Friday, August 31, 2012

Dennis Quinn Joins Reader to Reader Staff

Reader to Reader is pleased to welcome Dennis Quinn as our new Mentoring Programs Director. Dennis was first introduced to Reader to Reader when, as an English teacher in an urban school, he was invited to pilot the Read, Think, Share mentoring program in his classroom. Three years of first-hand experience convinced him that the program was a replicable recipe for success. In addition to his classroom experience, Dennis has experience in marketing and public relations. He is a graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland and Loyola University. We look forward to working with Dennis to expand our mentoring programs to even more schools across the country.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Navajo Nation and New Mexico to sign ‘MOU’ for Education

Navajo Post
Aug 14 | by: NP Field Reporter/NM

ALBUQUERQUE – On Tuesday, the NM Governor, Susana Martinez visited Mesa View Elementary School in Grants and Indian Hills Elementary School in Gallup to distribute reading books to incoming first graders and read to students.

Susana Martinez said, while addressing the crowd, “ With this MOU we send a clear message to the Native American student, you count you are important.. and most of all we believe in you”

President Ben Shelly also spoke and said, “ Our culture is our identity to the world and our language is our fingerprint” and “ I am happy that Governor Martinez and (NM Education) Secretary Skandera have taken on the vision of our people”

The Governor also signed a memorandum of understanding between New Mexico Public Education Department and the Navajo Nation, which will allow for data sharing between the two governments with the aim of improving education results for Navajo students.

On Monday, Martinez distributed books and read to students in Albuquerque and Belen. The Governor Communication director said, she is stressing the importance of reading during and after school, and the books are designed to help students have something to read at home with their family or friends in an effort to overcome the effects of the “summer slide” – skills lost while kids are out of the classroom during the summer months.

In June, Governor Martinez announced that the state had purchased over 30,000 reading books to be distributed to every incoming first grade student in New Mexico.

The Navajo Nation in general has been getting donated books from various non profit organizations, For the past three years, Navajo Nation Libraries have been flying across the country to Massachusetts to pick-up book donations from Reader to Reader, a Massachusetts literacy organization that has donated over $1 million in books and computers to schools and libraries on the Navajo Nation. The twice a year trips brought back over 30,000 books and 42 Dell computers this past year alone.

The proposed Navajo Nation annual budget for 2012-2013 will slash theses trips from two to one, and will also reduce the size of the truck in the sole remaining shipment from 26-foot to only 17-foot. The change in truck size will cut that shipment in half due to the lower weight limit of the truck.

Reader to Reader founder David Mazor said this budget reduction will mean 25,000 fewer books will be donated by his organization this coming year to meet the needs of the children and adults on the Navajo Nation, “We will be unable to send thousands of books given out by the First Lady Martha Shelly in her important literacy work, thousands of new books to fill the shelves of the Navajo Nation Library and their branch library in Kayenta, and also the thousands of books for schools, chapter houses, correctional facilities, community centers, boys & girls clubs, and substance abuse centers.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DiscoverBooks Summer Program Makes Summer Literacy Fun & Healthy

Our DiscoverBooks summer family literacy camp came to a close last week, and we couldn’t be more proud of our families. After six weeks of learning, reading, and fun we had a celebration of all their hard work. Congratulations, everyone!

DiscoverBooks works with families and young parents to help their children become better readers from an early age. As parents discover the aspirations they have for their children and learn how to encourage their children to succeed, they also learn of the responsibility they have to continue their own education and the amazing opportunity they have to be their child's first teacher.

The families worked with Katy Moonan, Reader to Reader’s family literacy coordinator, to learn about why learning together was important, how parents could help kids be better readers and learners, and about the 7 habits of effective readers. Each habit was teamed with a set of books and activities, centered on the theme of the week. We made inferences from poetry, visualized the text of “To Be an Artist,” and connected with “Who Belongs Here?” The kids and parents loved being visited by zoo animals, going to the farm, and being read to by local authors.

Our good friend Chef Bill Collins came to each school to talk about healthy snacks, alternatives to unhealthy ingredients, and cooking techniques that made family favorites healthier. He also showed the families how to make perfect devilled eggs, complete with paprika garnish. (Yum!)

To see more photos of our program, check out the album on our Facebook page at

This branch of DiscoverBooks was run in partnership with the Holyoke Public Schools, Enchanted Circle Theater, Marcela Kelly Elementary School and EN White Elementary School.

The program was made possible by funding from the United Way, Target, the Holyoke Food and Fitness Policy Council, the AEC Trust, and the Irene E. & George A Davis Foundation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Maine Book Project Receives Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation

The Maine Book Project will continue to grow this year thanks to the generous support of the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation.

The foundation supports projects that address the underlying causes of social and environmental problems, as well as those that address the consequences. Literacy is one of their priorities.

Last year, Reader to Reader donated over 7,750 books to schools in York and Cumberland Counties. These books were worth over $87,000! The Maine Book Project has close relationships with schools in Alfred, the Berwicks, and Shapleigh, and has previously supported schools in Eagle Lake, Monticello, Caswell, Lubec and Woodland among others. This year we aim to expand into additional towns in York County and Somerset Counties, as well as deepen our relationship with schools that serve Native American populations.

This grant was received as part of an application process. We are very grateful to the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation for their support!