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.
It often goes back to reading. Children and teens who read the most tend to become more successful in school than those who do not. They have better developed processing skills, stronger comprehension skills, and a higher level of vocabulary. This knowledge is used in all areas of learning.
CLiF Presenter author/illustrator Jason Chin shares during his presentations his process for creating and revising his picture books (you can watch this video on Jason’s presentation at JFK Elementary in Winooski, VT this summer). He shows kids the various drafts his work has gone through to become his non-fiction picture books.
I think the question I am asked most frequently by individuals, organizations and the media with respect to my children’s book series, Lady Lucy’s Quest, is this: Why would a former college president (and law professor) write children’s stories?
Sometimes the question reveals genuine curiosity, a desire to understand why I write these children’s books and why both writing them for and reading them to children have such meaning for me.
When is it time to start working on reading skills? Right now. Reading begins with vocabulary, oral language, and talk. So talk with your child often. Talk and listen, share family stories, use new words, ask open-ended questions, be patient, and encourage word use.
People are getting more enlightened today with the help of literacy. Without literacy, we wouldn’t be able to shape meaning out of the world. That is why it is so important to continue fighting for the increase of literacy for everyone.
As the father of 4 wonderful kids, I understand how important it is for them to be outside, burning energy and exploring the world around them. Not to mention, it helps keep the house a little more tidy and gives us parents some time to catch up on our favorite show or book or whatever it is that keeps you calm.
Children benefit when their parents take part, so become actively involved in all aspects of your child’s education. Introduce yourself to your child’s teacher early in the school year. An in-person introduction is best. A simple letter, e-mail, or note is second best.