The visiting room in the New Hampshire State Prison for Men (NHSPM) can be an intimidating place. The walls are cement. Metal doors close with a heart-stopping clang. Tables and chairs are bolted to the floor. Guards are scattered around the room, radios squawking.
Updates from CLiF’s literacy programs, office news, trends in children’s literacy. Authors rotate among CLiF staff: Duncan, Suzanne, Julia, Gretchen, and Katie.
Eden Central School was one of ten elementary schools in Vermont and New Hampshire selected for this year’s CLiF Year of the Book grant. The grant provides $25,000 in exciting literacy programming, family events, new books for the school and local public library, as well as TEN new books for each student to choose.
Authors, Illustrators, and Storytellers, Oh My!
What do these things have in common? Well, they are all an integral part of the CLiF Year of the Book grant. Boscawen Elementary School in Boscawen, NH was one of ten schools across NH & VT that won this grant worth $25,000 for the 2018-19 school year.
Bristol, NH students squealed with delight as storyteller Duncan McDougall recounted the classic story of Sylvester and the Magic Pebble. Duncan jumped around and used funny voices to bring the beloved story to life. This was the first of many visits from CLiF’s 64 talented authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers that Bristol Elementary School will get this year as part of their Year of the Book grant.
Last week, JFK Elementary School English Language Learners spent a beautiful fall day at the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, VT, listening to stories, making bean pies, and learning about African American art and culture. This special field trip was a memorable experience for these kids, who come from all over the world and are part of the Winooski elementary school’s Newcomers program.
As schools, libraries, afterschool programs, and preschools ramp up for fall, we wanted to share some low-cost literacy program ideas that CLiF partners generated last year. Many of our grants now include an additional program component. The ideas listed here came from these CLiF opportunities:
- Last winter, CLiF added a $500 Revive grant to any organization who had received a CLiF grant within the last 5 years
- $250 program grant that is part of the larger Rural Libraries grant
- $400 mini grant for teachers that is part of Year of the Book
Many of the grants supported book purchases and author visits – so exciting for kids and parents.
In March, I traveled to Nicaragua with one of Planting Hope‘s multigenerational trips. Over the past eighteen years, this small NGO has been using volunteers to help bolster the schools and libraries in and around San Ramon. Our group of about 20 people, ranging in age from 9 to 79-ish, visited a different school or library each morning and afternoon and conducted lessons in STEM, art, literacy, and sports, based on volunteer expertise and school need.
On Sunday May 20, about 100 librarians, teachers, authors, educators gathered at Burlington High School for Vermont’s first nErDcampVT. The name says it all, and as attendees and organizers acknowledged, only true book nerds would give up a Sunday in May to talk about books, reading, and how to make more kids love both!
Annually, CLiF invites past, present, and recently-accepted Year of the Book partners to attend the CLiF Community Literacy Conference. The main goal of the conference is to connect teachers, librarians, and administrators with ideas for making their Year of the Book fun and for continuing the momentum the grant generates.