and Amherst reopens June 4. Other favorite branches of mine (which are very kid friendly) are the Spicewood Branch and the Yarborough Branch. In addition to a summer reading program when kids can get two free books, they also have performances and STEAM Lab activities free for City of Austin residents. The library also has recommended reading lists on their website as well.

Half Price Books is doing a summer reading program called Feed Your Brain. Kids can read to earn $5 at the bookstore. Their kick off event is June 4 at 2 pm.

Finally, HEB is also doing a summer reading club. Kids read 10 books and get a free HEB t-shirt.

Keep your child reading this summer!

Maker Camp

Maker Camp is an online, free community for: "young Makers interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and learning. It combines the best parts of camp and with sure-fire starter projects, so that young Makers across the country and the world can make together." I don't know much about this program, but it looks pretty cool. Plus, it's free.

Free Family Events at Museums

The first Sunday of each month is the HEB First Free Sunday at the Bob Bullock Texas State History museum.

Nature Nights at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Free admission. Activities and programs for the family on Thursday evenings.

The Blanton Museum on the University of Texas Campus has a variety of summer programs. Most programs are free with museum admission. Students always get in free to the museum. The only admission is for adults.

Have a wonderful summer!