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  • PhilippinesA Philippines city celebrated ILD with Book Characters on Parade, a Slogan Contest, Reader’s Theater, and Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas reading to children.
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    International Literacy Day in the Philippines

    by Sally Labanda
     | Sep 30, 2013

    The City of Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Philippines, celebrated International Literacy Day (ILD) on September 9 with Book Characters on Parade, a Slogan Contest, and Reader’s Theater. The event was highlighted by Honorable Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas reading to over 150 children in the People's Hall of the City of Sta. Rosa. The pages of the children's books she read were projected on a screen so that all attendees could read along. The Mayor also raffled off 20 bicycles to highlight one of the books she read in Filipino, “Ang Bisikleta ni Monmon.”

    The Mayor has sustained her support for this annual literacy event in the city for the past seven years. The reading with the Mayor has always ended with each child having a book in his/her hand. Her advocacy models a significant adult in the community who values love for books and reading.

    This activity is very much in line with the 2013 ILD theme adopted by International Reading Association, “Invent Your Future,” which was celebrated throughout the month of September. 

    The City of Sta. Rosa’s ILD celebration was participated in by both public and private schools elementary pupils, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, government and non-government officials, the Dep. Ed. City Division, the Private Schools Administrators Association, Rotary Clubs of Sta. Rosa, the Reading Association of the Philippines, and parents. The President of International Reading Association, Dr. Maureen McLaughlin sent her greetings and message to the city stakeholders in education for all the things that they do to spread the good news of literacy and helping the children invent their future!

    Furthermore the Reading Association of the Philippines under the leadership of the President, Melissa Orencia, a partner of the City in this yearly event, has scheduled a Kwentuhan sa Daycare and a Training of Daycare teachers before the end of
    September. Likewise, Adarna House will donate books for the children who will participate in the kwentuhan.

    For more information about the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP), visit http://rap.org.ph.

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    Sally (Rizalina) Labanda is a Past President of the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) and a former International Reading Association board member.


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  • NMIRANMIRA's activities include an international literacy project in Palomas, Mexico, the New Mexico Journal of Reading, an annual conference, and more.
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    New Mexico Reading Association Actively Engaged with Literacy Educators

    by Kristy Hays
     | Aug 19, 2013

    NMIRA ProjectThe New Mexico Reading Association (NMIRA) is a professional organization of literacy professionals who volunteer their time and efforts to promote literacy. The organization provides current news about literacy, leadership, professional development, and many great services to students and communities around the state.

    New Mexico Journal of Reading

    The New Mexico Journal of Reading provides not only information about the professional organization, but engaging articles relating to literacy and the teaching profession. Dr. Jose Montelongo and his wife, Dr. Anita Hernandez, the journal’s new co-editors, are both literacy professionals who inspire others through their passion for learning and teaching.

    Dr. Montelongo is currently working as a librarian at an elementary school library in Canantuillo, TX. Dr. Anita Hernandez, a published Heinemann author, is a professor of bilingual education for pre-service teachers at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM where she and her husband currently reside.

    The journal is mailed out to members of the New Mexico State Reading Association as well as subscribing members in New Mexico and surrounding states. Literacy professionals are encouraged to submit articles for review and publication.

    Leadership

    Every summer, NMIRA provides a Leadership Workshop for its members. Last July, we met at Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces, NM. The topic was, “Why? Why are we committed to NMIRA and promoting literacy?” The inspiration for this workshop was the book by Simon Sinek, Start With Why. Sinek introduced the book this past year at the International Reading Association Annual Convention in Chicago. The workshop was a powerful experience that allowed us to reassess and recommit to important professional goals as literacy educators.

    Our guest speaker, Dr. Toni Hull, an instructional leader and member of a Washington Fellowship, also addressed the topic. She continued with the theme of asking why and then presented several strategies to build upon why we are members of NMIRA and where we want to go in our future efforts. The summer leadership workshop brought us closer as an organization and strengthened our commitment as advocates for literacy promotion.

    The International Literacy Project

    NMIRA ProjectTwice every year the International Literacy Project Committee collects donations and supplies for the small town of Palomas, Mexico. The town sits just across the United States border. Although the students in Palomas live in poverty, they are fortunate enough to have one elementary school, a middle school, and high school. These schools appreciate the donations of paper, pencils, crayons, scissors, and general cleaning supplies that NMIRA is able to provide.

    Nancy Bellegamba, Ginger Berry, Estrella Becerra, and Carlos and Virginia Cuellar are the leaders of the International Project Committee and travel to Palomas each Labor Day and Memorial Day. Over the past few years, this has been a dangerous effort because of the violence that has been occurring in Palomas and along the entire United States and Mexican border.

    NMIRA Project

    Land of Enchantment

    Land of Enchantment is a committee that serves schools across the state of New Mexico. We have partnered with the New Mexico Librarian’s Association to share this committee. It provides book lists to students who read the reviewed books and vote on their favorites to win the Land of Enchantment Award. The author is recognized and awarded at the state conference.

    NMIRA is a strong organization of dedicated professionals who truly care about the promotion of literacy. We hope to continue to provide professional development for teachers and also support parents and community members in their endeavors to promote literacy for all.

    Kristy Hays

    Kristy Hays is a teacher at Deming High School in Deming, NM, and is president of NMIRA, kristy.hays@demingps.org.

    Added note: The 2014 NMIRA conference will be held January 31-February 1 in Albuquerque.

    This article is was published in the December 2012/January 2013 issue of Reading Today. IRA members can read the interactive digital version of the magazine here. Nonmembers: join today!

     

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  • BermudaEducators in the Caribbean can look forward to a conference in Bermuda in September, one in Jamaica in November, and one in Dominica in December.
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    Professional Development for Literacy Leaders in the Caribbean

     | Aug 15, 2013

    The International Reading Association has strong and growing affiliates in the Caribbean region, including three hosting conferences this fall.

    Bermuda

    The Bermuda Reading Association will host its annual conference on Sunday, September 7 at the Fairmont Southhampton Hotel in Southhampton. Featured speakers include International Reading Association (IRA) Board Member Rona Flippo presenting “Opportunities for Professional Membership: A Path to Professional Growth” and “Assessing Readers: Formative, Qualitative, and Meaningful Assessments for Classroom Teachers.” Flippo has taught public schools and is now a professor of Education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

    Michele Dufresne, author of Word Solvers: Making Sense of Letters and Sounds and other texts, will present “Making It Easy to Learn” and “Maximizing Learning Opportunities” at the conference. Now a literacy staff developer for Pioneer Valley Books, Dufresne has been a classroom teacher, language arts specialist, and a consultant in school districts.

    Literacy Consultant Pat Johnson will present “Catching Readers Before They Fall: Shifting Our Thinking to Better Support Readers Who Struggle” and “Supporting Classroom Teachers With Ongoing Assessment” in Bermuda. After a career spent in schools with diverse populations, Johnson provides staff development for school districts nationwide. She also is the author of One Child at a Time: Making the Most of Your Time With Struggling Readers, K-6.

    The Bermuda Reading Association Conference will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the $50 registration tickets can be purchased from www.bdatix.com. The conference is eligible for Bermuda Educator’s Council (BEC) endorsed professional development hours. Click here to view the flyer.

    In addition, the Caribbean community of literacy educators is planning a conference in Jamaica on November 7 and 8, and the Dominica Reading Association will hold their conference on December 11 to 13.

    View more conference opportunities on IRA’s online calendar, or contact the IRA Global Operations Unit to ask about literacy projects around the globe.

     

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  • Rene PonceThe International Development Committee of Latin America prepares for a conference in Mexico in September and reflects on the success of last year’s event.
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    Mexico's Successful Seminar Leads to Council Growth and Conference Plans

    by Oscar J. Martinez-Alaniz
     | Aug 05, 2013

    As the members of the International Development Committee of Latin America (IDC-LA) prepare for the XIII Latin America Conference on September 14–16, 2013 in Puebla, Mexico, they can’t help but reflect on the success of last year’s Mexico City event.

    Rene Ponce
    Rene Ponce


    Yesly Contraras, Oscar J.
    Martinez-Alaniz, Alma Carrasco,
    and Sakil Malik  


    Among the 33 million people that live in Mexico City, the Puebla Reading Council added 200 more educators, writers, researchers, and reading and writing specialists on August 2–4, 2012 at the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico celebrating the III International Reading Seminar in the University and the II Writing Culture of Expressions at the National Convention. These events were organized by the Writing Culture Network of Discursive Community.

    “In Mexico, it is necessary to promote and contact authoritative voices on literacy topics that may provide elements for reflection on the fundamental tasks by institutions of higher education on these issues,” the 2012 seminar flyers stated. “National and international experts at this conference can be found regularly meeting to help build and strengthen networks to create a tradition of reading and writing in the country.”

    Puebla Reading Council Chair Alma Carrasco welcomed all the attendees, keynote speakers, and presenters. She explained the great efforts and hard work they have done to develop a professional and academic reading and writing network in Mexico.

    The International Reading Association was represented by Director of the Global Operations Unit Sakil Malik, Global Operations Unit Program Assistant Yesly Contreras, and International Development Coordinating Committee Chair (2012–2014) Dr. Oscar Martinez-Alaniz. They witnessed the great success of such an academic event and met with other educators who work in Mexican private universities that are interested in opening new Reading Councils in other Mexican states such as Michoacán, Monterrey, Sonora, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi, and Tlaxcala.

    Seminar opening ceremony

     

    According to Rene Ponce, Puebla Reading Council Liaison to the IDC-LA, “it was definitely a big task and commitment and the results were more than what the team expected. Important networking was done, and various projects aimed to the development of literacy in the region were consolidated and/or further developed.”

    Puebla Reading Council staff and professional volunteers were so happy with the results. At this year’s event, they are planning to receive many international educators to share their reading and writing knowledge, practices, and experiences. The 2013 event will host the IDC-LA meeting where the 12 International Development Committee Chairs of Latin America will elect their new IDC-LA Chair for 2013–2015 and share the progression, achievements, and developments of their reading council projects.

    Oscar Martinez-AlanizOscar J. Martinez-Alaniz is the International Development Coordinating Committees Chair and teaches at the Cervantes College.

     

    This article was originally published in the April/May 2013 issue of Reading Today. IRA members can read the interactive digital version of the magazine here. Nonmembers: join today!

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  • NY summer campThe New York State Reading Association teamed with SUNY Potsdam and Corning, Inc. on the popular Sheard Literacy Center Summer Camp.
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    A Summer Camp for Young Readers: SUNY Potsdam Makes it Happen

    by Cindy Wells
     | Jul 29, 2013

    Hockey camp? Basketball camp? Soccer camp? Tech camp? How about investing in a camp that is going to inspire lifelong learning?

    NY summer camp

    NY summer camp

    NY summer camp

    NY summer camp

    The creation and implementation of a literacy camp was a long standing goal of the Sheard Literacy Center Director at SUNY Potsdam, Tina Wilson Bush. Working in collaboration with summer course instructor, Cindy Wells, Tina was able to see this dream realized. For the past three years SUNY Potsdam, a university in northern New York, has hosted a highly successful Summer Literacy Camp.

    What happens at Literacy Camp? Campers are immersed in literacy activities–from arts, writing, technology, to outdoor games. Graduate students from the Literacy Specialist/Educator Program create developmentally appropriate active learning centers for the approximately 30 campers in grades K-6 to rotate through over the three days of attendance. Enthusiasm is high as students explore literacy through various modalities, tapping into their multiple intelligences.

    Some of the “campers” would be considered struggling or striving readers and are encouraged to attend by teachers and parents. Others are there just for the fun of involvement in literacy. The college students follow the New York State Libraries’ Reading theme each summer via collaboration with the Potsdam Public Librarian, Sarah Sachs. They creatively coordinate ideas with the current summer’s theme. Time is also set aside to explore books and other interests during self-selected reading and “choice time.”

    It is delightful to see a child lounging on comfy pillows in a blow up pool totally immersed in a book, reading with a mentor/buddy or acting out a book with puppets and props. Campers end the experience with comments such as, “Three days is not long enough!” and “I am coming back next year and I hope camp will be Monday to Friday!” These comments are welcome feedback that help gauge the success of the camp.

    We are pleased to be assisted in this endeavor by the college administration, Corning, Inc., and students as well as the parents who support the camp by encouraging their children to attend. This camp offers a unique compliment to the many opportunities that summer brings. The Sheard Literacy Center Summer Camp strives to support lifelong learning through positive experiences for all attendees.

    Cindy WellsCindy Wells is an instructor at SUNY Potsdam, wellsck@potsdam.edu.

     


    This article was published in the April/May 2013 issue of Reading Today. IRA members can read the interactive digital version of the magazine here. Nonmembers: join today!

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