Wednesday, March 28, 2012

40,000 Books for Springfield-Area Schools

It’s spring and time to get lots and lots of books into the hands of children.

Reader to Reader’s annual Spring Book Extravaganza is donating 40,000 books for schools in and around Springfield, Massachusetts.

The books are brand new and are available to any school in Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee and W. Springfield. The books can be used in libraries, classrooms, reading programs, book giveaways, or other programs.

The book donation is made possible by Scholastic, Comcast, Chicopee Savings Bank, and the Xeric Foundation.

The books span a wide range of ages and interests and include these popular titles:

Bridge to Terabithia
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Nate the Great & The Sticky Case
Anthony and the Magic Picture Frame
Arthur’s Teacher Trouble
Best Mistake Ever and Other Stories
Dick & Jane: Away We Go
DK: Animal Families
Learning to Fly
Meet the Robinsons: Journey to the Future (Level 2 Reader)
Disney Fairies: Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand
Family Huddle
Great Joy
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr, Greg & Three Cups of Tea
Bella Sara Ch #1: Bella’s Gift
Honey Paw & Lightfoot
Johnny Lion’s Bad Day
KMC #04 : Second Grade Baby
Princess & The Frog Jr. Novel
English Roses #1: Friends for Life
English Roses #2: Goodbye Grace?
English Roses #3: The New Girl
English Roses: #4 A Rose By Any Other Name
Spiderwick Chronicles: Care and Feeding of Sprites
Spiderwick #2: Seeing Stone
Meet the Robinsons Jr. Novel
Barnyard: Original Party Animals
Among the Free
Book of Time #2: The Gate of Days
Beatrice Letters
Igraine the Brave
Garden of the Purple Dragon
Behind the Curtain
Harriett Tubman: Secret Agent
Headless Cupid
Prophet of Yonwood
Slave Dancer
Summer Ball

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Faces all aglow!

Dear Reader to Reader,

Thank you for the wonderful books! The books are great! We were so surprised at the variety and excellent condition they're in.

Last Friday, the 5th and 6th grade boys got together and labeled all the books with their respective book pockets and cards. The pictures were taken by 6th grade volunteers.

When we passed out the books for the pictures, lots of students immediately expressed their interest in some of the books and wanted to start reading them right away. It was a sight to see -- smiling, wide-eyed children, faces all aglow!

So, once again, thank you.

Best regards,

Nancy SaldaƱa
English Department
Centros Educativos Kipi-kipot
Monterrey, Mexico

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crafting Your Own Book Through the DiscoverBooks Program

Colored pens, fabric, stickers, blank board books, glue, and colored paper are the ingredients that teen mothers attending Central High School in Springfield, MA, and the Care Center in Holyoke, MA, are using to create their own books to read to their children.

The board book making is part of a seven-session family literacy workshop that is Reader to Reader’s new DiscoverBooks program.

Launched this past fall, DiscoverBooks helps children discover the joy of books at the earliest possible age.

The program goes into schools to help teen mothers learn the family literacy essentials necessary for their children to go to kindergarten with well-developed pre-literacy and early literacy skills. It enables young children to explore the world of books and develop essential pre-reading skills.

In addition to receiving book donations, the mothers and children engage in other activities, such as modeling reading behavior, board book making, letter and number games, and parent and child story creation that add a multi-sensory experience to boost their literacy skills development.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring (Cleaning) Arrives

Like the first robin, a sure sign that spring has come is our annual spring cleaning. Trusty volunteer Ann Greene, armed with our mighty Shop Vac, tackled the winter cobwebs, grime and things of unknown origin. God bless her!

Monday, March 5, 2012

WorldRead’s 2nd Annual Global Literacy Week: March 5-10, 2012

Today marks the beginning of a glorious week: a celebration of literacy and reading across the globe!

WorldRead, the collaborative grouping of Reader to Reader’s many student-run international projects,has set up a week full of interesting and engaging events about education issues across the globe.

Tonight, the group presents a screening of “The Lottery,” a brilliant documentary on the public and charter schools of New York City. If you are in the area, come to Stirn Auditorium at Amherst College by 7pm to watch with us!

Tomorrow, there will be an open mike coffee house presented by Beyond el Campo, which has built a public library in a rural coffee-farming village in Costa Rica, and provides opportunities for travel and service to that community for Amherst students. (8pm, Friedmann Room in the Keefe Campus Center, Amherst College)

Wednesday is World Read Aloud Day--make sure you read aloud with your kids, your students, or even to yourself in support of global literacy! We will watch a new documentary called “The Road to Resistance” to learn more about the tense situation in Myanmar, where a newly democratic government is taking root and education reform efforts are now possible. Participants can also have their picture taken for The Wall of Freedom, which shows support for peace efforts in Myanmar. After the documentary, two Amherst College students who are from Myanmar will be available for questions about their country and its education system. (Wall of Freedom at 7pm, Movie starting at 7:30pm in Pruyne Auditorium, located in Fayerweather Hall, Amherst College)

On Thursday, a unique opportunity presents itself in “An Island Divided,” a documentary on the similarities and differences between the two halves of the island of Hispaniola, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. WorldRead encompasses projects that support both countries, and the two groups will be available to discuss their work with the education systems. Hope of Haiti sponsors students to continue their education and supports a school that does not prevent those who cannot pay from coming to school. Esperanza is pioneering special education in the Dominican Republic, which does not have any support in place for students with learning disabilities or special needs. (7pm, Stirn Auditorium, Amherst

Thursday also marks International Women’s Day, which is an important holiday for To Mother With Love, which is creating a school for the women of Ikenne, Nigeria to learn how to read. These women have sacrificed so much for their own children’s education, and they deserve a chance to be educated themselves. Letters of support from students will be collected at Amherst College and made into a wish-you-well poster for the walls of the new school, to help the women find the courage and determination to continue their learning, no matter their age!

To wrap everything up, there will be an Amherst College student-only party celebrating our favorite children’s books. Attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite characters, and will have a blast exploring our Phantom Tollbooth Photobooth, Very Hungry Caterpillar collage, Create-Your-Own Story (a la Harold & the Purple Crayon) and other great activities.

We are excited to begin the second year of this great event, and hope that you will be able to join us for some of the events!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Computers Arrive in Ghana

We are pleased to report that the latest batch of computers donated by Reader to Reader has arrived at their respective schools in Ghana.

Six computers went to schools in Akim Awisa, eight to Akim Oda, and seven to Kasoa. Of the six that went to Akim Awisa, five went to the Junior High School and one to the Primary school.

The headmaster of the Akim Awisa Presbyterian Boarding Junior High School sent pictures of students using the computers.

Dear Reader to Reader,

This is to express our gratitude to you for the five computers you have donated to our school (Awisa Presby Boarding Junior High School).

May the Good Lord bless you and your entire family in diverse ways.

Here are the pictures of our computer lab and our final year students.

As you will see in the pictures, the five computers will be of great help to the school.

We will be grateful if more computers are provided for the pupils to ease the pressure on the few that we have.

We are most grateful.

Headmaster Solomon Maafo
Akim Awisa Presbyterian Boarding Junior High School
Akim Awisa, Ghana

About the Computer Donation Program

Reader to Reader's Computer Donation Program donates refurbished Dell Optiplex GX 620 Pentium 4 computers with flat screen monitors. The computers are donated and refurbished by Amherst College and have been serviced by their IT department to be completely ready to run right out of the box. Computer labs have been built in the Navajo Nation, western Massachusetts, Ghana, Kosovo and Trinidad & Tobago. In addition, new computers have been donated to projects in Massachusetts, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.