By Nick Sestanovich
Kids, settle down. Your principal is going to read you a bedtime story.
That’s the premise of Vacaville Unified School District’s newly launched “Bedtime Stories with VUSD,” in which books are read to elementary schoolers in district-made videos every Tuesday night.
The program began Tuesday with Jennifer Austin, principal of Hemlock Elementary School, reading Carol McCloud’s “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”
Elaine Kong, VUSD’s communications director, said the idea was inspired by Belinda George, a principal at Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas. She began reading children’s books over Facebook Live to ensure students were read to at home. George’s program received national coverage and caught the attention of several VUSD administrators.
Source: Vacaville Unified launches bedtime stories video series – The Reporter
By Tim Goree
Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District students will have the opportunity to participate in diverse book clubs tied to community service this upcoming school year thanks to a Solano Community Foundation Education Plus! Grant. Teacher librarians in the district will use grant funds to start Project LIT Book Clubs for teens in the community. Project LIT Community is a national, grassroots Literacy movement, in which a team of dedicated teachers and students work together in forming a school-wide – and sometimes community-wide Literary Community.
FSUSD and Project LIT Community envision a future where all children become proficient, passionate readers who see the joy and value of reading, and who possess the literacy skills to choose their post-secondary path. In order for this to become a reality, every child deserves access to high-interest, culturally relevant books both inside and outside of school. Additionally, every child deserves daily opportunities to read, celebrate and discuss great books with peers and adults in their community.
Source: FSUSD Project Lit: Growing Readers and Leaders – Daily Republic
By Kimberly K. Fu
Explosive laughter erupted from the Fairfield Civic Center Library Saturday, a sure sign that something super fun was going on.
Turns out, it was something and someone, the later being noted children’s author and artist Todd Parr.
The Berkeley writer penned some 50 books over the years that’s printed in 18 languages. The gist — be unique, be you, and that’s more than enough.
Source: Noted children’s author inspires Solano’s youths – The Reporter
By Hillary Homzie
Local children’s book author Hillary Homzie prefers that students don’t sit still or quiet during one of her author’s visit.
“For younger grades, I have students read and act out the books along with me,” she said. “I model the stages of writing and revising by demonstrating them. One of the most fun parts of my assembly is engaging with kids and having them actively participate in the creative process.”
At a recent visit to Fairview Elementary School on a rainy Friday morning this was fully evident. Students participated along with Homzie as she acted out a chapter from one of her new books, Ellie May on April Fools’ Day.
Source: School Event: Children’s Author Visits Fairview Elementary School
By Susan Hiland
Solano County Office of Education launched a well-respected children’s literacy program for local children in early care and learning settings – including participating Quality Counts family child care homes and center-based programs.
First 5 Solano Children and Families Commission awarded Solano County Office of Education with funding to implement Raising a Reader. For the 2018-19 program year, 20 Quality Counts sites will participate in Raising a Reader, allowing more than 500 children to take home a set of four books on a weekly basis and share with their families.
Source: Raising a Reader program launches in Solano County
By Holly Korbey
After his bath each night, Julie Atkinson’s eight-year-old son grabs the iPad and settles into bed for some reading time through kids’ book app Epic! Though Atkinson and her husband were accustomed to reading to him, now their son explores different subjects on his own inside the app’s 25,000 titles, reading biographies, history and fiction all pre-selected for his reading level. Atkinson is impressed with Epic’s quality titles, and likes the recommendation feature that makes the monthly subscription service feel like Netflix.
But Atkinson, who guesses that her family of four in Orinda, California, spends half their reading time with physical books, said that she has noticed a difference between how her son reads paper books and how he reads digitally. He has a tendency to skim more in Epic! “He might be more inclined to flip in Epic!, just flip through and see if he likes a book, skipping around. When it’s a physical book, he’s going to sit and read until he’s tired of reading. But in Epic!, he knows there are so many [books], he will read a little faster.”
Source: Digital Text is Changing How Kids Read—Just Not in the Way That You Think | MindShift | KQED News
By Times Herald Staff
The Benicia Public Library is having its third annual Family Reading Night on Wednesday, May 16.
The event is for all elementary school students and will include a free pizza and salad dinner, a performance from an elementary school choir, and games and activities. Plus, each child gets two free books.
The event is a partnership with the Library’s Youth Services staff, the Adult Literacy Program, and Benicia Unified School District, which funds it through an adult education block grant.
It’s free, but R.S.V.P. by calling (707) 746-4741, or filling out a form in the library, or by going to the library’s website, www.benicialibrary.org.
Source: Family Reading Night in Benicia
By Daily Republic Staff
Community members are invited to sound off at the Fairfield-Suisun School District governing board meeting Thursday when trustees review proposed instructional materials.
The estimated cost for the new materials is estimated at $821,000. Lottery and Local Educational Agency Grants will be used. The new books’ topics include Photoshop, auto repair, mathematics and athletic training. The proposed materials have been on view at the Suisun City Library. The list was publicized through social media and the district website.
Board members will open the meeting at 5 p.m. followed by closed session. The meeting is at 2490 Hilborn Road.
Source: Fairfield-Suisun school board to review new books
By Reporter STaff
First 5 Solano, in collaboration with the Solano County Office of Education, has received a $10,000 matching grant from Reading is Fundamental (RIF) to implement the Read for Success summer reading program in Solano County Pre-Kindergarten Academies. The Read for Success program, which gives children the life-changing power of literacy, will be implemented throughout Solano County, as First 5 Solano offers Pre-K academies in all of Solano County’s seven cities, targeting children who have never had a prior pre-school experience or who are considered high-risk.
“All children deserve the opportunity to access books, learn how to read and obtain the fundamental building blocks needed to achieve their highest potential,” said Solano County Supervisor Erin Hannigan, First 5 Solano Commission chairperson. “This evidence-based program will do just that, giving at-risk children the tools necessary to stay proficient — because as we know, as children progress through school, it becomes more and more difficult to catch up once they’ve fallen behind.”
Source: Read for Success summer program receives grant funding
By Daily Republic Staff
A Reading is Fundamental $10,000 grant has been received for The Read for Success summer reading program.
First 5 Solano and Solano County Office of Education received the grant, which will be used at the Pre-K academies in the county’s seven cities, targeting children who have never had a prior preschool experience or who are considered high-risk.
The funds were part of a matching grant program. First 5 Solano and the Solano County Office of Education each added $5,000 for a total of $20,000 for the reading program.
Source: Grant will provide pre-kindergarten children with summer reading
By Reporter Staff
Famed American children’s author Maurice Sendak once said, “There’s so much more to a book than just the reading.”
A child would understand that, especially some of those who receive free books from the women of Delta Kappa Gamma.
The sorority’s Delta Xi chapter will host a fundraising evening of Bunco March 22 at St. Mary’s Parish Hall, 350 Stinson Ave., Vacaville.
Social hour starts at 5 p.m. with a salad dinner and refreshments. Bunco — a parlor game with 12 more players in groups of four who try to score points rolling three dice — begins at 6.
Source: Benefit to provide free books to needy children
By Richard Bammer
Researchers and educators know that children who read — and are read to — do better in school and life.
That, in part, explains why the first-ever Read Across America Day came to be on March 2, 1998, when, 10 months earlier, a small reading task force at the National Education Association hatched the idea, and, at the same time, wanted to celebrate reading throughout the United States on Dr. Seuss’ birthday year after year.
And so the 21st annual Read Across America Day was Friday across the nation, up and down California, including in Vacaville, where students and teachers at Markham Elementary, just to name one school in Vacaville Unified, observed the day with celebrity readers Mayor Len Augustine and Vacaville Police Capt. Ian Schmutzler.
Augustine, a retired Air Force colonel, held court in teacher Alex Lander’s sixth-grade class in room 33, an aging portable at the Markham Avenue campus.
Source: Read Across America Day reaches Vacaville schools
By Times Herald Staff
The Solano County Literacy Program seeks Adult Literacy Volunteer tutors, library officials announced.
Despite the fact that “literacy is vital for a healthy and thriving community,” more than 60,000 Solano County adults are functionally illiterate, meaning their reading and writing skills are inadequate to manage their daily living and employment tasks beyond a basic level, they said.
Children whose parents struggle with reading and writing are more likely to struggle in school and have low literacy skills themselves, officials said.
“Teaching an adult to read, write, and/or improve their English speaking skills can have far-reaching effects in our community,” they said. “A recent study found that adult literacy students realize an increase of about $10,000 dollars in their annual income after receiving 100 hours of literacy instruction.”
Source: Teach an adult to read, improve your community
The time to read is right meow.
The Solano County Library Foundation is encouraging children ages 6-12 to read with Solano Kids Read program starting Oct. 1.
For the month of October with Solano County Library, children can read for fun and earn great prizes along the way.
They can earn “meow money” for reading the books they choose and spend it on prizes at the library “store.”
Each activity in the Solano Kids Read passport is worth one “meow dollar.” Pick up a passport at any Solano County Library location and get started.
Source: Children encouraged to read for fun, prizes
By John Fensterwald
The California Department of Education has postponed the release of statewide results of the Smarter Balanced assessments in math and reading, which were to be published on Tuesday.
The department announced the delay Friday, citing a “recently identified data issue.” It offered no more details and did not set a new date for the release. The department had said the results would be released in September, then earlier this month pushed the date up to Aug. 29. Last year, the department released the scores on Aug. 24. In 2015, the first year of the full test, scores were released on Sept. 9.
School districts have had access to their own results for several weeks. And many parents already have received a report on their children’s individual scores, with a comparison with last year’s results.
Source: California delays release of Smarter Balanced scores | EdSource
By Claudia Wallis
My friend Joanne was packing her youngest child off to college this month and wrestling with a modern dilemma: Is it better to buy textbooks in digital form or old-fashioned print? One of her son’s professors was recommending an online text for a business course: lighter, always accessible and seriously cheaper ($88 vs. $176 for a 164-page book). But Joanne’s instinct was that her son would “learn better” from a printed volume, free of online distractions, and with pages he could dog-ear, peruse in any order, and inscribe with marginal notes. Her son was inclined to agree.
Many of us book lovers cherish the tactile qualities of print, but some of this preference is emotional or nostalgic. Do reading and note-taking on paper offer any measurable advantages for learning? Given the high cost of hard-backed textbooks, is it wiser to save the money and the back strain by going digital?
Source: A Textbook Dilemma: Digital or Paper? | MindShift | KQED News
By The Washington Post
A brother and sister approach the end of summer differently – the girl is excited for school to start and the brother would rather just stay home. Even after describing the new subjects they’ll be studying and things they’ll do, the boy is adamant about not going to school: “I am going to play all day!/It doesn’t matter what you say.” His sister responds: “Recess is for playing games:/We’ll run and jump and climb!/Let’s go right now and join the fun./You really must not whine!” The sister’s enthusiasm never wanes and eventually the brother – seated at a chair and surrounded by friendly students in a cheerful classroom – discovers his sister was right all along. Bright, bold, detail-laden drawings paired with singsong rhymes create a perfect “turn-that-frown-upside down” story.
Source: 7 books that will help ease the back-to-school transition
By Mayrene Bates
During the summer, some like to find a good book and head to the beach or even the backyard. Then, others like former councilwoman and Rotarian Noreen O’Regan read non-stop year-round.
The Pew Research Center in its annual “Book Reading” survey conducted in March and April 2016, reported that though reading for Americans has remained about the same in the last few years, how we’re reading is changing with e-books and audiobooks.
Source: Locals recall earliest best-loved books
By Nick Sestanovich
Studies have shown students reading comprehension decline over the summer. Researchers call this effect the summer slump. To help combat the summer slump, the Benicia Public Library started the Summer Reading Program, which continues through Aug. 31.
The Summer Reading Program encourages children from ages 0-18 to pick up a book and begin the journey literature can provide. The library gives participants of the summer program a Bingo card, which they can fill out with the books they read over the summer. According to library staff, the Summer Reading Program and Bingo card give plenty of opportunities to keep up reading skills but also encourage children to do such activities as make their own joke book, go to a Farmers Market on Thursdays or Movie in the Park, or to try out a program for children at the library. When children complete a bingo, they can come to the library and collect rewards for reading. Aug. 31 will be the last day children can come to the library and get their rewards for reading over the summer. Teens can also participate in the Summer Reading Program, as there are events just for them including a series of “Lifehacks for Teens,” and a new twist to the prizes this year.
Source: Summer Reading Program encourages reading for Benicia youth
By Rita Platt
If you want to be a better writer, you have to read, read, read. If you want to be a better reader, you have to write, write, write. Most teachers understand the reciprocal relationship between reading and writing. The question is, how do we get our students to read and write and then write and read some more?
Virtual author visits are a good start. Thanks to Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom, it’s easier than ever to host published authors in your classroom. Last year, my students met with many authors, and each visit inspired them (and me) to read and write with renewed energy and purpose.
Source: Bringing Authors Into Your Classroom | Edutopia