Winter Newsletter 2016
Successful at Age Eight? 

     In a recent conversation with a group of preschool parents during one of our evening parent workshops last week, I asked the group how they would know their child was on the path to success when he/she reached the age of eight.  The list was almost entirely devoid of achievements.  Instead, parents listed characteristics.  At age 8, they want their children to be curious, adventurous, social, respectful, loving and caring with a deep interest in life and strong love for learning.  

     "So what does this have to do with Raising A Reader book bags?", I asked.  They quickly identified the connection:  stories, books, talk and conversations.  Storybooks are full of new things, places and ideas.  T hey also are full of relationships, social interactions, emotions, decisions and consequences.  In their first five years of life, our children learn about the world, and their place in the world, largely through engaged verbal interaction with a caregiver.  
     When a parent takes the time to deeply engage the child in the story by asking questions and encouraging conversation related to the story, the child's world expands through new knowledge and vocabulary and also through exposure to context and the social and emotional characteristics that enrich us and connect us to each other.  They learn about the traits that make us happy and successful.  They begin to discover their own values.  
     We bring Raising A Reader to the community to help foster success for children.  Because early language acquisition and brain development are inextricably linked, children with strong early language skills typically become accomplished early readers.  And skilled early readers are more often high achievers.  Yes, the background narrative for most curious, engaged, respectful adventurous eight year-olds begins with a parent and lots of good stories and conversations from the moment of birth. 
                -Rick Blauvelt, Executive Director
What's Happening...
PARENT NIGHTS:
Our winter Parent Night topic is SCREENTIME. Parents will share strategies regarding appropriate limits, and we will look at the rapidly growing body of research that supports these limits.  Check our website for a list of upcoming sessions from Aspen to Parachute.    
 
BLUE BAG DAYS: 
Blue Bag Days connect Raising A Reader families with their local libraries. A special library event is scheduled for each classroom.  Children hear a story, learn about the library, receive a special BLUE Raising A Reader bag to keep, receive their first LIBRARYCARD and check out their first books! Parents are encouraged to attend.
 
FAMILY PEER GROUP SESSIONS:
These are weekly small-group sessions with parents and children (ages 2 to 5). Children engage in a learning activity and parents discuss progress on building their child's literacy and language skills at home.  Weekly sessions are noted below.  The majority of our sessions are in Spanish, but we are happy to create a new group if there is need. Contact Lorena Silva at 970-456-5623 (Spanish) and Samantha Jacobs at 314-807-2509 (English)  for more information. 

Basalt Elementary School- 151 Cottonwood Drive, Basalt, CO- Miss Tracy's Classroom- Tuesdays 3:30 PM-Primarily Spanish

Crystal River Elementary- 160 Snowmass Drive, Carbondale, CO- Kindergarten Classrooms Hall- Fridays 3:30 PM-Primarily Spanish

Sopris Elementary School- 1150 Mount Sopris Drive, Glenwood Springs, CO - 400 Neighborhood Hall- Thursdays 3:30 PM -Primarily Spanish

Glenwood Springs Library- 816 Cooper Avenue, Glenwood Springs, CO -Big Conference Room- Thursdays 1:00 PM-Primarily Spanish
 
Machebeuf Apartments- 111 Soccer Field Road, Glenwood Springs, CO- Department's Office- Thursdays 5:00 PM-Primarily Spanish

Rifle Library- 207 East Avenue, Rifle, CO - Big Conference Room- Fridays 10:00 AM-Primarily Spanish

Silt Library- 680 Home Avenue, Silt, CO-Thursdays 9:00 AM-Primarily English
 
AS ALWAYS.... 
 
A huge thank you to our donors, teachers, students and parents for making this program and the future of our children a successful one.

TEACHER FEATURE
Joy Love
Our School
Great job with your book bag launch this year, Joy!   We appreciate all you do to build excitement about books. Joy's class had to find their book bags hidden in the big pie!



SPICE UP YOUR READING SESSION! 


Support Early Literacy! 
  Early Learning Fund
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OUR DATA SHOWS...
In 2015, the number of times our  Raising A Reader children asked parents for read-aloud time increased 41%.
 
Raising A Reader
Book & Activity 
Recommendation 

Book Title: What Pete Ate, from A-Z
Author: Maira Kalman
What you learn: Pete eats his way through the alphabet (and Maira's home!) and we discover that his appetite is rich with early literacy practice. Children practice letter identification, the alphabet sequence, and apply their new knowledge to a silly story full of imagination and fun! Parents will enjoy the beautiful pictures and nostalgic references. 

Activity:  
After reading the book, find things in your own house that "Pete", or even your own dog, might eat. You can go alphabetically or choose specifics letters for your younger reader who is just learning letters of the alphabet. 

-Samantha Jacobs, Program Director
Quick Links
Our Leadership Council-Thank you for Your Support! 
Judith Barnard and Michael Fain

Bezos Family Foundation

Sarah Challinor

Mike and Laura Kaplan

Marcie and Robert Musser

Neil - Garing Agency

Pettit Foundation

Jayne and Bill Poss

Sarah and Molly Scharlin Ben-Hamoo

Martin Schlumberger

Umbrella Roofing

Welch Family Foundation

William H. Baker Construction

Xssentials

Check out our web site at www.rar4kids.org or join us on Facebook .  
 
Rick Blauvelt - Executive Director;  
Samantha Jacobs - Program Director;  Danika Davis - Program Coordinator;
  Lorena Silva - Bilingual Program Coordinator,  Mary Margaret Hesse - Program Coordinator.
Raising A Reader Aspen to Parachute |   rick@rar4kids.org | http://rar4kids.org/
PO Box 2533
Glenwood Springs, CO 81602