Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summer Reading Fun!

Summer reading! Yes, it is often mandated by schools, but I encourage you to allow your child to read for FUN as well! But my kid doesn't like to read - you say? I hear you, I empathize, and I'm here to help. In the two articles below you will find tips to help your children enjoy words and literature and a wake up call regarding our older children. Check them out! You may find them helpful and interesting:

1) A few months ago, I received a call and found myself in an interview being questioned about reading and story times. I found myself discussing strategies for helping young readers enjoy reading. Read my answers in Raising Readers by Christy Taylor from Florida Crossroads Magazine, page 16. Also please note the side article on Special Needs story times which I helped develop in Seminole County.

2) Recently this article came to my attention. In the article, the author and college professor Danny Heitman, looks at college students and draws some conclusions regarding the connection between reading and writing and the importance of reading for fun. The Young and the Bookless by Danny Heitman from the Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, June 25, 2013.

Have fun reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It Does Matter

Jillian sharing stories!
It does matter. And in the past few weeks I have learned just how much it matters. I’ve struggled with writing this post because I’m not comfortable patting myself on the back. But my heart is so full, it is spilling over with gratitude. So here goes.

I will begin with a summary. I’ve been a wife for 31 years, a mom for 26 years, a librarian for 14 years, a mentor for 11 years, and a president of a nonprofit for 5 years. All of these parts of my life have brought me wonderful people, joy, love and happiness. But I have also been frustrated, I’ve wondered if what I was doing was meaningful or useful or if I was making good decisions. Did all these things mean anything? Did they matter? A question I think we all ask. Maybe you’ve thought this about your relationships or professions or volunteer work. And although it is a question often asked in frustration, it is also a helpful question. By asking it we move forward, we reexamine and correct and appreciate. But it is also a question that will not always be answered. In fact, it is often not answered. We do something nice but receive no appreciation, no thank you. Is it still worth doing? Of course, we say yes. But it can be hard doing something with no feedback. It can be frustrating not knowing if your kindness was helpful. 
Sydney & Trent sharing stories!

Boys Town students sharing stories!
Well, trust me when I say, it is! Know that; know it deep in your heart. Feel good about your kind efforts with or without feedback. This is trite but very true – doing something kind will change the world. I say this because I am confident that one day you will be able to answer that question – does it matter? For me this happened in the last few weeks. First was Mother’s Day. Then I was surprised to be named Mentor of the Year for Seminole County. Then I received some particularly meaningful compliments at the library. Then my husband and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. And then The Literacy Alliance was picked to be featured in Huffington Post as a top nonprofit for helping children! So much wonderfulness! The comments and gifts on all of these occasions from my children, mentees, their parents, friends, my husband, relatives, colleagues and others have filled my heart! I have been refueled for another 10 years or so!

Does it matter? I say yes!