If You’re a Parent and…Sportsmanship v Friendship?

Posted by on May 11, 2017.

I love that my daughter enjoys team sports – from kick ball at recess to organized youth soccer, it gives us tons to discuss. There are all the traditional benefits of team sports – learning to win and lose gracefully, to understand how the individuals work within a team, to interact with coach/another adult, to balance confidence and humility, and to have fun running around and being with other kids.

How to Help Beginning Readers: Tips from a Reading Specialist

Posted by on May 4, 2017.

After children have mastered pre-reading skills, the instructional focus shifts to vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. Most vocabulary is learned indirectly through everyday experiences with both written and oral language. Many children learn new words through read-alouds, but also through conversation.

Shipwrecks, Flying Pigs & Talking Fruit: VT PBS Kids’ Writing Contest

Posted by on April 27, 2017.

What do shipwrecks, flying pigs, and talking fruit have in common? There were all featured in story submissions for the Vermont PBS Kids’ annual Writing Contest, which I had the pleasure of judging last week.

Last Friday, I joined nine other writers, librarians, and members of educational non-profits at Vermont’s PBS headquarters in Colchester to review 106 compelling stories written and illustrated by talented students from all over the state. 

If You’re a Parent and…You Remember “We Are the World”

Posted by on April 13, 2017.

Is there anything funnier than the third grade recorder concert? My daughter’s third grade recorder concert came the day after the CLiF Community Literacy Conference – a full day for our small staff running a conference for 130 Year of the Book teachers, librarians, and school staff.

Be Like a Duck – What’s Happening This Week at CLiF

Posted by on March 23, 2017.

“Be like a duck,” actor Michael Caine once said. “Calm on the surface, but paddling like the dickens underneath.” That sounds a lot like CLiF: our small staff and team of volunteers and presenters always keep smiles on their faces while labelling and packing hundreds of books for giveaways each week, telling stories and giving away thousands of books at more than 500 events each year, and inspiring thousands of children to love reading and writing.

If You’re a Parent and…You Make a Bad Decision

Posted by on March 16, 2017.

As a parent, I am always struggling to keep the “balances” (I make it plural because there are so many!) for myself and for my daughter. For me, this has gotten more complicated in a world where it has again become legitimate to judge people based on their gender, race, or orientation.