October 14, 2020

Dear Raising A Reader Family,

We have much to share with you in this month’s edition of the Bookmark. On Friday, October 9, RAR Massachusetts shared the first of our Virtual Family Workshop presentations at our Town Hall meeting. Read more about it and see a preview of upcoming Town Hall topics.

Also in the newsletter, learn how Affiliates and RAR National use storytimes and read alouds to “supercharge” book sharing. See our Business Behind the Books section to discover new ways to sustain or expand your RAR program using funding sources that may still be available to your organization. In Research Roundup, we introduce you to a podcast that supports Spanish speaking families of school-age children. For these topics and more, including a review of an RAR Classic, The Day the Crayons Quit, view the October Bookmark.

Happy Book Sharing,

Your RAR National team

Network News

Virtual Family Workshops are Here!

In today’s diverse learning environments (e.g. in-person, distance learning and hybrid learning models), family engagement is more important now than ever. To support you with engaging families through virtual programming and workshops, Raising A Reader is excited to share our Virtual Family Workshop Series with you. Developed for Raising A Reader and the Affiliate network by our friends at Raising A Reader Massachusetts, these workshops are offered in English and Spanish and are designed for a meaningful, interactive experience. To view the workshops, visit the Online Affiliate Network here.

Town Hall Preview

Since March, we have held weekly Town Hall meetings as a way to connect, network and learn.   In the coming weeks we are excited to share with you the following topics:

  • Friday, October 16: Supporting and Engaging Immigrant and Refugee Families
  • Friday, October 23: Best Practices from the Field
  • Friday, October 30: Fundraising and Grant Writing 101

To submit your best practice or idea, email us at rarinquiry@raisingareader.org.   To register for an upcoming Town Hall, click here.

Promising Practices

Storytimes & Fabulous Fall

Virtual Storytimes have become very useful during this time.    In April, Tonia Burton with The Monroe County Library System joined us and shared that several libraries were providing online Storytimes. She also shared several websites for daily ideas to keep learning fun for young children and  families;  Day by Day,  Ready to Read at New York Libraries,  Starfall,  Storynory, and  Storyline Online. Tonia also provided a  Super Charged Storytime literacy training for RAR Affiliates.  The training included information on how to intentionally apply research-based practices to boost early literacy in young children attending library Storytime. If you missed this training with Tonia, sign up for the free course, Supercharged Storytimes Self-Paced Course,  provided by  WebJunction.    

Virtual Storytimes & recorded Read Alouds are an integral part of Raising A Readers  new  Fabulous Fall Family Packs. We have launched this new collection, available to Affiliates and non-Affiliates, containing books and resources that families get to keep.  To learn more about the Fabulous Fall Family Packs click here or email us at  rarinquiry@raisingareader.org. Raising A Reader National’s Assistant VP,  Rebecca Armstrong, shared a wonderful example of a recorded Read Aloud using tips from the Fabulous Fall Implementer Guide. If you missed it, you can check it out here. You can also get a  sneak peek  of the Fabulous Fall Family Shared Reading Guide.

Business Behind The Books

Funding to Sustain or Expand

From Baltimore to San Francisco, through home visiting programs and food pick-up locations, to daycares serving 15 learners, to school districts serving thousands, our Affiliates have continued to support their families through unique and innovative Raising A Reader programming. For some, they have continued their programming through the purchase of our discounted replacement sets or plastic bags. Others have expanded to new classrooms, and many have expressed interest in our Fabulous Fall Family Packs, an innovative way to support family literacy habits, foster the connection with your families and empower Implementers and teachers to connect virtually with families and the community.

Interested in sustaining or expanding your program but unsure how to fund?  The following list highlights funds that may help you sustain or expand your programming.  

  1. Federal Striving Readers Dollars (11 states awarded, including  Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma)
  2. Title 1 Funds  
  3. Fraternal Organizations: Masons, Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Lions Clubs, Rotary, etc.
  4. CARES Act for the  Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.  
  5. Learning Loss Mitigation Fund (California):  https://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/cr/learningloss.asp

If you need a quote or need additional information to share with your team or administration, do not hesitate to reach out to Mikaela Houghton at mhoughton@raisingareader.org.  

Research Roundup

Spanish-Speaking Students Need Support. A New Podcast May Help
By Corey Mitchell
Education Week Learning the Language Blog
August 31, 2020

Photo Credit: Education Week

Geri Chaffee’s first live radio appearance came as a surprise.

In Florida, where Chaffee lives, Spanish-speaking families had questions. But many of them had trouble finding answers because they did not speak or read English, lacked internet access or devices, or felt uncomfortable approaching school leaders to ask for help.

Concerned about the challenges that families faced in adjusting to distance learning…Solmart Media, a company that owns Spanish-language radio stations in Florida, sought out Chaffee for advice…Chaffee figured she was up to the task. With a master’s degree in educational leadership, the native Spanish speaker had home-schooled her bilingual, biliterate children with learning differences. She is also the founder of Dreamers Academy, a planned dual-language charter school in Sarasota, Florida.

During the interview, Chaffee recalled rattling off a series of tips to help families adjust to distance learning. Unbeknownst to her, the conversation was broadcast live to listeners across a 10-county area in the state. In the days after it aired, school administrators called her up or reached out on social media, asking for advice on parent engagement…

That conversation spawned Por Nuestros Niños, a new [30-minute weekly] Spanish-language radio show and podcast that aims to help families in Florida and across the nation navigate an uncertain fall after a tumultuous spring of distance learning.  It features interviews with educators and leading English-language-learner researchers who share tips and insights on how parents can support their children.

Chaffee spoke with Education Week about Por Nuestros Niños, which translates to ‘For Our Children’ in English. Follow the conversation  here.

Listen to the podcast (in Spanish) here.

From the RAR Bookshelf

In honor of World Teachers Day, celebrated October 5, we highlight another classroom themed story titled The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. This hilarious story focuses on the grievances expressed by different crayon colors in letters written to an unsuspecting student. Duncan’s crayons revolt after feeling they have either been overworked or overlooked. Do you know a child who has a favorite color they have worn down to a nub or a crayon that never gets a chance to shine? Parents and teachers can keep the fun going with a crayon box full of extension activities such as this drawing page uploaded to Pinterest by mother of two, and first grade teacher, Carrie Trantalis. By the way, we applaud educators like Duncan’s teacher who recognize and celebrate the efforts of little learners!

Click here to watch a comical read aloud from Books Alive! or view it in Spanish from Vamos a la Biblio here. The Day the Crayons Quit is included in our Kinder English Classics Refresher Set.

Fabulous Fall
Town Hall

Join us for Raising A Reader’s Fabulous Fall Town Halls every Friday. Click here to register.

Partner Resources: PD and E-Learning

Campaign  for Grade Level Reading
Learning Tuesdays continue each Tuesday through October
Register here |   3 PM ET

EmbraceRace.org Webinar:
 Using Books to Engage Young Children in Talk about Race & Justice
Oct 22, 2020 |   08:30 PM ET
Register here

Featured Resources