Archive | Community Involvement

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Take Advantage of the Time Machine

With school years suspended, possibly for the duration of the pandemic, academic regimentation dictated by age, test scores and past accomplishment disappears. This is good news, folks! Positively possible Families suddenly are left in a homebound world of what could be infinite learning possibilities regardless of a child’s school status. Developing the habit of unstructured, fulfilling lifelong learning […]

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Pandemic Possibilities for Quarantiners

Are your kids home for spring break or an extended break due to COVID-19? Are you working from home or perhaps not working, but quarantining at home? If you’re finding yourself with a lot of time in close quarters with your kids, you’re not alone. Experts recommend that to keep everybody from getting antsy and feeling […]

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Poverty and Potential Can Co-Exist

Once again, we are past the big commercial holidays in the U.S. and heading toward more relaxed ones that offer us less glaring contrasts between the lives of children from homes with comfortable incomes and those who are living closer to or below the edge of poverty level. Yet all year long, it’s critical to remember that […]

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“Be Kind” and Other Words That Matter

One recent morning my wife and I drove to an appointment in Eminence, Ky., just outside of Louisville. It was a gorgeous start to a new day with the east ablaze with “sky blue pink” (as my wife calls it) behind a single bank of fluffy clouds. As we wound through the countryside we passed a […]

Get Buff. Read.

Some children don’t learn to love books and reading in school. Estimates are as high as 25 percent of children grow up as non-readers. It’s not that they can’t read’ they just don’t. Superintendents might swear their youngsters have gone through “good” schools. However, if the kids from good schools don’t love books and reading, how can […]

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Family-Focused Learning Support

This week the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) held their 30th annual convention here in Louisville, Ky. NCFL is an organization that focuses on multi-generational learning for promoting literacy, mathematics and much more, since it expanded its areas of service after rebranding from the original National Center for Family Literacy. NCFL has projects operating in nearly 40 states […]

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Deeply Shared Books Create Community

I’ve mentioned before that I’m involved with a family literacy program called Prime Time* that meets in a lovely elementary school’s library once a week for six weeks. I take the role of discussant and my partner, an accomplished storyteller, initiates each book-inspired discussion with a fully dramatic read-aloud, peppered with sound effects, emotional fluency and […]

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A New Library on Our Block

There’s a new Little Free Library on a corner down the way from my house.  It  recently was dedicated to the memory of the owner’s mother. “Sara’s Library” also has recently acquired a small bench on which readers are invited to rest as they peruse the library’s offerings. Sara’s family had minimal tools and carpentry […]

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Literacy Mastery is Social

Sports enthusiasts figure out how to enjoy their beloved pastime with pals—beyond being spectators of sporting events. Pickup games of all types are arranged, with excited players arriving early and then playing as long as the sun is up or the gym is open. They get better and better because by playing hard with their friends and […]

Monster Reader

The Problem With Reading Rewards

This week I happened upon a terrific article in The New York Times about summer reading. It is about rewarding kids for reading. The article’s headline (shown here) caught my attention because my experience is also that rewards for reading rarely have positive outcomes. The article made me reflect upon the important difference between children who can read and child avid readers.  As most healthy library systems do, in my town, Louisville, Kentucky’s fabulous library has a “summer reading” program. It serves as a lure to get […]