If your social media feeds look anything like mine, #backtoschool has been a consistent theme for the past few weeks, as children everywhere dutifully pose for first-day photos for their proud parents to post. The most organized parents always seem to have cute props ready to go, such as small blackboards for their child to hold, stating their grade and teacher’s name in elaborate calligraphy. Slightly less prepared parents might have their child holding a handwritten sign, perhaps a piece of construction paper with the relevant information scrawled across it in magic marker. And then there’s my own level of preparation–if both my kids are in the photo, looking in the general direction of the camera, and not actively hitting each other, I consider it a winning “first day of school” capture.

At the Children’s Literacy Foundation, back-to-school season is always a busy, but exciting, time. Comparisons could be drawn to all three types of parents described above–we are well-prepared, adept at improvising when needed, and most importantly, we get the job done!

If you live in Vermont, you may have caught members of the CLiF team on your TV or radio last week when we partnered with Vermont Public during their fall membership drive. For every pledge to the drive, an anonymous (and generous!) donor gifted a brand-new children’s book to CLiF. All told, the drive brought in over 1,100 new books, which will soon be in the hands of the children we serve!

We have also recently had the pleasure of kicking off the 2022-2023 CLiF Year of the Book program with an ongoing series of in-person events at our partner schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. (You can read more about our kickoff events in Enfield and Canaan, NH via the Valley News.) Each Year of the Book school will receive $25,000 of new books, literacy activities and presenter visits over the course of the school year. We are thrilled to be back in schools sharing books and stories with children!

Coming up on Oct. 8, CLiF board member Zach Haggerty will be hosting his annual fun run in support of CLiF in Stowe, VT. We will have more details shortly, but the good news is, this year, you don’t have to run in person, or even at all, to contribute to Zach’s fundraising efforts! That said, we hope to get as many folks as we can out running with us in Stowe, on what is guaranteed to be a beautiful fall Saturday. (Crosses fingers, knocks on wood…) Please email Sarah Hall (aka me) for additional information.

As many of you may know, this fall will be CLiF’s last working out of Executive Director Duncan McDougall’s garage, where we’ve been headquartered since 1998. Construction on our new headquarters is well underway in Waterbury Center, with completion anticipated next spring. A somewhat belated groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 20) at the site; please email Sarah Hall (me again) if you’re interested in attending.

Finally, if you want to learn which of our presenters has made multiple children pee their pants laughing during CLiF presentations, plus many additional fun facts about several of our presenters, please click here.

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CLiF has served over 350,000 children since 1998.

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