Share a Story-Shape a Future Literacy Resource Kit

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S HARE A S TO RY - S H A P E A F U T URE the resource kit

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald

Credits and Acknowledgements Thank you Susan for all of your tireless work in putting together our resource kit. Your keen eye, creativity, and passion for the subject are reflected on every page! Terry COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This Share a Story - Shape a Future Literacy Resource Kit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Based on a work for the 2009 Share a Story – Shape a Future literacy blog event. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available by contacting the editors. You are free to share (copy, distribute, display, and perform the work) and to Remix (to make derivative works) under the following conditions: o o o • • •

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Photo Credits We would like to thank the following photographers for making their pictures available on Flickr, under a Creative Commons License: p.1 -

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If you would d like to share this document in your community, please keep it in its current form to give credit to the writers and photographers who made it possible.

SHARE A STORY - SHAPE A FUTURE Literacy Resource Kit The Contents Credits and Acknowledgements


Stories Encourage Dreams ~ Editors’ Introduction


A Blog Tour to Promote Literacy ~ The History of Share a Story – Shape a Future


How Can We Encourage Reading ~ Ideas inspired by Jen Robinson’s question Promote Reading at Home … … and at School Get involved in Your Community


Raising Readers Resources Literacy websites Booklists Places to find Book Reviews and Book Reviewers Audio Books, Podcasts, Ebooks, and online book links


Literacy Organizations Helping Readers in Need


Share a Story Shape a Future – The Next Chapter



"Share a Story Shape a Future is ... a joyous opportunity to learn more about books, children and our ongoing quest to connect the two." Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer

Stories encourage dreams kids need stories By Editors Terry Doherty and Susan Stephenson

Stories encourage dreams - reading helps kids make their dreams come true. How can we support them? Share a Story Shape a Future, a blog event for literacy, provides an answer. From March 9 to 13, 2009, blogging librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators, and other people passionate about literacy are offering ideas

on ways to promote reading and books. They are talking about raising readers, selecting suitable material, reading aloud, audiobooks, and how to use the library as an ally. This document is filled with ways to promote reading at home, at school, or in your community. You'll find ideas and resources that make it easy for you to

Share a Story - Shape a Future - the beginning

integrate reading into the lives of the children around you. Share a Story- Shape a Future aims to build a community of readers, and weʼd love you to join us. If youʼd like to share this document in your community, please keep it in its current form to give credit to the writers and photographers who made it possible.


Share a Story - Shape a Future March 9 - 13

“We hope that Share a Story - Shape a Future motivates people to become models within their own communities on the importance of reading. There is so much we can do to reach caregivers, and make a real difference in children's lives.”

Terry Doherty, The Reading Tub

A blog tour to promote literacy Children's book bloggers have created an international event to promote literacy. Share a Story – Shape a Future is a week filled with discussions and ideas on ways to promote sharing stories with kids. This online celebration encourages families to spend more time reading with their children, and to work in their communities to help readers in need. Unlike any other tool, the internet creates communities where people can exchange information and ideas on topics that are important to them.

literature. They are also passionate about helping kids become successful, lifelong readers. The Share a Story-Shape a Future blog tour is an ensemble effort not only to celebrate reading among those of us who already love books, but to encourage each other to reach beyond ourselves and do it in a way that we are neither judging nor instructing others. This is a venue for communicating practical, useable, everyday ideas.

“Those of us who write, illustrate, and blog about children's books already have a passion for reading.” One of those very large communities is the says Terry Doherty, one of the event's organizers. “We Kidlitosphere - a diverse group of people who share a hope to motivate people to become models within their love of books. They are reviewers, librarians, teachers, own communities. There is so much we can do to authors, illustrators, publishers, parents, and other book reach caregivers and make a real difference in enthusiasts who blog about children's and young adult children's lives.”

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Share a Story - Shape a Future March 9 - 13

How can we encourage reading? In January 2009, Jen Robinson asked the question: How Can We Encourage Reading? The response to her post was overwhelming, and elicited many great ideas. All the comments have been collated, grouped by theme, and merged into this one document. Everyone who took the time to contribute an idea has been acknowledged.

Promote Reading at Home ... Become a model! Modeling is as important as reading aloud with your child. Marianna of Cardinal Acre, author Becky Levine and Nadine of Kiddos and Books say, “Get caught reading.” Make a game of getting “caught” … it can be a magazine, a catalog, a book. The value comes in the kids seeing you with reading. Save the catalogs and magazines. Enjoyment of reading takes many forms. Spending time together chatting about the photos in a magazine or catalog may be a fun way to engage your child's imagination. Asking questions about the pictures or creating a story about them is a great way to develop literacy skills. Combine reading and chores. Anamaria and TeacherNinja remind us about ideas Jim Trelease promotes. We can read aloud while the kids do chores. “Jim would read aloud while the kids did the dishes.” Sandra Stiles adds: put sibling power to work. Let your kids select books and read to each other.

... And at school Choose a book that the entire school will read. Get everyone involved. Have cafeteria workers place books next to their checkout so they can discuss the stories with the students. Ask a staff member or volunteer parent to read a book while the kids wait to be served in the lunch line. Invite local celebrities (principal, staff, city officials, student-selected VIPs) to come and read. Get parents involved. School-parent partnerships are so important. Teacher Brenda Matthews tells her students' parents that reading aloud is the most important thing they can do for their kids. Christine suggests that you ask parents and VIPs to visit your classroom as readers. Guest readers come in for 20-30 minutes to read a book of their choosing. The teacher coordinates the visit. Marti agrees. “Teachers can share planned reading lists with parents, and recommend that parents read the books, too.” A teacher for her son’s class did this, saying,“They are wonderful books. If you want a way to keep in touch with your kid this year, try reading them yourself!” Create a regular book night. Let the kids come to school in their PJs and enjoy a snack while teachers, parents, or local celebrities read with them in small groups. Promote books to your students. Susan at the Book Chook suggests you regularly sell books to the kids in your class. “Show the cover, mention where they can find it, tell them what is great about it.”

Brenda says, “I've been telling parents of my kindergartners for 24 years that the MOST important thing they can do for their children is read stories to them every night”.

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Share a Story - Shape a Future March 9 - 13

Share stories and help shape kids’ futures There is no better way to learn about your community and help it prosper than to actively participate in it. Lots of bloggers – including My Friend Amy, Pam Coughlan (aka MotherReader), Janet Brown of Paper Tigers, and Rich Greif of Everybody Wins! USA suggest that you can make a real difference by volunteering your time. Many organizations provide basic training to help you. Contact your local elementary and middle school media specialist or reading teacher, and volunteer. Liz in Ink suggests you contact your local pediatrician's office and daycare providers to read in the waiting room. There are many organizations that need volunteers to read books onto tape which are distributed to readers in need. Nan Hoekstra (Anokaberry) says, “Read picture books, read chapter books, just volunteer to do it and do it regularly.” Give books as gifts Books make great presents at any age. Pair a book with a homemade bookmark. If you want to get really creative, Pam Coughlan has more than 100 ways to pair a book with a related gift. She keeps her lists of ideas on the top of her blog. Sandra Stiles says, “Think books (and possibly a tape) for gifts instead of baby blankets and stuffed animals.” Visit your local library Libraries have programs to promote, encourage, and support reading. There may be an opportunity for you to volunteer there. Your librarian will know about any local literacy groups, or national organizations that have chapters in your community.

Janice Robertson of Passionate Pages and Pam Coughlan suggest you put library visits on your calendar. “If you're not comfortable reading aloud with your kids, make time for story time at the library. You may gain more confidence just by observing a couple of sessions,” says Pam. Share your voice There are organizations who need people to read books into audio formats. Visit to volunteer and read chapters of a books in the public domain.

There are so many ways of incorporating reading into our lives, no matter how busy we are. Donate new or gently used books. Your children may have outgrown a book, but there is always a child in need of a good story. Contact your local family services organizations, pediatrician's offices, free clinics, or hospitals. Please call and ask to make sure they accept books. Some hospitals do not accept books for infection control purposes. What is "gently used"? Gently used books closely resemble a new book. They might have a smudge or the spine might have lines, but there are no tears or markings (crayon, pen, etc.), and the book has all its pages. Workbooks, activity, sticker, and coloring books do not fall within this category unless they are brand new. “Donate the books you don't read anymore,” says Rich Greif. Nearly every community has an organization that will accept new or gently used books. Charlotte (Charlotte’s Library) says, “Don't forget your local food bank.” Gently used books are given new life when shared with a child who doesn't have books at home.

"I truly believe that if more adults spent time reading aloud to kids, both individuals and society as a whole would reap tremendous long-term benefits.”

Jen Robinson

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Share a Story - Shape a Future March 9 - 13

Raising Readers Resources

Reading is magic. When you encourage a child to read, you are actually conferring two special magical powers on him the power to solve problems, and the power to enter other worlds.

Check out these literacy sites. This list will get you started whether you're looking for specific tools and book lists, or want help creating your first library. There are lots of wonderful sites. These are some of the most comprehensive. Tools for Literacy Programs The National Center for Family Literacy created this FREE catalog in the Free Teacher's Resources section of the website. The catalog is a user-friendly publication with literature organized into component and topical areas with full citations, summaries and findings provided. From the NCFL: "It is a useful tool for those currently working in family literacy, as well as for those interested in learning more!"

Susan Stephenson

Mem Fox, International Literacy Amassador There is so much to see and hear at Mem’s own site. Make sure to hear her read aloud when you visit. Jim Trelease on Reading website offers excerpts from his books, read aloud booklists, and lecture slides you can download.

Book lists Books for Reading Aloud Read Aloud America Booklist 2009 Books to Read Aloud to Adults

Author/teacher/blogger Anastasia Suen has created a Literacy Ideas on Ways to Select Books Microsite on her webpage. At her blog, you'll find resources and ideas about learning to read, easy Reading Rockets offers ideas you readers, and reading levels. 5 Great can use, based on their knowledge Books of how young kids learn to read and why so many struggle.


Reach Out and Read focuses on early literacy (infant to 5) and their site is filled with resources, including developmental milestones and book lists.

Nonfiction for toddlers Bookseller tools -'s Look Inside lets you and your child to turn the pages to see excerpts of books.

ReadKiddoRead! offers links to literacy resources in each of Canada's 14 provinces.

Places to Find Book Reviews/ Book Reviewers

Reading is Fundamental has a wealth of literacy ideas and materials, including read along stories and songs inside their Reading Planet. Reading Enriches Learning An Australian site with extensive resources to accompany books for younger and older readers.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre website is packed with information about promoting and supporting the reading, writing, illustrating and publishing of Canadian books for young readers.

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List of Comfort Read Alouds Cybils Short Lists (blogger-vetted books in 9 handy categories) - PDF Version of the 2008 Shortlist and PDF Version of the 2008 Winners

Doctor-recommended Reading courtesy of Reach Out and Read.

There are plenty of places to find reviews of children's books. These three sites have the most current, comprehensive lists available on the Web: Kidlitosphere Central Children's Book Review Wiki Blog Central


Audiobooks, podcasts, eBooks, and online book links Here are some great links to sites that offer resources such as audiobooks, eBooks and books online. You’ll find even more links at Audiobooks make great commuting companions. Susan says, “The audiobook habit has lead to many family discussions about the books and about how their world is different from ours. My older 2 kids are good independent readers, so the audiobooks offer a way to read together in another fashion when we'd otherwise be disconnected.” Author Becky Levine agrees: “I think tapes are a GREAT supplement to the reading...if everybody's listening to the tape together and talking about the story afterward, I think it probably accomplishes much the same thing as books.” Marianna adds another dimension to the discussion “My oldest child is dyslexic and audio books have done wonders for him. I also can't underestimate the importance of reading aloud with him.” Tasses (Reading Rumpus), Liz in Ink, and Janet Brown (Paper Tigers) also find audiobooks in the car a great alternative to DVDs and the radio. Audible Kids - Download audiobooks for audiences from infant to teen (13+). Roscoe Orman (Gordon from "Sesame Street") is the company's principle storyteller. Books are available for purchase, but you can select from a list of titles (classic stories) for one free download. Download using software loaded onto your computer, iPhones, stream to your computer, or burn to a CD. Audio Adventures - Rent from a large selection of abridged and unabridged popular titles. There are 630 locations and a $5.00 membership fee. You can select and return books at any of the locations. Audio Booker - This is a blog with audio book news, links, and recommendations. There is a specific page with Books for Youth Audio Editions - Find titles in all age groups and genres. The site offers samples, specials, and outlet titles. Audio books are available in CD, cassette, and as PlayAway titles. Separate catalogs for libraries and general consumers. Big Universe - Read excerpts of children's picture books online and create your own for free. You can also read books created by Big Universe Book Club members. Book of - Visit this blog to get podcast reviews "about Jewish people and the books we read." Christian Audio - Find all types of audio content, from podcasts to audiobooks. The site offers a free audiobook download, titles change each month. There are two download formats: MP3 and WMA. - Find books sorted by genres and for all ages. Read excerpts for new and noteworthy titles for free. Downloads are available in Adobe, Microsoft Reader, and mobipocket reader formats. Just One More Book - Enjoy audio reviews of children's books, author interviews, and and book-related themes. "A podcast about the books we love and why we love them. LibriVox - All titles on this site are free. These are books in the public domain, recorded and available for listening. You can select from the catalog or download one of their thematic podcasts (e.g., poetry, short stories). There are MP3 and ogg download formats. LookyBook - Look at picture books in their entirety (cover to cover). It's a great place to start if you aren't completely sure what you want. Search by author, illustrator, subject, or genre. Mobi Stories - The site features digital books for kids. These virtual books can be played on computers, xBox, Wii, and PlayStation products (see site for more details). You can try one book for free. Mobi Stories is a service available in some libraries systems. Odyssey Awards - This is the American Library Association's (ALA) program for honoring "the best" audiobooks for youth available in English, in the US. Each year, a winner and several honor titles are awarded. Podiobooks - Receive free, serialized books delivered on your schedule. The company asks for donations along with your download. 75% of the donation goes to the author. The books are distributed by RSS, much like a podcast, or by listening to episodes on the site. The audio file can be used on your computer, burned to CD, or loaded onto your MP3 player. Project Cicero - Get books to school libraries. Project Cicerco describes itself as "an annual non-profit book drive designed to create - or supplement - school and classroom libraries for children in under-resourced New York City public schools." Recorded Books - Purchase audiobooks for current titles in either cassette or CD format, or Playaway device. This is a resource primarily for libraries and schools. Story Nory - This is an online resource for audio stories that include new stories, fairy tales, myths, histories, and some poetry. The MP3 downloads are free, and each story has a script that you can print as a read-along/follow-along. Tate Publishing - This is a Christian-based publishing company. You can purchase children's books as hard-copy editions or eBook downloads. When you purchase a paper edition, you are given a coupon code for the downloadable eBook that can be played on your computer, PDA, or an eBook reader. The eBook is free with the hardcover purchase.


Literacy Organizationshelping readers in need Donating your time or books will make a world of difference to a child and his/her family. Here you’ll find a list of organizations that dedicate themselves to literacy and getting books to readers in need. is a national registry. Nonprofits list their volunteer opportunities and projects. Search by topic and/or zip code to find an organization near you. Children's Book Project -- This is a literacy nonprofit that provides free, new and gently used books to at-risk kids in the San Francisco Bay (California) area. The website offers instructions on how to organize a book drive. Cops 'N Kids -- Founded by a Wisconsin police officer, Cops 'N Kids strives to get books into disadvantaged children's hands. They have a reading center in Racine that "provides children with an opportunity to receive one-on-one tutoring, group reading sessions, and individualized curriculum plans that are necessary to develop reading skills" and they are working on expansion of the program. Everybody Wins! USA -- In 16 states and the District of Columbia, Everybody Wins! chapters are providing trained mentors to help lowincome elementary students develop their reading skills. First Book -- This is a national literacy advocacy/outreach organization. First Book gives new books to low-income families with young children throughout the United States and Canada. The organization has a number of entities in place to offer free and low-cost books for the children they serve. There are also volunteer opportunities, with more than 270 Advisory Boards (volunteer groups) throughout the country. Kids in Need - Books in Deed -- This nonprofit brings free books and free author visits to Kids in Need throughout the state of Florida. The fund is housed by the Florida State University Foundation. Proceeds go to buying books for underprivileged children in the state of Florida where high level matching funds are available." Children's Book Bank -- "The Children's Book Bank is a charitable organization designed to support children's literacy by providing free books and literacy support to children in lower income neighbourhoods." The organization serves the Toronto community in Ontario, Canada. Childrenʼs Book Council of Australia -- a volunteer-run, not-for-profit organization made up of individuals who are passionate about childrenʼs and young adultʼs literature. ProLiteracy -- This is an international literacy organization, offering services for adults and children throughout the world. Visit the ProLiteracy website, enter your zip code and find organizations in your area. Reach Out and Read -- This national nonprofit that supports early literacy. Volunteers work in ROR program offices (e.g. pediatricians) reading books with children and modeling book-sharing techniques for parents. Read Aloud Virginia -- All year long, this nonprofit collects new and gently used books for children. Several times each year, they put the books together in packages so that children without books can have their own, personal home library. If you live in the Richmond, VA area, you can also volunteer. There are lots of ways to help -- and RAV lets you pick an opportunity that works best for you. For more programs, visit Jen Robinson's Book Page, and scroll down to "Programs that Focus on Giving Books to Kids" on the right side. Reading Connection --This is an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit. The RC provides literacy program for young children in 13 homeless shelters in the Washington, DC metro area and Northern Virginia. Mentors work directly with children. The organization also accepts donations for books, and maintains a wish list of titles for books and categories of books (e.g., easy readers) that it needs for its Read Aloud program. Reading is Fundamental --Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. prepares and motivates children to read by delivering free books and literacy resources to those children and families who need them most. Ronald McDonald House Charities -- RMHC works with families at the hospital and in the homes they sponsor. They are frequently in need of books for families to share. You can volunteer to work in a Ronald McDonald House. State Literacy Organizations -- Nearly every state in the US has a state-sponsored umbrella organization. To find these organizations, type in your state name followed by at least one of these phrases (use a hyphen for best results): literacy association, literacy coalition, literacy organization Adopt a Library Literacy Program (Canada) -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has created this program where police organizations partner with public and school libraries to promote literacy, crime prevention, and open lines of communication within the community. There is no beginning or end, no age limit for learning to read. We can start today. Terry Doherty



I have a dream. That kids all over the world, with wondering eyes and eager grins, will listen to stories being read aloud. Some will have Dad to read them a bedtime story. Some will be at Momma's knee, listening while she tries to read and sew by candlelight. Others will be grouped around their teacher, gazing at a picture book while they imagine themselves flying with dragons, and standing up to bullies. Because these kids are read to, they will have better language skills, have more knowledge and understanding of the world, and they will likely be more successful at school. Their own reading skills will be greater than their peers who weren't read to. They will have the opportunity to read a bus timetable, follow directions for making a cake, or discover the magic of Fibonacci numbers. They will learn tolerance by walking a mile in someone else's shoes. And they will have their own dreams.

The Book Chook

Share a Story – Shape a Future: The Next Chapter While the power of the worldwide web is a wonderful way to share ideas, it can never replace the personal one-on-one contact that is the heart of raising a reader. The next chapter begins when we start connecting with our communities. Spending time with readers-to-be, readers in need, and strong readers helps our children grow into strong, successful people.

Our goal through this event has been to offer practical ideas and introduce you to opportunities where you can share your love of reading. We hope you have found some valuable information in our resource kit. And we look forward to sharing your story next year. The Editors