Tag Archives: diversity

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At a Loss for Words

The English language is a word magnet and vocabulary generator. English speakers pick up terms from other languages and even create new words almost effortlessly, and before we know it, a new word or phrase is considered fully English! The best part is that every new word adds power to the English language, multiplying its potential […]

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New Americans Offer Much to the World

Unite for Literacy recruits bilingual volunteers to support early literacy around the world. We seek out fluent native speakers of world languages, including English, to translate and narrate our books from English into other mother tongues. In turn, Unite for Literacy offers those book narrations for free to families around the world. This partnership has many rewards. […]

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Trash or Treasure?

I walked my dogs on a recent trash collection day. It was windy and we came across a trash bin that had blown over. I stopped to upright it and tried to pick up refuse that had spilled out and was still within reach before it blew down the street. One item was a 3rd–grade worksheet. It had lots of […]

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Girl Power: History Lessons and Challenges

I’m enjoying Women’s History Month. It is supported by The U.S. Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with abundant research and memorabilia to showcase and educate about women’s  abundant contributions to the world. […]

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Your “Mother” Language

This week the United Nations invites us to celebrate International Mother Language Day. I’m guessing most of us are unaware of this invitation, especially those of us in the U.S., where celebrating our mother language is a bit like fish celebrating water. Why celebrate something that seems omnipresent? Indeed, those of us who hail from the good ole […]

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Building Bridges with Rich Language

One of the benefits of wide and frequent reading and the conversation that springs from it is the durable expansion of a strong reading, writing and speaking vocabulary. Children whose writing is simple and inexpressive, or who struggle to verbally share their thoughts, feelings and needs often suffer from a lack of essential language skills. Unaddressed, […]

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Bilinguals are Like Glue

Currently, there are about 350 languages spoken in homes in the United States of America. Immigrant families in the U.S. speak as many as 200 languages from around the world. Another 150 languages are spoken by Native American families. Many families are “bilingual,” “emergent bilingual” or even “multi-lingual.” Such labels are honored distinctions of accomplishment as the world population continues […]

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Language, Literacy and Love

Given the hate-filled event of this past week, it seems the perfect time to remind ourselves of the natural love in what we do here at Unite for Literacy. Providing books—the artifacts of an author’s existence—releasing them to the world, reaching out to others, even across space and through time, nurtures unity in a community. […]

Diversity - Books and Children

Free at Last

It was the spring of 1968. Seven of us students from Kansas University were gleefully headed from Lawrence, Kan., to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., anticipating acting out our personal freedom fantasies during a week on the beach. That journey didn’t turn out as we had planned, but then fantasies rarely do. We headed southeast for the long journey […]