By Caroline Jones, CLiF’s Summer Intern
I know what you’re thinking: “Who is that budding reader and aspiring politician in the blue dress in the front row? Why is she in this group of small children holding books with pre-scream Governor Dean in this painfully ‘90’s photo?”
Fear not, faithful readers.
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.
What do skiing, books, and microcontrollers all have in common?
The CLiF Community Literacy Conference, of course!
In all honesty, the skiing was only a background as attendees sat slopeside in the conference room at The Mountain Club on Loon. While the spring skiers glided past the window, teachers, principals, librarians, and other eager past, present, and future participants in the CLiF Year of the Book (YOB) grant shared ideas on how to make CLiF programming efficient, effective, and sustainable.
Everyone at CLiF was saddened to learn that longtime CLiF Advisor Mary Jane (MJ) Manahan passed away earlier this month at 61.
MJ was a founding member of the CLiF Board of Advisors and served from 1998 to 2008. The Advisors serve as CLiF’s programming ‘brain trust’, and MJ brought a wealth of library and bookmobile experience to that role.
I’ll be honest – I burst into tears.
At first I didn’t believe it. Emmett’s friend (who is nine) had been sitting with him looking at a book when she alerted me: Emmett can read. I said, “What?! Really? Are you sure?”
“Watch,” was her response.
What better way to spend a cold winter Saturday afternoon than reading?
This Saturday, January 24 is the first National Readathon Day. A project of the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, Mashable, and Penguin Random House, National Readathon Day aims to raise awareness about the millions of Americans who struggle with low literacy skills.
At the last Scholastic Book Fair, my daughter coveted a hot pink cat diary. She bought it with her own money.
She amazes me by diligently filling in her schedule on the calendar and filling in her “contacts” in the address book.
Sarah Stewart Taylor, a CLiF presenter and author, interviewed CLiF’s founder and executive director Duncan McDougall for a recent parenting piece. Sarah summarizes the aspects of reading supported by our programs – relaxing and enjoying the moment, modeling by reading yourself, repeating books, and letting kids choose.
Countless studies analyze to what extent kids take their cues on how to react and how to behave from their parents. A devotee of the PBSKids show Wild Kratts, my six-year-old has absorbed an astonishing amount of animal facts.
When she calmly and with interest told me there was a snake on the swimming ladder, I should have taken a cue from her to remain calm.
Happy July 4th! This holiday inspires me to read books about American history: presidents, symbols, battles, trivia, monuments, houses – there are some great stories!
Tomorrow we’ll wrap up a day of parades, candy, fireworks, barbecues, and swimming with two of my daughter’s favorite books: Looking At Lincoln and So You Want to Be President.