Monday, August 31, 2009

Can you teach a love of reading?

There was an interesting juxtaposition of news stories this week.

First there was the sad NPR story about the PBS "Reading Rainbow" TV show ending after a 26 year run. Turns out the show, hosted by LeVar Burton all these years, was the victim of a funding crunch in education. Money is now going to programs that teach kids how to read, rather than to encourage them to love reading. Sorry LeVar, you'll be missed.

Fast forward to Sunday's NY Times and there's a front page article about middle school teachers who are part of a "Classroom Revolution" because they use reading workshops in class and let students choose the books they read--all in an effort to "help build a lifelong love of reading."

I found both stories so interesting because they underscore our belief at Sit Stay Read (and echoed by our program teachers) that the love of reading shown by our volunteers is as important to our students as the impact we have on their reading skills. Rather than "teach" a love of reading, we live it and the kids benefit. I love that!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Dog Video You Won't Want to Miss

Whatever your view of God, I don't think anyone can fault this artist for her sweet interpretation of her own personal view. Made my day. Thanks, Holly!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dog books, what do you think?

Julia Keller's article in Sunday's Chicago Tribune grabbed me with the title, "Why dog books are so fetching."

She reeled me in with the story of her beloved Ramsey but surprised me when she dissed a book I loved, "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Although, like Ms. Keller, I'm not a fan of dog narrators, I persevered with that book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I appreciated learning about "A Year of Cats and Dogs", and quickly added it to Shelfari, but Ms. Keller missed another favorite of mine, "Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog." What about you, do you have a favorite dog book to share?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Guest Bartender Night a BIG Hit

As you can see, the Sit Stay Read crowd had a great time at Lizard's Lounge on Friday night. The electioneering for our new Sit Stay Read bookmark models was fierce but the winners are. . . Slugger and Brady!!

Of course, the real winners are the third-graders at Sumner Academy--$1,006 was raised to bring the SSR program to their class. Woo hoo! Add to that, the generous matching grant from the Kaplan Foundation and that's a whopping $2,012!! Many thanks to our pro bartender, Ruth, our guest bartenders, Elana and Jenn, and all you voters!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Drinks and a Matching Grant!

Let's get together and have some fun! Join us for Guest Bartender night THIS FRIDAY, Aug 21st, from 8-11pm at Lizard's Liquid Lounge, 3058 W. Irving Park Rd in Chicago!

We'll have Sit Stay Read volunteers, Elana Mendelson (pictured, showing her electioneering t-shirt) and Jenn Dohm, as our guest bartenders for the night. 100% of the tips they make will benefit the Sit Stay Read program at Sumner Academy and every dollar will go twice as far thanks to a matching grant! So be good to your bartenders :-)

PLUS, it's not too late to enter your dog in the competition to see who's canine cutie will be the next Sit Stay Read bookmark dog! Visit our website for all the details.