Archive | Unite for Literacy

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Abandoned Books = Fraud Readers?

When I was a child in school—a thousand years ago—we were taken weekly to the library and encouraged to find books we could enjoy for that week. The following week, we’d return the previous week’s choices, swapping them for a new set of books. Simple. Early on, when a book report was called for, or […]

Family 2

Racism and Children: Read, Talk About What You Read

Kids are home from school (still) and the vastness of summertime stretches before us filling our vision of what that once meant, and how, due to the pandemic and to overdue showcased racial inequalities in our lives, those possibilities have forever changed. I recently read, with a strong measure of personal embarrassment and regret, a book […]

Reading to Family 6

Books Provide Powerful Learning, Heartfelt Conversation

I’ve just finished reading one of 10 essays from the 2012 book When I Was a Child I Read Books, by Marilynne Robinson. It was a no brainer for a literacy teacher, teacher educator and a contributor to a children’s library like myself to be drawn to a book with this title. However, I received this […]

Sierra Nevada College

Building a Future from Tragedy

These days there are so many ways for us to dismiss a religious, political, racial or economic individual or group as not fitting, in one way or another, and thus not seen as any kind of asset to our lives. All my life, I’ve heard that children can be so cruel and petty to each other. […]

How Swapping Stories Can Ignite Lifelong Learning

I recently read an article in The New York Times about the decline of road trips, including hitchhiking 0r “road bumming.” (And no, all the blame doesn’t go to the COVID-19 pandemic.) I think folks largely have stopped picking up hitchhikers for many reasons, including an increase in: a sense of mistrust; an unwillingness of the haves […]

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Simple Way to Become Successful Literacy Teachers

Many families honoring stay-at-home or safer-at-home orders during the current pandemic (and in times when we’re not homebound) are doing their best to keep their kiddos engaged in literacy through reading, writing and art. That single goal is a natural as these are the very top capabilities that children need throughout their lives. Indeed, it’s a lifelong […]

Happend

Learning Self-Expression is a Life Skill

Learning self-expression is, for many, a lifelong process of growing to be a presence for others. It can be an elusive goal, even for adults, but when nurtured early on in life, a foundation for sincere sharing of oneself in writing can become a magical ingredient to powerful interactions. I was reminded of this when I […]

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The Perfect Pastime for All Times

Like so many others during this stay-at-home period, I have spent an unusual amount of time watching television, especially news or current events programming. It helps me stay up to date on how my life, which feels completely out of my control, is likely to change or when it might ever return to some semblance […]

sharing on couch

How to Create a Pandemic History Book

History books are a gift to help us never forget. They are like breathing in at the focus time and then breathing out years later. By recording history we capture a point in time for future reflections. Daunting?  But writing a history book that accurately reflects the facts is challenging. A well-written, vetted history book takes planning and […]