Q. What do you get when you bring 150 educators, librarians, and principals together for a day jam-packed with literacy?
A. Inspiration, excitement for learning, and a whole lot of creative ideas!
Yesterday, elementary educators from all over New Hampshire and Vermont joined us at the scenic Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, VT for our 7th annual Community Literacy Conference.
CLiF’s 64 talented and accomplished presenters are a big part of what makes CLiF special. We send these amazing VT and NH authors, illustrators, poets, graphic novelists, and storytellers to places where low-income, at-risk, and rural kids spend time in VT and NH.
One of the things that makes CLiF programs unique is our amazing line-up of 64 authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers who visit low-income, at-risk, and rural kids in schools, libraries, after school programs, childcare centers, immigrant/refugee programs, shelters and affordable housing developments, summer camps, and other places where kids spend time.
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.
For the past 20 years, Duncan McDougall has successfully been raising funds (while telling stories to LOTS of kids) to support CLiF’s continued growth. We asked him to share his technique for fundraising and grant writing with our Year of the Book teachers at a past Community Literacy Conference.
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.
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.
How will you spend April 19, 2018? Maybe you will celebrate National Bicycle Day (we wish we could!), National D.A.R.E Day, or National Garlic Day. At CLiF, we will celebrate a big day of bringing kids together with books, community, authors/illustrators/storytellers, and having fun in school, the library, or at another favorite out-of-school-time place.
We’re a little more than halfway through the school year, and, for ten schools in Vermont and New Hampshire this year, the CLiF Year of the Book, which promotes a celebration of reading and writing all year long. As we welcome National Reading Month, which kicks off with Read Across America Day on March 2nd (beloved children’s author Dr.