Monday, September 29, 2008

Lubec Consolidated School No Longer Has a Librarian

Our Maine School Book Project, which is generously funded by the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation, has begun shipping books for the new school year. The Project aids rural Maine schools which have been hit particularly hard with the economic downturn. Here is the first letter we have received from the “easternmost town in the U.S.”

Dear Mr. Mazor:

Lubec Consolidated School students and teachers are very appreciative of the books you have sent us through Reader To Reader’s Maine School Book Project. I spoke to a project representative just last week, and was very pleased to receive the latest box of books so quickly. Our budget allowance for new books is very limited, and the excellent assortment of titles will appeal to a wide variety of student interests.

Due to school subsidy cuts, Lubec Consolidated School no longer has a librarian, although the students and teachers do still use the resources of the school library. A volunteer has been keeping books in order, and the addition of new titles is very welcome.

Thank you for your support of our school.

Margaret D. Bailey
Lubec Consolidated School
Lubec, Maine

Friday, September 19, 2008

400 Dictionaries, 400 Smiles!

On our recent trip to the Navajo reservation we learned of an urgent need for dictionaries.

Navajo Pine High School and Middle School were in desperate need of dictionaries. There were only a handful of dictionaries in both schools. We immediately went to work trying to solve this problem and fortunately we were able to deliver over 400 paperback dictionaries so every student would have one of their own.

The dictionaries came through the generous donation of the Rotary Club of Amherst.

Rotary clubs are big supporters of literacy and donate thousands of dictionaries to projects worldwide. The Rotary Club of Amherst responded to our call for dictionaries without a moment’s hesitation and we owe a special thanks to the Rotary Club and Leslie Smith for making this great resource available.

Here is a note from Navajo Pine:

“Well, I can't thank you enough! 8 boxes of 24 where just delivered to my classroom! You and your group are outstanding. Thank you again. The students will benefit tremendously. They will also be sending the thank you notes along soon.

Thank you again."

Linda L. Brown
Language Arts Teacher
Navajo Middle School
Navajo, NM

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Corinna Lopez Joins Reader To Reader Staff

Bowdoin graduate Corinna Lopez will be spending her first year after college as our newest staff member. Corinna will be the Assistant to the Executive Director, helping coordinate next month’s trip to Amherst by Navajo Pine High School students, and lending a much needed hand to a host of other projects.

Corinna has a special history with Reader To Reader. When our organization was in its infancy, Corinna was our first community volunteer. She came dutifully every day after high school to help sort and pack books. We are so pleased to welcome her to our paid staff. We hope she has a great year and know we will with her on board.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Entire Kiley Staff Appreciates Your Gift

Dear David,

Thank you so much for your extremely generous donation of all the books. They are absolutely beautiful! We have distributed most of them to classroom libraries and kept a couple of each title for our school library.

The entire Kiley staff appreciates your gift.

Thanks again!

Martha Cahillane
Assistant Principal
Marcus Kiley Middle School
Springfield, MA

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goodbye to New Mexico

The Navajo Mentoring Program team poses for a group photo after riding the world’s longest aerial tram to the top of Sandia Peak in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The observation deck sits at an altitude of 10,378 feet, offering our group a chance to look out at the 11,000 square-mile panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to gaze out and think about all we had done on our trip.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When in Gallup Eat at Jerry’s

On our drive back from the Navajo Reservation, the Navajo Mentoring Program team stopped for lunch at Jerry’s Café in Gallup, New Mexico. The food was terrific! The service warm and friendly. A small mom and pop-sized restaurant, Jerry’s Café is the kind of charming, unadorned eatery that draws crowds of locals who not only eat Jerry's outstanding Mexican food on-site, but line up to pick up big boxes of take-out food.

Our entire trip was a learning experience and at Jerry’s we learned about the Sopapilla.

Sopapillas are a fried dough that is a New Mexican specialty. We ate them stuffed with beans and chicken and smothered in a smoky red sauce and a tasty tomatillo green sauce until we were stuffed. Really stuffed.

When in Gallup, eat at Jerry’s!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dazzled By Dancers and Drummers

At the community dinner held in honor of the Navajo Mentoring Program, we were honored to see a dazzling performance of Navajo dancers of all ages. The dancers are some of the finest in the world and have performed all over the world, including performances in France and Amsterdam.

A week after the community dinner, the dancers competed at the annual Navajo Nation Fair. The fair draws over 100,000 people and is the largest inter-tribal powwow in North America. Many of the dancers we saw placed first in their respective categories in the dance competition.

Navajo Pine High ’s GATE program teacher, Richard Donahay, finished our evening with an amazing dance and only a few days later was voted the top dancer over all at the Navajo Nation Fair.

It was a tremendous honor to see the dance demonstration, to hear the drumming and to learn about Navajo dances and songs, and to be welcomed so warmly by the community.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rooting for the Home Team

After school the Navajo Mentoring team rooted for the Navajo Pine High School girls' volleyball team. Some of the team members are a part of the Navajo Mentoring Program and we wanted to help cheer them to victory.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Table Full of Thank Yous

We received lots of wonderful thank yous from our recent visit to St. Michael Indian School in St. Michael, Arizona. The children selected books to read from the boxes of books we donated and we want to share with you some of their charming cards.

Dear Mr. Mazor,

Thank you for the box of books! We hope you’re happy. My name is Mykaela. I chose Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman. It is a very good book I read it and it is a very nice, interesting story. My friend Julianna wanted it when I showed it to her. I hope you are happy? Thank you again and have a great year. Goodbye Mr. Mazor and thank you!


Dear Mr. Mazor,

The first thing I wanted to say is thank you for the boxes of books. The book I chose is Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life. I am in the Fifth grade and my teacher’s name is Ms. King. I go to school at St Michael’s Indian School. And no the nuns don’t wear habits, ha ha! We have to wear polos and khakis. Well now I’ll go so bye!

p.s. to pronounce my name (Dee-an-dree-elle)



Dear Mr. Mazor,

Thank you for the box of books. I really like the book that I got it is very interesting. Its about a girl who forgot it was picture day and she was going to wear a good outfit but her parents make her wear a bad outfit and her day gets even worse. I have more to tell you. But I don’t have enough room on this paper the author is Jasmine Jones.

Thank you.



Dear Mr. Mazor,

Thank you for the box of books. I’m in the 5th grade. I’ve decided to read Star Wars: The Followers. The author is Jude Watson and I am a huge fan of Star Wars.

Thank you.


p.s. May the Force be with you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Carla Clauschee Honored as Librarian of the Year

Navajo Pine High School librarian Carla Clauschee accepted her award last week as Reader To Reader’s Librarian of the Year for 2008.

The award was presented at a community dinner of parents and teachers that was held at Navajo Pine during the Navajo Mentoring Program team’s recent visit.

Ms. Clauschee was chosen from the over 400 librarians that participate in the Reader To Reader program for her outstanding service to the students of Navajo Pine High School in Navajo, New Mexico.

Ms. Clauschee has worked closely with Reader To Reader to build outstanding collections of Japanese manga, Native-American Literature, and poetry at her school library. In all, Reader To Reader has donated over 7,000 books for her general collection and Ms. Clauschee’s guidance and hard work has made her school library a model for her district.

In the fall of 2007, Reader To Reader launched the Navajo Mentoring Program which links Navajo high school students with Amherst College students for online book discussions. Ms. Clauschee played a key role in the development and implementation of the program.

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to MS. Clauschee and are pleased to recognize her with this award.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Reading to Kids at St. Michael

On our recent trip to the Navajo reservation, Allen Macleod of the Navajo Mentoring Program team spent part of his time at St. Michael Indian School in St. Michael, Arizona.

Allen spent two long days reading books to the children in grades K-6. He went from classroom to classroom reading the books of their choosing. It was a wonderful time for all as Allen’s passion, in addition to being a stellar high school student, is voice-over acting, so he can really bring a book to life.

Allen was originally scheduled to spend one day with the St. Michael students but the students begged him to come back a second day and he enthusiastically agreed.

Founded in 1902, “St. Michael Indian School provides students from local Native American communities with a quality education that is rooted in Catholic values, is sensitive to Native heritage, teaches leadership skills, and enables students to contribute in a culturally diverse world.”

While the primary focus of Reader To Reader is on public education, we are always willing to help schools in disadvantaged communities that are working to meet critical needs. St. Michael Indian School is such a place.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learning About College

Amherst College Professor Marisa Parham conducted a workshop at Navajo Pine High School, Navajo, New Mexico, on how to choose the right college for you and how to pay for it. The three day workshop was part of the Navajo Mentoring Program.

The workshop took place in the school library; a wonderful place to gather everyone together.