Monday, January 20, 2020

Talking About Wordless Picture Books via NCFL

Talking About Wordless Picture Books

Language Learners is designed to support tutors who are working with low intermediate English language learner (ELL) parents in family literacy programs. It provides instructional activities with guidance that describes specific language learning strategies to help ELL parents build and practice English conversational skills.

Topic 1 – Introduction: Personal Experience Stories
Topic 2 – Single Picture Stories
Topic 3 – Wordless Picture Book Stories
Topic 4 – Story Webs
Topic 5 – Event Maps
Topic 6 – Star Stories
Topic 7 – Concept Picture Books
Topic 8 – Story Characters
Topic 9 – Building Meaning
Topic 10 – Review and Celebrate: My Story

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Fredonia NY :: Napa CA:: Chicago IL :: Buckhannon WV

Literacy: Spanning the US

Literacy Group Helps Provide Language Skills
Post Journal: 12.07.2019 by Breanna Nelson

Imagine not being able to talk to your child’s doctor or teacher.
Imagine not being able to fill out a job application.
Imagine not being able to read a warning label.

These are just a few examples of daily struggles some people face listed in the brochure for Literacy Volunteers Of Chautauqua County, at the group’s Fredonia location. For any number of reasons there are many individuals who, at any age or in any walk of life, are not able to fluently read or speak English. The organization helps anyone who needs to work on their English skills, from any native language, and they do it for free.

Julie LaGrow, Literacy Volunteers Of Chautauqua County director, discussed what she has seen while working with the organization as the individual who helps new students get started.

Looking to branch out from the basic English education they provide now, LaGrow said they hope to delve into financial literacy and computer literacy.

With computer literacy, the organization is looking to help educate individuals who may need a little extra help keeping up with technology. LaGrow stated that in a world that is evolving constantly, having basic computer skills has become more and more of a necessity. The course is slated to be simple, but will help educate on the basics for things like text documents and emails.

For financial literacy, LaGrow said she is looking toward eight-to-10-week courses with one for high school students, one for college students and one for adults. The courses would help with subjects such as bank account management, keeping a checkbook register and understanding credit cards.  READ MORE >>

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Wash The Clothes, Read A Book: Library Laundries Come To Napa
Napa Valley Register: 12.10.2019 by Jennifer Huffman

A handful of local laundromats are now offering something extra to go along with the spin and dry cycles.

Books. Library books.

The library has come to the laundromat.

Thanks to a California Library Literacy Services Family Literacy grant, the Napa library has installed children’s “libraries” inside two Napa laundromats. And more library laundries are on the way.

“It’s the perfect place” to promote reading, said Robin Rafael, literacy and volunteer services supervisor at the Napa County Library.

“In many ways, the laundromat is a perfect place to provide families access to library books: going to the laundromat is part of a family’s regular weekly routine; parents have time to give children their undivided attention; laundromats are an unintimidating place for children to develop their early literacy skills, and laundromats are often open 24 hours a day,” she wrote in an email.  READ MORE >>

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Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition (CCLC) Provides the Gift of Reading to Immigrants
PR Newswire: 12.12.20219 by Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition

CCLC is giving the gift of reading to immigrants in Chicago's communities everyday as well as this holiday season. A year's worth of success is being celebrated this week as CCLC looks back on some of the coalition's biggest accomplishments and success stories. One success is Brigith, who was given the gift of reading through CCLC's partnership with Centro Romero.

"It's difficult to find a place that actually, really wants to help you and give you a hand to grow in a country that is not your own. But I have been lucky and I am blessed to have found Centro Romero. I remember clearly the first day I came to Centro Romero to get help… At Centro Romero, I do not just see a place of study or work, I see it as family." Brigith  READ MORE >>

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Rotary Learns Literacy Issues
Record Delta: 12.04.2019 by Alison Harrison

Tuesday afternoon was chock-full of business and information for local Rotarians. The group will be partnering with the Parish House and Director Kristi Wilkerson to hand out Christmas baskets on December 19 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., helping out community friends in need of a little extra support this season. After the discussion of club business, the Rotary Club of Buckhannon-Upshur welcomed Kristy Stewart as the guest speaker for the noon meeting.

Stewart is the Director for Literacy Volunteers of Upshur County (LVUC). Stewart is a longtime AmeriCorps VISTA and VISTA Leader. LVUC is now located in the small white building at the entrance of Amalia Drive going to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Stewart noted the kindness of Skip Gjolberg, hospital President, for providing a rent-free office space that allows the organization to continue helping to better the citizens of Upshur County.

Stewart stated, “Most of our students have special needs.” The Life Skills Workshops will help persons with basic life skills such as sewing a button or checking the oil in a car, often tasks that most take for granted in daily life. Stewart explained, “This is an opportunity to help the community better itself.”

In Upshur County 19% of citizens are illiterate, meaning they cannot read above a third-grade level according to Stewart’s statistics. “To put it in perspective one must be able to read on a sixth-grade level to pass the written part of the driving test so most of our students cannot drive.”

Stewart ended her address to the Rotarians by stating, “It is something we don’t think about until we are faced with it, we are trying to help make a change to make it easier for those of use that are having struggles that there are accommodations.”  READ MORE >>

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The Most Powerful Family Ritual? The Bedtime Story via Red Tricycle

The Most Powerful Family Ritual? The Bedtime Story
Red Tricycle: 1.15.2020 by Mike Morrison

There is simply nothing more powerful than the bedtime story—especially in this age of continuous screen time. As we go deeper into the discussion, we start to see how the bedtime story is the perfect ending to the day. So let’s rethink and reclaim this special decompression time for both parent and child.

It is not just something we are doing for our kids—the benefits accrue to us as well. We don’t just read to our kids, we read with our kids. Here are five reasons why the bedtime story is the most powerful family ritual:

End-of-day closure
The bedtime story can symbolically represent a closure point in our continuous, always-on, and endless days.

Feeling safe & secure
There is probably no safer or secure feeling than to be snuggled with a parent—listening to their comforting voice.

Healthy sleeping & better dreaming
Sleep specialists reveal how bedtime stories can help both child and parent get a good night sleep.

Engaging the imagination
Bedtime stories are one of the best ways to stimulate a child’s imagination.

Connecting & empathizing
Just as stories help our kids create their sense of self, they also help them to empathize with others.  READ MORE >>

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Jeanne Chall :: A Literacy Pioneer via Harvard GSE

A Literacy Pioneer
GSE Harvard: Jan 2020

It would be difficult to discuss what we know about early literacy without mentioning Jeanne Chall. As a seminal researcher on the developmental stages of reading, Chall was among the first to delve into complex and widely debated ideas on how children learn to read and how stressors like poverty impact their ability to do so.

Jeanne Chall wrote the book on reading — and left a scholarly legacy that offers fresh hope in combatting today’s literacy gaps.

Responding to a national crisis in children’s literacy in the 1950s and 60s, Chall’s support of phonics instruction over the whole-language approach pushed back against popular beliefs even as it propelled her career. She described learning to read as a “developmental process,” advocating for using phonics and challenging literature as the best ways to teach children to read.

Becoming a  Nation
of Readers
She spent her life and career advocating for better services for every child. “Perhaps the best way to solve the adult literacy problem is by prevention — with better instruction and services for all children, and particularly for those that tend to lag behind,” she wrote in the Harvard Crimson in 1986, about growing rates of adult illiteracy.  READ MORE >>

There are countless stories to tell about the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As we celebrate our Centennial, we've chosen to spotlight 100 of them — a sampling of HGSE's indelible impact on the field of education. We'll add a new batch every month, culminating in 100 Stories of Impact in October 2020.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize :: Deadline Feb 13

National Book Foundation’s Innovations in Reading Prize
Deadline: Feb 13

The National Book Foundation’s annual Innovations in Reading Prize awards $10,000 to an individual or organization for developing a project which creates and sustains a lifelong love of reading.

Since 2009, the National Book Foundation has awarded the Innovations in Reading Prize to an individual or organization that inspires readers and engages new audiences with literature. From bicycle-powered libraries that serve Portland, OR’s homeless community to empowering Harry Potter fans to build libraries around the world, the Innovations in Reading Prize recognizes literary activists who share the National Book Foundation’s aims to engage readers from all backgrounds.

Each spring, the Foundation’s Board of Directors names one $10,000 winner, as well as up to four projects for honorable mentions.

Applications for the 2020 Innovations in Reading Prize are now open. Applications are due by 11:59pm EST on February 13, 2020.
Individuals and U.S.-based non-profit organizations are eligible for this prize.

Previous winners can apply for new initiatives.

What are we looking for?

Applicants should:

Share the National Book Foundation’s mission to expand the audience for literature in America;

Focus on reading, and not exclusively literacy skills;

Demonstrate innovation in mission, approach, and/or audience/community served;

Apply for an existing program/project/initiative with evidence of success—as Innovations in Reading is a prize and not a grant, the goal is to reward work already underway, encouraging it to continue and/or expand.

We strongly encourage applicants to read about past winners to get a sense of programs we support.

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Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants :: Deadline Feb 20

Dollar General Literacy Foundation Grants
Deadline: Feb 20

CLICK HERE to apply for a 2020 Adult Literacy grant.

We award funding to organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance in one of the following areas:

Adult Basic Education
GED or High School Equivalency Preparation
English Language Acquisition

A qualified 501(c)(3) organization with a valid IRS tax ID?
A K-12 Private or Public School?
A College or University?
A Public Library?

Deadline to apply: February 20, 2020 (by 10 pm CST)
Grant announcement: May 14, 2020
Maximum grant amount: $10,000

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Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2020 :: Deadline March 6

Library of Congress Literacy Awards 2020
Deadline March 6
Library of Congress: January 2020

DEADLINE:  March 6

Since 2013, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program has awarded $1.5 million in prizes to 91 institutions in 28 countries. By recognizing current achievements, the awards seek to enable any organization or program that does not operate on a for-profit basis to strengthen its involvement in literacy and reading promotion and to encourage collaboration with like-minded organizations.

Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States or abroad. The awards also encourage the continuing development of innovative methods for promoting literacy and the wide dissemination of the most effective practices. They are intended to draw public attention to the importance of literacy, and the need to promote literacy and encourage reading.


The David M. Rubenstein Prize ($150,000) is awarded for an outstanding and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels to an organization based either inside or outside the United States that has demonstrated exceptional and sustained depth in its commitment to the advancement of literacy. The organization will meet the highest standards of excellence in its operations and services.

The American Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in the United States or the national awareness of the importance of literacy to an organization that is based in the United States.

The International Prize ($50,000) is awarded for a significant and measurable contribution to increasing literacy levels in a country other than the United States to an organization that is based either inside or outside the United States.

Best Practice Honorees ($5,000): Each year up to 15 organizations that apply in the three major prize categories are recognized for their successful implementation of a specific literacy promotion practice.

Email two letters of reference and the completed application form, including the five selection criteria statements and your essay,to by midnight, March 6, 2020, EDT.

2020 Literacy Awards Application (Microsoft Word document)

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