Check It Out -- February 2021

New Year -- New President -- New Connections


A Hill to Climb

Dear Mountaineers ---

Here we are one step into a new year, one week into a new presidency, and a few weeks until we begin a new way of learning together. While we may be battle-weary after so many transitions, if we need encouragement we need look no farther than the inspiring words of Amanda Gordan, Inaugural Poet Laureate, in her poem A Hill to Climb: "So we lift our gazes not to what stands between us, but what stands before us."

We dedicate this issue of the LMC newsletter to all the new beginnings before us: new causes to champion, new literature that inspires, new chances to make, and new ways to share what we know with each other.

So here we are in February -- the shortest month, jam-packed with annual celebrations and cultural traditions. Below you have it all:

  • a Virtual Reading Room with linked titles and articles selected specifically for Black History Month,
  • Superbowl ebooks you can access via MackinVIA and SORA,
  • "House Floats" for Mardi Gras,
  • an inclusive guide to Lunar New Year,
  • ideas for spreading Valentine cheer, and
  • a preview into the LMC's 4th Annual African American History Read-In.


As always, we are here for you -- whether at home or in the LMC. Time will tell as to when we can gather, but until then know that nothing makes us happier than hearing from you.

Your faithful librarians,

Mrs. Tindall & Ms. Matz

PS > Happy Groundhog Day -- Let's see where we are in six weeks!

PSS >> Amanda Gordon? Need we say more?

PSSS >>> Don't miss the coverage of WOHS Poetry Outloud, FCCLA Club Gold and Silver State Winners, and the latest ALA Youth Media Awards titles representing everyone.

In Case You MIssed It . . .

Amanda Gorman reads a poem at inauguration

Amanda Gordon Tells All

--- and an impersonation of Barack Obama, indeed! ---

Amanda Gorman Does Her Best Barack Obama Impression | Exclusive
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Celebrate the Black Family during Black History Month 2021

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) Invites You to Attend the 2021 Virtual Black History Month Festival.

Several events are free and open to the public on ASALH TV, the association’s premier YouTube channel! Click on the image below for the full schedule.


A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics: the four-hundred-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present—edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire.

All are Welcome to Reserve Their Seat for a Historical Discussion about this Historic Book

WOHS LMC's Virtual Resource Display for Black History Month & Beyond

All the books and images featured below are linked to multi-media resources, many of which are available through the WOHS LMC Collection, MackinVIA, and SORA.

WOHS Escriptus Honor Society Presents . . . .

-- Poetry Outloud 2021 --

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Listen to finalists give it their all before an esteem panel of judges

Escriptus Honor Society presents Poetry Out Loud

Congratulations to WOHS's Poetry Outloud Finalist -- Olivia Ridley!

Olivia is heading to the Regional Poetry Outloud competition representing WOHS. When asked for one of her favorite quotes, she answered with one from Ceasar A. Cruz: "Art should comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable".

Gold & Silver Innovators!

Students in the West Orange High School Family, Community, and Career Leaders of America (FCCLA) Club attended the annual Fall State Leadership Conference, held virtually Nov. 16-19, 2020 and took top honors in several categories.

The theme for the conference was "Mission: A Brighter Tomorrow." Students competed against other schools in several areas of Family and Consumer Science.

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And the ALA Youth Media Awards go to . . .

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Every Face, Every Voice, Everyone is Represented

Look no further for the best in YA literature. Each title below is an 2021 award winner written by diverse authors, covering all literary genres, most fiction, but also non- fiction. They all offer a window into a new world, or a mirror reflecting the familiar. Start on any step and dance your way from top to bottom!

Super Bowl LV is right around the corner which means this year’s performance of the national anthem is set. The NFL announced that the 2021 national anthem will be a duet performed by GRAMMY-nominated artists Jazmine Sullivan and Eric Church ahead of this year’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The national anthem will be preceded by a performance of “America the Beautiful” by GRAMMY-award winning artist H.E.R. Warren “WAWA” Snipe will perform both songs in American Sign Language.

Both performances will take place on Sunday, February 7 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida just before kickoff time at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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Sign into the SORA app in your Google menu with your West Orange credentials!

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These ebooks, and many more, are available from the Bergen Community Cooperative through the SORA app!

You will need to fill out this Google Form to get your West Orange Public Library virtual card to access these books and many more!

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Celebrating FEBRUARY 2021 in a Whole New Way

Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year isn't only observed in China, it's celebrated across several countries and other territories in Asia, including South Korea and Singapore. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is known as Tết, and in Tibet it's Losar. In the U.S., though, it's most commonly associated with what's often called Chinese New Year, the American version of China's 15-day-long festivities.

Click below for the Oprah Magazine article "Lunar New Year's Traditions and Superstitions, Explained -- The holiday's about luck, health, and reuniting with family", including the video "7 Things to Know About the Lunar New Year!"!

New Orleans turns COVID Lemons into Mardi Gras Lemonade!

Smithsonian Magazine reports, "With the Louisiana city’s Mardi Gras parades canceled, New Orleans residents are finding new ways to celebrate safely. As the Associated Press’ Janet McConnaughey reports, thousands of locals have transformed their homes into makeshift “house floats.” Click below for the full story -- don't miss the beaded brontosaurus!

Click below for a video tour of New Orleans "House Floats". You might get some ideas for adding some glitter and gold swag where you live!

Houses in New Orleans transformed into floats for Mardi Gras

Way back in February 2020...Mrs. Sullivan taught us how to make beautiful Mardis Gras wreaths in the WOHS LMC Mountaineer Makerspace!

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Valentine's Day

Here is your chance to surprise some folks who need to smile right about now.
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Making in YOUR Space!

This is one of the easiest to follow crochet videos we've seen. You can work right along, stitch by stitch, and in just under twenty minutes, you will have a heart! Beginners may have to watch twice. If you need some individual help, email Ms. Matz. She's ready to help!
How to Crochet a Heart

Way back in February 2020, we -loudly-created these Nail Art Hearts in the Mountaineer Makerspace!

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We Just Can't Get Enough!

Here is a Gallery of Amanda Gordan videos from the past few years.

Using Your Voice is a Political Choice

Using your voice is a political choice | Amanda Gorman

Amanda tells the story of the time she tried out for The Lion King

Amanda Gorman | Roar | Moth GrandSLAM

Viewing the Earth from Space -- true poetry . . . .

24 Hours of Reality: "Earthrise" by Amanda Gorman
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Way back in February 2020, students and teachers wowed the crowds with performances of poems, plays, speeches, and musical compilations at our 3rd Annual Read-In!!!

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Ms. Mapes gets "dramatic!"

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Our Valentine to You

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