As summer ends, we all begin to think about preparing our children for the school year to come – new backpacks, sneakers, pencils, and notebooks. You have double and triple-checked the list that you received in July – outlining everything that your child will need in the year to come, but you stop to wonder if there is anything else that you could be doing to set your child up for success.
Like countless other children, my son recently saw the acclaimed new Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out. And like countless other parents, I quietly wept through just about the entire movie. Among the many striking moments, characters, and messages in the film was one specific creature who got me thinking – Bing Bong, the since-forgotten imaginary friend to the movie’s protagonist.
At CLiF, much of our work occurs behind the scenes. We spend many hours scheduling events, organizing logistics, communicating with coordinators who are on the ground in various communities throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. While we love what we do, nothing compares to hanging up the phone, logging off our email, and stepping out from behind our desks to get face-to-face with the communities, families, and children we serve.
You may witness a multitude of emotions within any given day – unfettered giggles rising from deep in his belly, tender moments of quiet affection, loud protests of untamable anger, and tears of heartbreaking sadness.
Sure, all toddlers carry a strain of drama queen.
Lots of news over the past two weeks! Here’s the roundup:
It’s snowing in Waterbury Center! Here in the CLiF office, we’re thinking about warm beverages.
More importantly, we’re working with the communities we serve to ensure children participating in CLiF programs have new books in time for the holidays.
This is what $25 brings a low-income, at-risk, or rural New Hampshire or Vermont child:
- A professional, inspiring literacy presentation such as an author/illustrator visit, writing workshop, or storytelling
- Two brand-new, high quality books of his or her choice to keep
This holiday season, CLiF hopes to inspire our friends with our 50/25 drive.
There’s an acorn banging around in the dryer. Of course there is. That makes perfect sense.
It goes along with the rest of it: the gobs and gobs of “art” stuck with magnets to the fridge, the Lego guy in my shoe, the missing checks and stamps that someone (and I know who!) used to play mailman.
Above: CLiF Executive Director Duncan McDougall, left, and board member Dan Lynch, right, at the Summer Readers event held in memory of Richard Lynch in 2013. The photograph Dan holds is a picture of himself with his father.
As CLiF’s Office Manager, I have the responsibility and privilege of processing the generous donations that come through our door.
48 different children’s summer programs across Vermont and New Hampshire. 3,300 kids.
Two free books per child.
That’s a lot of books. No wonder the CLiFmobile just needed its shocks replaced.
Rec program at the Barre Municipal Pool in Barre, VT
From June through August, CLiF’s Summer Readers program visits lunch programs, low-income summer camps, and summer schools to combat “summer slide” — the attrition of literacy skills outside the structure of school to which low-income and at-risk children are especially susceptible.
I could start by telling you about the beautiful view of Lake Champlain from our corner table. I could then tell you about the endless performances, exhibits, and activities for kids taking place all day.
I could tell you about the throngs of children – of all ages – gathered around our table eagerly awaiting a turn with the magnetic poetry…or about the looks on their faces when they won prizes – like new books (everyone who participated won a prize).