By Richard Bammer
While COVID-19 has upended the world for nearly a year, it has forced us to put on our collective thinking caps to deal with it, especially when it comes to educating children and adults.
But as our public institutions shut down or scale back operations during the pandemic, with no sign of letting up amid another surge, two area school districts and the Solano County Library have locked virtual arms and reached out to increase reading and literacy and to promote digital learning.
Using wireless technology in an effort to support new generations of lifelong learners and readers, the library system and Fairfield-Suisun and Travis unified school districts have formed what educators and library leaders say is an innovative new partnership to increase access to more ebooks and e-audiobooks for students.
Source: Increasing literacy, online learning? There’s an app for that – The Reporter
By Daily Republic Staff
Solano County Library invites everyone to participate in the “Spring into Summer Reading Challenge” while students are at home and parents and caregivers are looking for ways to keep their children occupied.
The reading program is designed to be fun for the whole family. Participating is simple: Beginning May 1, register for the challenge at solanolibrary.com and track reading progress online.
Even little ones who aren’t reading yet can participate by enjoying a book with an adult, playing with puppets and enjoying nursery rhymes.
Source: Time to ‘Spring into Summer Reading Challenge’
Children’s Author, Andre’ Lewis, in partnership with Valero, is giving back to our community. On Feb. 11, Mr. Lewis visited all four elementary schools in the Benicia Unified School District. Mr. Lewis visited to share, Let’s Steam Ahead with third grade students. The central theme of Mr. Lewis’ book is to inspire a love of reading and writing through the exploration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math.
Representatives from Valero helped with funding to cover costs and assist Mr. Lewis in providing all third grade students with a free book to enjoy and share with their families. Present were representatives from the STEAM field.
Source: Let’s Steam Ahead author reads to Benicia students to inspire a love of reading
By Kimberly K. Fu
Earlier this week, a 53-foot long literacy program on wheels rolled into Fairview Elementary School in Fairfield to bring the joy of the written word to students.
The Digital Bookmobile by Overdrive was welcomed with a cacophony cheers as students waited in line for a turn to enter the traveling library.
That done, the youths poured into the vehicle and took seats in the exhibit area. They learned to access ebooks and audiobooks offered by the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District using a touchscreen at the front of the room. Hands waved excitedly throughout the short instruction period and the kids, of the generation that seems born with digital knowledge, quickly got the hang of the material.
Source: Digital bookmobile new school literacy tool – The Reporter
By Vallejo Times Herald
Thanks to the OneCard collaboration between Benicia Public Library and Benicia Unified School District, all students attending middle school and high school in Benicia can now use their student ID cards as library cards, the city announced Monday.
The move puts library cards into the hands of the nearly 3,000 students who attend these schools.
“This is a very important step forward for access to information resources for our entire community,” said David Dodd, the city of Benicia’s director of library and cultural services, in a city press release. “We’ve been working towards this for a couple of years, and it is so fantastic to see it become a reality!”
Source: Benicia students can use ID cards to check out books – Times-Herald
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