Fifth Fridays Lecture Series to Return to St. Mary’s Home

Dr. Joseph Toland, medical director of St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children, will kick off the second season of the “Fifth Fridays at St. Mary’s Home” lecture series designed to raise awareness of issues affecting children with disabilities. Toland will discuss “Prevention of Osteopenia in Children with Special Needs” on April 29 from 1-2 p.m. in the Atrium at St. Mary’s Home, 6171 Kempsville Circle, in Norfolk.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and Target has generously donated gift bags for attendees. RSVP to (757) 622-2208.

Toland is an associate professor at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a pediatrician with North Shore Pediatrics in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. A native of Ireland, Toland attended medical school at National University of Ireland, University College in Dublin. He has been St. Mary’s medical director since 2007.

Celebrate International Children’s Book Day with a Good Read

Today is International Children’s Book Day, created by The International Board on Books for Young People, a nonprofit made up of people committed to bringing books and children together. It is celebrated on or around the birthday (April 2) of Hans Christian Andersen, author of “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl.” Each year a different country is the international sponsor of the holiday; that county asks one of its authors to write a message to the world’s children and an illustrator to design a poster. The sponsor of the 2011 International Children’s Book Day is Estonia. You can find out more here.

In the spirit of International Children’s Day, here are some links to suggestions for children’s books about disabilities:

And here’s an article with guidelines on how to evaluate children’s books that address disabilities.

Happy reading.