Libraries should be the heart and soul of a classroom, a school, a community—Gholdy Muhammad and Julia Torres explore the history and the current status of our most critical literacy resource—our libraries.
The Literacy Innovators Forum is an online presentation of ideas, insights, and innovations related to literacy, language, and learning — moderated by school librarian Julia Torres, author of Liven Up Your Library: Design Engaging and Inclusive Programs for Tweens and Teens.
To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves. —James Lee Byars Click here to register for the event.
Calling all civically-minded partners to help spread the joy and power of reading! A rich reading life is the key to a healthier, stronger, and more fulfilling life for us all. Reader’s choice is the spark that ignites the motivation to read—and the reader you support today, may become the innovative problem solver who helps us all tomorrow.
Healthier Kids Foundation is excited to announce its partnership with Bring Me a Book, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 1997 by middle school English teacher turned CEO, Judy Koch. Bring Me a Book helps all children thrive through the joy and power of reading— leveraging literacy to create a more humane and hopeful world for us all.
Bring Me a Book helps all children thrive through the joy and power of reading— leveraging literacy to create a more humane and hopeful world for us all.
• Develop, with their family’s support, a lifelong love of reading
Their process is simple. It begins with each child’s creation of a Bookelicious bookmoji, which is a personalized reading avatar, reflecting a child’s likes and interests. The creation of the bookmoji is the beginning of how they invite children to think about who they are as readers. Next, children browse the Bookelicious universe of books to identify ones that are matched to their interests, and they create their own Reading Wish Lists.
With support from Bring Me a Book, children obtain books for their home libraries from the diverse and extensive Bookelicious collection—20,000 titles curated by a team of professional librarians and educators. Additionally, children learn to fulfill their Reading Wish Lists by developing a library habit! Bookelicious is connected to World Cat, so children can check to see if the book they want is in their local public library. Or, equipped with their Reading Wish Lists, they can visit the public library, and librarians are always delighted to help young readers fulfill their wish lists in the library!
The Reading Wish Lists empower children as readers. Children are twice as likely to read the books that they choose themselves; indeed, book choice and book ownership are the catalysts for developing a lifelong reading habit that offers immeasurable benefits in school, work, and life.
Brian Cambourne is presently a Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He began teaching in 1956 at the age of 19 and spent nine years teaching in a mix of one-room schools and primary classrooms K–6 for the New South Wales Department of Education.
In his tenth year of service for this department he entered the groves of Academe as a teacher educator at Wagga Wagga Teachers’ College. He completed his Ph.D. at James Cook University in North Queensland, and was subsequently a Fullbright Scholar and a Post Doctoral Fellow at Harvard. He has also been a Visiting Fellow at the Universities of Illinois and Arizona. Since completing his doctoral studies (1972), Brian has been researching how learning, especially literacy learning, occurs. He has conducted this research in the naturalistic mode he prefers by sitting and observing in classrooms for many hundreds of hours. His latest book Made for Learning: How the Conditions of Learning Guide Teaching Decisions, co-authored with Debra Crouch, captures Brian’s 60 years of research and theory building.
In her landmark book, Cultivating Genius, Gholdy Muhammad challenges us to reconsider the heart of teaching: “It is our job as educators to not just teach the skills, but also, to teach students to know, validate, and celebrate who they are (2020).”
At the core of every reader is a sense of self-identity that encompasses the reader’s sociocultural background, language, values, perspectives, and developing knowledge of the world. Having the agency to choose your own books and craft a reading life that aligns with your identity is equity in action. Literacy as a civil right begins with defining yourself as a reader and choosing the books that will help you shape and expand your identity. As Julia Lopez-Robertson remarks, “All children deserve and have the right to see books representing their language, culture, traditions, and worlds in which they live” (2021).
Dr. Richardson and her expert team of literacy consultants provide schools and school districts with customized professional development and demonstration lessons designed to equip teachers with practical and effective techniques for strengthening small-group reading instruction. The goal is for every student to become a better reader who just can’t wait to read another book!
This follow-up reading’s focus is about deepening meaning of the book. Debra again models her thinking and invites students to turn-and-talk several times during their second reading of Which Pet is Best?
Students join in reading the text aloud with the teacher as they choose.
Debra uses a pointer to track the print by moving fluidly under the text, as all students in the class have one-to-one match established.
Debra Crouch works nationally as an independent literacy consultant, collaborating with districts and schools in designing professional learning opportunities. Her work empowers teachers, principals, and coaches to envision instructional decisions that matter for children—decisions about processes for learning that unfold over time, across texts and among practices. She actively shares her thinking and practices through long-term professional learning opportunities with districts across the country serving children from diverse backgrounds, languages, and socioeconomic needs.
Mr. Vosa from The Primary School reads The Little Red Hen by authors Brenda Parkes and Judith Smith and illustrated by Mary Davy. William, better known by his middle name, Vosa, was raised in Redwood City, and is an educator specializing in Early Childhood with an added passion for working with high school and university populations. In his nine years of teaching and leading, Vosa has enjoyed working with students in achieving their potential and creating a safe and trusting atmosphere. Vosa strives to build a life-long love for learning and to build a team of committed educators determined to create a sense of leadership and a strong community.
Dr. Tonya Leslie believes that education must engage cultural consciousness not solely content if the future of our society is to reflect the best of who we are. She specializes in using children’s books to open dialogue around challenging topics.
Judy Koch passionately believes in the power of children’s literature to spark lifelong reading habits and change lives —particularly for children in poverty. As a retired CEO, she’s in a position to do something about it. Koch’s Bring Me a Book Foundation, a nonprofit the Leland Manor resident founded nearly 25 years ago, has placed hundreds of thousands of books — in English and Spanish — in low-income preschool and elementary classrooms throughout the Bay Area. The foundation also has given tens of thousands of books directly to children to take home — along with child-sized “book cubbies” — to start their own personal libraries.
Palo Alto, CA, – March 25, 2021 – A beautiful spring day created the backdrop for children at The Primary School of East Palo Alto to jump start their reading careers by creating their own personal book cubbyholes. Each child chose two new books to fill their “cubbies” and begin their book collection.
Organized to support access of books to under-resourced children, more than 100 three- to eight-year-old children and their families participated in this socially distanced activity, organized by three local Rotary Clubs: Palo Alto University, Palo Alto, and East Palo Alto Bayshore.
Carol Rhoads, a Santa Clara County juvenile justice commissioner, reached out to Judy Crates, director of LACF’s E3 Youth Philanthropy program. E3 offers local high school students the opportunity to learn about philanthropy and gain hands-on leadership experience in grantmaking and service to nonprofit organizations.
Rhoads explained that the holiday season would be bleak for 75 teens in custody at Santa Clara Juvenile Hall and James Ranch, because the annual Santa Visits gift program was no longer available. With additional complications due to the pandemic, it looked like there would be little joy for the incarcerated teens over the holiday.