CLiF staff and presenters are saddened that COVID-19 means we can not visit schools, libraries, and out-of-school-time programs to complete our exciting grants. Instead, we offer your students the chance to interact live with our presenters from home. For five weeks starting May 5, each Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. EST, we will have an opportunity … Continued
This is a tough time for us all, and many parents are struggling with what to do with their energetic kids when they’re home from school. It’s kind of like summer without all the activities to keep them entertained. We’ve got some great ideas to keep their minds engaged, stretch their imaginations, and sharpen those … Continued
The process of writing begins before you actually put pen to paper (or words on a screen). Many people find “pre-writing” helpful, notes or an outline to help guide their writing. Some prefer to just jump in and start writing and see what happens. There’s no “right” way to go about writing. Some kids are … Continued
Enosburg Falls Elementary School in Enosburg Falls, VT has had a busy school year so far. In September, they kicked off their CLiF Year of the Book with storytelling by Duncan McDougall, their first book giveaway where kids chose new books for themselves, and a family literacy event featuring author David Martin and two more … Continued
When you want your child to learn something new, the most important thing is to show him that the learning process will be interesting and engaging. Forcing your child to write and driving him into a rigid framework can result in a lack of interest/engagement in writing. For a preschool child, these are all abstractions … Continued
As a writer, I fail. A lot. Since January, I’ve submitted 116 times and gotten 69 rejections. But I’ve also gotten five acceptances, including winning Noir Nation’s Golden Fedora fiction prize, told extremely personal and difficult stories in HuffPost and OC87 Recovery Diaries, and got an Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train. In short, I’m doing … Continued
Getting your kid tucked into bed without any fuss can be an uphill battle some nights, and getting them to stay asleep can be even more of a struggle. If you want to make bedtime run a little smoother, try incorporating a nighttime routine into your regular evening schedule to help your child wind down … Continued
According to studies, children who work out are more likely to do well in their studies. Read on to learn how exercise can benefit your child, both physically and mentally, and how you can encourage your child to exercise. Boost Your Child’s Concentration with Exercise At school, every day, kids are dealing with a number … Continued
Front Porch Forum doesn’t just help you find your lost dog or that bunk bed you desperately need for your kids. In my case, it found me a summer internship.
One of our popular presenters is author/illustrator Marty Kelley, who has written or illustrated books such as Almost Everybody Farts, Summer Stinks, and A Cape! We asked him what inspires his work.
The question is not really what is writing, but what is good writing.
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.
Photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels On a given day, a child may endure an argument with a friend, a disapproving remark from a teacher, a bad grade, or any other number of discouraging experiences. As a parent, you want your child to move past these experiences, learn from them, and maintain a positive outlook. … Continued
We asked kids 12 & under in New Hampshire and Vermont to reimagine their favorite fairy tales in keeping with the Collaborative Summer Learning Program’s 2020 theme: “Imagine Your Story.” We were impressed by all of the creative “fractured fairy tales” we received! Stories included “Humpty Mumpty,” who puts the king’s men together again, the … Continued
People often tend to keep the status quo even if there are proven ways to improve their skills or knowledge. Literacy is definitely one area many individuals can work on, particularly if you know that it represents a fundamental asset in the 21st century. Despite the steady rise in literacy rates over the past 50 … Continued
As a parent, you already know how important reading is to children. Studies have shown that the attitude of a child towards reading and learning is the strongest indicator of how well he or she will do in school, regardless of their economic or social background. Studies have also shown that children who read for … Continued
It’s never been more important for all kids to have access to books. Kids who are not reading this summer could lose valuable literacy skills. With many schools, summer programs, and libraries closed or virtual, many children (especially low-income children) don’t have access to reading materials. They are at risk of falling behind in literacy, … Continued
Right now, it feels difficult to even try to plan beyond the end of the week, but ahead lies 10 weeks of summer. As we as parents, educators, librarians, program leaders, and caregivers try to envision ways to make summer feel like summer for our kids, while processing COVID-19 and effects of systemic racism, CLiF … Continued
What if the witch’s house in Hansel and Gretel was made of vegetables instead of candy? What if the Big Bad Wolf wasn’t so bad? What if your favorite fairy tales were different? Reimagine classic stories for CLiF’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” writing contest for kids! This summer’s Collaborative Summer Library Program’s theme is Imagine Your … Continued
CLiF’s Year of the Book program is designed to increase enthusiasm for reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural kids, improve schools’ literacy efforts, increase family engagement in reading and writing, and create a community-wide culture of literacy. Each year, we award the grant to five elementary schools in New Hampshire and five schools … Continued
With many schools shut for the foreseeable future, children are now spending more time than ever at home. This can be challenging for parents who are unequipped for such an unusual task. Luckily, we have some tips and suggestions for keeping you and you child going. Start A New Project Starting a new project with … Continued
CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to Matt Forrest Esenwine of Warner, NH. Matt has three new books (WOW!) coming out in 2020. CLiF created the outline below to help students of all ages think about his poems and poetry. Matt writes stories in verse and poems. Can you think of some books written to … Continued
CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to John and Jennifer Churchman of Moonrise Farm in Essex, VT, where they live with the now-famous Sweet Pea and Friends. CLiF created the outline below to help students of all ages think about the kind of books the Churchmans create. The Churchmans are busy people with … Continued
CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to Christy Mihaly of Calais, VT. Christy writes fiction and nonfiction, plus poems and articles, for all ages. CLiF created the outline below to help students of all ages think about the kind of books Christy writes. CLiF is focusing on these three books out of the more than … Continued
CLiF would like to introduce or re-introduce you to Simon Brooks of New London, NH, originally from England. Simon has shared his stories with LOTS of children in Vermont and New Hampshire through CLiF. CLiF is offering a unique opportunity to join Simon for storytelling and questions and answers via Zoom on May 12. CLiF … Continued
For us book-lovers, books are more than just a pastime; they’re part of us. The books we read in our early years in particular had an impact on our ways of thinking and viewing the world. They taught us what we know, gave us an escape from whatever was happening in our young lives, and … Continued
I watched this YouTube video compiling all the advertisements from the COVID-19 era; I invoke it as I try to think of the best words to describe this time and to start this blog post! As a parent of a tween, working full-time from home, I shift quickly between appreciating togetherness, community, and family, and … Continued
April is #NationalPoetryMonth, and while poetry slams, readings, and school-wide events may be cancelled, you can still celebrate poetry at home! Watch poets/CLiF presenters Rajnii Eddins and Ted Scheu (“That Poetry Guy”) perform their original work. Poetry Out Loud’s national competition has, of course, been cancelled this year, but they still have a fantastic selection … Continued
What better time to practice writing? In addition to being an important skill for self-expression and communication, and essential to success in school and life, writing can be a good way to process what’s happening, record your ideas, reduce stress, and have fun! Make writing a part of your child’s daily routine. You can even … Continued
You and your family are spending more time at home, which begs the all-important question of what to read. Here are some recent award-winning children’s and middle grade books to check out. New Kid by Jerry Craft: This graphic novel about being the new kid and a person of color in a mostly-white private school … Continued