ReadyRosie, a free app making child’s play out of learning

Do you have children under the age of five (or know someone who does)?  If so, are Mother and baby indoors playing and smilingyou always looking for fun and EASY ways to help them learn?  As a mother of two, I was always looking for new ways to help prepare my toddler or preschooler for school.  With my first daughter, I stayed at home and simply ran out of ideas for things to do with her.  With my second daughter, I worked full-time and didn’t have the time or energy to spend looking for new ways to engage her in play and learning. Children begin learning before they ever get to school and  I knew that I was their first teacher, so it was important for me to know exactly what they should be doing to get prepared for school.   So, I am really excited about a new opportunity in Boone County and a few returning programs going on this summer.

ReadyRosie_LogoOn July 1st, ReadyRosie is coming to Boone County.   ReadyRosie, sends daily messages, providing fun learning activities for FREE to all parents, grandparents, teachers, caregivers, childcare providers, older siblings, or anyone who lives in Boone County and interacts with a child from birth to age six.  ReadyRosie is available in English and Spanish. The Schools know that children begin learning before they ever get to school, so they have provided this great resource to help us guide our children as they learn. Visit ReadyRosie to learn more about it and then register for this FREE Boone County resource here. After you register, you’ll see an option to download the app as well as an option to receive everything in Spanish. ReadyRosie is easily accessed through computers, phones, tablets, or other mobile devices. If you have any questions about ReadyRosie in Boone County, email Kathy Reutman from Boone County Schools at  ReadyRosie is provided by the Boone County Success By 6 and Boone County Schools.

Family Sitting On Sofa Reading Book At HomeAnother great option for children birth to age 5 is the preschool portion of the Boone County Summer Reading program, which began on June 1st and is going on until August 31st.  Children birth to four years can complete activities to win prizes, and children 5 and up read books to earn prizes.  As part of Summer Reading, we have chosen one special book for each elementary grade, including preschool.  The preschool title for this year, is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and  Boone County Public Library will have plenty of copies available for check out.  Register for Summer Reading today and help your child be ready to read when he/she begins school!

While you are at the Library to check out your books, make sure you pick up a Discover BCPL Newsletter June 2016Newsletter and you can see all the great programs and storytimes that we have for children birth to age 5.  Storytimes are available at any of the BCPL locations and are broken up by age.  BCPL even has special storytimes for Spanish language learners and children with sensory sensitivities.  All these storytimes provide parents with useful tips that they can practice at home with their children. For the complete list of storytime dates and times, see the Library’s June newsletter.

These are just a few of the great resources that are available for free both this summer and throughout the year.  There are so many great options both online and in-person that make being a parent or caregiver of a preschool that much easier.  I wish all of these resources had been available to me when my children were young.


Assistant Director Amanda Hopper lives in Union with her husband and two daughters.  She is passionate about serving the children and families of Boone County.   

Never argue with an idiom… uncommon origins of common phrases

Language is a curious thing, constantly evolving. Some of the latest additions to the Merriam-Webster dictionary include: athleisure (clothing designed for exercise and general use) and nomophobia (fear of not having access to a working cell phone). What intrigues me even more than new words and phrases is the origin of sayings such as, “it’s raining cats and dogs,” and “dressed to the nines.” After a bit of research, this is what I discovered about the possible origination of a few common words and expressions.

If someone tells you to “put a sock in it,” you know it’s time to stop talking. In the late nineteenth century, the first gramophones produced sound through large horns. There was no volume button, so if it got too loud, they would use a sock to muffle the noise.

When you are under extreme emotional stress, you may feel “beside yourself.”  There is an ancient belief that under difficult circumstances, a person’s soul would separate from the body and walk beside it until the situation righted itself.

“Bury the hatchet” started out quite literally. Before Native Americans agreed to discuss armistice between warring tribes, they would bury their tomahawks. To this Raining cats and dogsday, it still means to make peace.

You know it’s pouring when you hear someone say, “it’s raining cats and dogs.” I once
read something about creatures hanging out in thatched roofs and falling during storms. My latest search turned up a better explanation. According to Teuton mythology, the wind was a giant dog and companion of Odin, the supreme Norse deity. The Teutons believed that during storms, Odin’s dog (the wind) was chasing a cat (the rain), thus Odin was dropping cats and dogs from the sky.

couple on a dateWhen I am dressed to the nines,” I must be headed somewhere pretty fancy. The term is from an 18th century saying meaning perfection or the highest standards.

Many authors throw in a “red herring” to keep you from figuring out the real solution to a mystery. Originally, criminals would cover their trail with a strong-smelling, smoked, red herring to throw pursuing dogs off their scent.

Translated from the Spanish phrase, sangre azul, blueblood implies an upper class heritage. In the 1800s, the aristocratic Castile families claimed to be pureblooded, with no genetic ties to the ruling Moors. Their proof was their pale skin through which you could see their veins.

I will end in the same way most people finish their day with “hitting the hay.” Early seamen had to provide their own bedding. The merchants sold hay stuffed into canvas covers to the sailors. When purchasing a ship bed, you would ask for a hay. As he went to catch some shuteye, the sailor would say he was going to “hit the hay.”

Hopefully, I have piqued your curiosity and you will continue to explore the origins of our language. Here are a few of the resources on the derivation of words and phrases you can find within the Boone County Public Library system:

Common Phrases and Where They Come From by John Mordock and Myron Korach

I Didn’t Know That: From “Ants in the Pants” to “Wet Behind the Ears” – the Unusual Origins of the Things We Say by Karlen Evins

Spilling the Beans on the Cat’s Pajamas by Judy Parkinson

Common Phrases. . .and the Amazing Stories Behind Them by Max Cryer

I Love It When You Talk Retro by Ralph Keyes


A Circulation Assistant at the Florence Branch, Suzanne Yowler started her career in journalism and public relations. She established her free-lance writing business after her first son was born almost 20 years ago. English was always Suzanne’s best subject and she considers herself a Grammar Queen.