Bringing Books to Life at Reading: A Family Affair

February 27, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Sing Books with Emily

Sing Books with Emily (Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus)

Rounding out our stellar storytellers and theater performers at Reading: A Family Affair on March 1, 2014, is Sing Books with Emily (Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus) celebrates the wonderful world of illustrated song in singable picture books, combining live performance with the magical wonders of music, text and illustration. Emily Leatha Everson Gleichenhaus has performed in solo and group cabaret shows and Sing Books performances in many area venues including at the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Maggie’s Cabaret, Arts Club of Washington, Capital Fringe Festival and many elementary schools and public libraries…and RAFA! Emily performs from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and her performance is recommended for ages 4-9.

Oh Susannah

Oh Susannah! (Susan McNelis) award-winning children’s songwriter and performer

Oh Susannah! singer/songwriter/guitarist Susan McNelis, performs for hundreds of children and parents every week in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her first musical release, “Twinkle & Shine,” brought her to the attention of the Kennedy Center. Her next CD “Sing-Song” received a coveted iParenting Media Award. Her latest CD, “The Cat Lady Sings,” was nominated for Best Children’s Album by the Washington Area Musicians Association.

During the 15 minute intermission between each performance, take your child to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, our special guest from WETA Kids, or enjoy snacks for purchase from James Lee Razorbacks Youth Sports!

A suggested donation of $5 at door will benefit LCNV’s Student Scholarship Fund. For more information about RAFA, go to http://www.lcnv.org/events/rafa.

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Family Learning Resource: Building Adult Capabilities to Improve Child Outcomes: A Theory of Change

February 27, 2014 at 10:47 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Last week I had the great privilege of attending the Families Learning Summit and National Conference on Family Literacy (www.familieslearning.org) .  I have attended this conference in the past and I credit it with keeping me well-informed of national trends in family literacy and family engagement.  I hadn’t had the opportunity to attend since 2010, so it was very fortunate that the conference was held in Washington D.C this year, making it a great opportunity to attend and present.   I enjoyed being able to share this conference with my colleague and Family Learning Program lead teacher, Elizabeth Magee.  We learned so much and are looking forward to applying our knowledge and energy from this conference to the Family Learning Program.  We also had a great time as co-presenters of Crafts and Beyond: Parent and Child Time Activities (PACTS), lessons and assignments that engage families in literacy development.  I hope to share additional blogs very soon with more in-depth descriptions of sessions we attended as well as a description of our own presentation, but for now I would like to share this powerful video that was aired during the opening session on the first day.  This video from the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University makes a compelling argument for adult education and family literacy in particular.

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/multimedia/videos/theory_of_change/

Carisa Pineda, Family Learning Program Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

Bringing Stories to Life at Reading: A Family Affair

February 25, 2014 at 5:12 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

NEW! Pre-register online to attend RAFA and you will be entered for the chance to win a Nook® HD.

Not all performances at Reading: A Family Affair on March 1, 2014, involve the stage. Several local storytellers will enchant you and your children with engaging, interactive programs.

Barbara_Effron

Barbara Effron, captivating storyteller

Barbara Effron’s energetic storytelling programs combine folk, traditional and personal stories with songs and audience participation. Since 1983, Barbara Effron has delighted children and adults in metropolitan Washington with her enchanting tales and musical stories. She has performed at schools, libraries, synagogues, birthday parties, festivals, the Kennedy Center, the White House, the Smithsonian and Busch Gardens. Barbara performs from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the HEAR a Book room.  Her performance is recommended for ages 3-6.

Gary Lloyd

Gary Lloyd,award-winning storyteller, presents a dragon-themed performance

Gary Lloyd is a renowned storyteller, visiting schools, festivals, libraries and other venues from Vermont to South Carolina, entertaining hundreds of thousands of listeners of all ages. He begins each program celebrating the bond between storytelling and reading – each requires the reader/listener to call on their imagination to recreate the story in their mind’s eye. Known for his enthusiastic delivery, Gary orchestrates a program of story, voices, movement and participation that is focused on capturing and keeping audience attention.  He will perform a dragon-themed program from 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. that is recommended for ages 5-11.

Marc Spiegel_storyteller photo

Marc Spiegel, engaging, interactive storyteller

Marc Spiegel enchants, delights, inspires and mesmerizes with a unique presentation of imaginative storytelling, audience participation, poetry and even a song or two. Marc has appeared on TV and radio, in schools, libraries, churches and concert halls. He has performed Off-Broadway in New York, at the Kennedy Center and the National Theater in Washington D.C. and at the International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap.  Marc has also presented his award winning original “Einstein Alive!” for audiences around the world, as well as working with the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater in creating and performing “Time Capsule in a Milkcan” for the United States Holocaust Museum. He will perform from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m in the BECOME a book room. His performance is recommended for ages 4-11.

During the 15 minute intermission between each performance, take your child to meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, our special guest from WETA Kids, or enjoy snacks for purchase from James Lee Razorbacks Youth Sports!

WETA Kids' Clifford the Big Red Dog at LCNV's Reading: A Family Affair

WETA Kids’ Clifford the Big Red Dog at LCNV’s Reading: A Family Affair

A suggested donation of $5 per family at the door will benefit LCNV’s Student Scholarship Fund.  Last year, sponsorships and donation at the door raised $15,000.  For more information about RAFA, go to http://www.lcnv.org/events/rafa.

Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Rd., Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

Tutor Tip: Diction: Does it matter?

February 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When students’ mispronunciations impede communication, it probably does matter.

Best teaching practices encourage students to talk as much as possible in and out of the instructional setting without undue concern for the clarity of their speech. However, some students also need explicit lessons on pronunciation that are limited in scope and taught with sensitivity.

As I read through quarterly reports last week, the story of one tutor-student pair’s dedication to improving pronunciation captured my attention.  Employed as a cafeteria worker in a kitchen, the Korean student accepted an opportunity to move to cashier, a post requiring continuous interaction with students. But a problem quickly emerged; the children could not understand her and thus, she returned to her former position.  Matched with Darlene, a tutor savvy in teaching pronunciation, the student persevered and earned a second chance at the cashier job. Now that she can be understood, she gets to practice her conversation skills daily in her role as cashier.

What can we learn from Darlene?  “I concentrate on certain sounds they [students] have problems with,” she says. “I tell them to watch my mouth make a sound, then try to copy it. I show them where to put their tongues in relation to their teeth, how to move their mouths, use air flow, and position the thumb and index finger to feel the shape of the mouth. I also tell them to look in a mirror when they practice a sound at home.  Then when they come in I say, ‘Let me hear your Oh sound’ (or whatever sound they are working on).  It’s a very visual and tactile thing.”

Continuously correcting students on pronunciation (as opposed to actually teaching it) may have the adverse effect of limiting their willingness to engage in conversation. The Literacy Council’s ESOL tutor training features an excellent module on pronunciation that includes important guidelines in this regard. LCNV trainer Karen Singer recommends reserving five to 10 minutes of a 90 minute tutoring session to work on pronunciation.  “When you are doing dialogue, don’t correct at the time unless you can’t understand it,” she says. “Jot down the problems as you hear them to work on another time.”  

Karen Singer is the former Coordinator of Foreign Languages for Fairfax County Public Schools. She currently works at George Mason University as University Supervisor for foreign language Masters Degree candidates who are doing their internships at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Karen Singer is the former Coordinator of Foreign Languages for Fairfax County Public Schools. She currently works at George Mason University as University Supervisor for foreign language Masters Degree candidates who are doing their internships at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Additional tutor tips from the training team:

  • Work only on those sounds that make a student difficult to understand
  • Remember the goal: Understandable pronunciation, not perfection.

Practicing pronunciation outside of the tutoring session is important as well. Audio-tapes or websites can be helpful to students with access to technology. For audio practice with minimal pairs (i.e., pairs of words that differ by just one sound, such as ship versus sheep), check out this link

Tutors must keep in mind that rhythm, intonation, phrasing, and stress also affect how well someone is understood, and students differ in the ease with which they are able to correct mispronunciations and, more importantly, to generalize those corrections into everyday speech.

Judy Gilbert, in Clear Speech From the Start: Basic Pronunciation and Listening Comprehension in North American English (Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition, 2012,) makes the point that “…rhythm affects the way people hear sounds. If the timing is wrong, it’s hard to identify the sound accurately” (p. viii).  For more information, you can borrow this book from the LCNV library.  

Motivation also plays an important role. According to a brief from the Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA), research reveals that students who have a personal or professional goal for learning English are more likely to work hard on their pronunciation. To read this excellent article, go to this link.

ESOL tutors seeking to refresh their skills may refer back to the handouts they received during the ESOL training. Other tutors can read more about pronunciation at the website listed above as well as at this site from Colorado State University and many other similar sites designed for teachers.

Is your student difficult to understand? Do you have a story where diction played a prominent role? Perhaps you have studied a foreign language and have an anecdote from your own experience. I would love to hear from you.  Please feel free to share with our community of tutors by commenting on this post.

Carole Vinograd Bausell

Carole Vinograd Bausell

Carole Vinograd Bausell, Ed.D. is an English language and literacy specialist and Director of Tutoring Programs with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.

 

All LCNV morning classes canceled on Feb. 18

February 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All LCNV morning classes are canceled for today Feb. 18. Afternoon and evening classes are as regularly scheduled. Offices will open on time.

LCNV Office Delays (Feb. 14) and Closings (Feb. 17)

February 14, 2014 at 8:09 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Delayed Opening, February 14
LCNV offices will open at Noon today, Friday, February 14. There are no classes currently scheduled for today. In case of inclement weather, more information can be found at http://www.lcnv.org/about-us/inclement-weather-policy. Please contact James Lee Community Center directly at 703-534-3387 to check if the facility will be open today. Be safe!

Holiday Closing, February 17
On Monday, February 17, all LCNV classes are canceled and the offices are closed for the national holiday, Presidents’ Day. Please contact James Lee Community Center directly at 703-534-3387 to check if the facility will be open on Monday.

LCNV Offices Are Closed Today, Feb. 13

February 13, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LCNV offices are closed today, February 13, due to inclement weather.  For more information about LCNV’s inclement weather policy, visit http://www.lcnv.org/about-us/inclement-weather-policy. Stay safe and warm!

LCNV Announces Lineup for Verizon “See a Book” Theater at Reading: A Family Affair on March 1

February 12, 2014 at 5:31 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

LCNV is pleased to announce its starting lineup in the signature sponsor Verizon “See a Book” Theater at Reading: A Family Affair on March 1, 2014.

Mr. Knick Knack (Steve Rossi), seated, and partner John Eggers

Mr. Knick Knack (Steve Rossi), seated, and partner John Eggers

First up at 9:30 a.m. sharp is Mr. Knick Knack! (Steve Rossi).  Rossi is one of the leaders of the indie family music scene in the Washington, D.C. area, melting hearts with his infectious original songs focusing on the fundamentals of family, love and overcoming fear. As a solo artist, he has performed thousands of shows in the DC area dominating the regions family music venues including Tyson’s Corner Center, Reston Town Center and Market Common Clarendon in Arlington.  His performance is best for ages (0-7).

Jane-Franklin-Dance_Penelopes-Pesky-Pen_photo-Jane-Franklin2 Following Mr. Knick Knack in the “See a Book” Theater at 10:30 a.m., Jane Franklin Dance will dazzle you with stories told through dance.  A non-profit arts organization, Jane Franklin Dance, celebrates movement and makes dance accessible to a wide range of audiences through public performances, community engagement, dance education, and collaborations with artists from other disciplines.  The Arlington based Dance Company offers ongoing programs for older adults, performances for children, dance education and collaborations blending dance with visual arts.  This performance is for all ages.

Michael Cotter, founder of Blue Sky Puppet Theatre

Next up is Blue Sky Puppet Theatre at 11:30 a.m. with a performance of “Rufus,” the story of shy young, homeless dog searching for a home. Since 1974, Blue Sky Puppet Theatre is one of the finest touring children’s theatres on the East Coast. Each of their 1,000 shows a year is dedicated to excellence in theatre, art, education and fun. Michael Cotter founded Blue Sky Puppet Theatre.  This performance is best for ages (4-10).

Dean Allan (Wizard of Reading)

Dean Allan (Wizard of Reading)

For the final act at 12:30 p.m., Dean Allan (Wizard of Reading) enchants children with a magical Dr. Seuss-themed show.  Allan is a full time magician with a passion for books. He presents his shows about reading to libraries and schools all over the Mid-Atlantic region. He is also an author of two books on magic and is finishing up his first children’s book. His performance is most suitable for ages (5-11).

All performances are 45 minutes in length, followed by a 15 minute intermission, during which you and your child can meet Clifford the Big Red Dog, our special guest from WETA Kids!

A suggested donation of $5 at door will benefit LCNV’s Student Scholarship Fund. Don’t forget to pre-register to attend to be eligible for the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a Nook® HD.  For more information about RAFA, go to http://www.lcnv.org/events/rafa.

All LCNV Evening Classes for Weds. Feb. 12 are canceled.

February 12, 2014 at 2:01 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

All LCNV evening classes for Wednesday, February 12 are canceled. In the event of inclement weather, LCNV classes will close according to the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) system. For complete details about LCNV inclement weather policy, visit here.

LCNV Family Learning Program Specialist Highlights Recent Children’s Literature Award Winners

February 6, 2014 at 5:58 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flora_and_UlyssesThe American Library Association announced the winners of its coveted youth media awards on January 27.  The list of winners can be found here:  http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/01/american-library-association-announces-2014-youth-media-award-winners.

The most well-known of these awards are the Newbery and Caldecott.  The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to Kate DiCamillo for “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.”  This is a big year for Kate DiCamillo who was recently named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature for 2014-2015.  It is clear why she would be a good candidate for Ambassador as this is not the first time DiCamillo’s work has been recognized by the ALA.  In 2004 her book “The Tale of Despereaux” received the Newbery award and in 2001 her novel “Because of Winn Dixie” was a Newbery Honor Book.  Although it is not an ALA award, her 2001 novel “Tiger Rising” was a National Book Award Finalist.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to “Locomotive,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca.  It also received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor for being a distinguished informational book for children.  It is nice to see a non-fiction book receive the Caldecott Medal.  The book recently caught my eye because of the striking image of the front of a train on its cover, but I haven’t had a chance to read it.  It is moving to the top of my list.

A Randolph Caldecott Honor book that I am excited about is “Journey” by Aaron Becker.  I am a huge fan of wordless books for numerous reasons, especially for how they lend themselves to families sharing stories together.  The illustrations in this book are truly magical and rich. 

Another award I would like to highlight is the Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.  This year’s winner is “Niño Wrestles the World,” written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales.  Yuyi Morales is one of my favorite author/illustrators.  Her books “Just a Minute” and “Just in Case” are always on repeat in my household.  A poster of “Just a Minute” hangs next to my desk at the LCNV office.  It has hung over two desks prior to this one.  I can’t wait to add “Niño Wrestles the World” to my family’s home library.

Carisa Pineda, Family Learning Program Specialist
Literacy Council of Northern Virginia
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
www.lcnv.org

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