Posted by admin on 10.31.2007 at 1:04 pm
We’ve all got them, you know – the list you have with all the things you want to do in your life. For example:
1. Swim with sharks
2. Write a book
3. Learn to break dance
This month we’ve recruited some help for you and your list. Our friends at National Novel Writing Month (NaNo WriMo) have created a grass roots event with over 100,000 people getting together to write novels.
No Plot? No Problem! NaNoWriMo will keep in touch with you throughout November to give the emotional support and coaching to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. A novel concept indeed. Next month we’ll work on number 3 on life’s to-do list – all $100 dollar orders will get a cardboard head spin mat FREE with purchase.
Posted by admin on 10.31.2007 at 8:58 am
As you may have heard, our warehouse had a small electrical fire today. Luckily the employees and books are alright, and only spooked on an apropos day for strange occurrences.
Thanks to those who have expressed their concern!
Posted by admin on 10.30.2007 at 11:43 am
Check out the following video, a la www.brightcove.tv. It’s an interview with Better World Books’ own Xavier Hegelsen! The interview was taken at the Green Festival in D.C. which is “a two-day party with a serious purpose: to accelerate the emergence of a new economic paradigm that is life-affirming and life-restoring. Together we are cultivating a culture of sustainability and social equity that honors our interdependence with all life.” Read more about the festival.
Posted by admin on 10.29.2007 at 10:26 am
Using the Better World Books Fund and the help of two families, Books for Africa was able to send two 40′ containers to Uganda, containing about 70,000 books. Books for Africa. 8 computers were also included in the shipment.
Add that all up and it’s a pretty simple equation:
+ + YOU =
Changing people’s lives.
Posted by admin on 10.29.2007 at 10:10 am
The following is an official release from the NCFL in regards to our visit to the Santa Rosa school this summer:
In August, a team of eight Better World Books staff, along with NCFL Senior Director Emily Kirkpatrick, Development Specialist Andrea Peters, and Training Specialist Kim Jacobs, helped the Santa Rosa Family and Child Education (FACE) program get ready to welcome students for the new school year.
The FACE program, sponsored by the Bureau of Indian Education, offers educational services to American Indians on 39 reservations. Santa Rosa serves families on the Tohono O’odham Reservation in Arizona. NCFL has provided training and technical assistance to the FACE program since its inception in 1991. Better World Books was already familiar with the FACE program after donating thousands of books to all the sites last year. Many programs used those books for incentives, prizes, gifts, and to build classroom and school libraries.
This summer, Better World Books staff were ready to get their hands dirty—literally. They helped prepare the Santa Rosa dorm for students, mowed and raked, cleaned graffiti off playground equipment, set up computers, and distributed additional donated books. They also had an opportunity to observe the opening days of the program.“In addition to being able to really get to see and understand the FACE program in action and better appreciate NCFL’s role in helping to architect the program, we all had the chance to pitch in and help get the Santa Rosa School itself “in shape” for the opening day of school,” said Better World Books CEO David Murphy. “We were humbled by the experience.”
FACE staff were appreciative of everyone’s efforts. “Without the help of this team,” said Sister Val Beuke, the Santa Rosa FACE coordinator, “our room would never have been so perfectly ready for the little ones.”
Read more about the NCFL-Better World Books partnership.
Posted by admin on 10.29.2007 at 8:36 am
The following is the latest update from Luanne Zurlo, Executive Director of the World Education and Development Fund (commonly known as ‘Worldfund’):
picture of Nubia of Acapulco, Mexico, Worldfund Student of the Month (October).
Worldfund is pleased to be an invited participant at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which is currently taking place in New York City, and where I write to you from today! Worldfund is proposing two projects at the CGI, both Mexico-focused: an intensive training program for public school teachers; and, the opening of five top-quality Mano Amiga schools in impoverished border communities.
As Worldfund’s Founder and Executive Director, I was invited by the CGI to participate in these important meetings. President Bill Clinton introduced the CGI in 2005, as a forum for global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.
Also, we are incredibly grateful to Merrill Lynch for its generous support of Worldfund this fall and since our foundation nearly five years ago. As part of its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in September and October, Merrill Lynch organized a Better World Books book drive on behalf of Worldfund at numerous offices throughout the country. Thousands of books were collected and boxes are still arriving, so everyone who participated can be sure that their contributions made a difference! Merrill Lynch also launched its Employee Global Giving Campaign earlier this month and chose Worldfund as the recipient of donations targeted to Latin America. We are thrilled to be a part of the company’s first global campaign and hope that employees in Latin America will have the opportunity to see firsthand the transformative impact that our education partners have on children’s lives.
Luanne Zurlo, Executive Director
Posted by admin on 10.24.2007 at 9:25 am
Hey all! So, my Rocky Mountain expedition is nearly at a close (More adventures from New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado to come later) and I’ve picked up a couple of tips that I wanted to share:
Weber State University in Utah suggests using printable nametags to fill in the Who, What, When, section of your posters. You can buy these at most any store that sells office supplies (and if you save the receipt your RD can make sure you are reimbursed). They cut down on the time it takes to prep your posters and give them a professional look.
If you have a problem with folks tossing trash in your bins, UC-Denver and Metro State College recommend placing your collection bins next to garbage receptacles. They’ve also found that taping the book slot down to the size of a large text book has helped to reduce the amount of garbage collected.
More to come soon and in the meantime, good luck with midterms, finals, and holiday travels!
Abby doing her best Ansel Adams in Utah
Posted by admin on 10.24.2007 at 9:19 am
This past Saturday, Dustin Holland of the library division, along with Sarah Lynne Reul (East Coast Senior Director) and myself went to the Union Congregation Church in Allston, MA to help Prison Book Program with a community drive. Hailed as the “largest drive in Boston” this program saw 20,000 books from churches and households all around the Metro-Boston area.
Better World Books was there with the Prison Book Program deciding which books would be sold for funding or which would go directly to the prisoners, and after a grueling 10-7pm nonstop sorting and packing session we actually had to shut the doors of the church to make sure no one else showed up!
Thank you to UCC, PBP and all the volunteers who showed up for a great experience. It’s not often enough that we actually get to go out there and get our hands dirty, and the opportunity was a great one. Below are some photos, courtesy of the Boston Globe, Sunday edition (City & Region 10.21.07).
Posted by admin on 10.22.2007 at 8:05 am
Below is the transcript of a speech by Sharon Darling, the President of the National Center for Family Literacy, at the Verizon Literacy Summit at Georgetown University.
This resulting podcast was originally broadcast on October 11, 2007 from 1:50pm – 2:15pm on the Verizon Foundation website.
Family – it provides the foundation for who we are and the inspiration for who we can be.
Parents pass along more than just eye color and other genetic traits to their children. They instill values and attitudes toward learning and education. Stronger literacy skills – across multiple generations – will benefit families, communities and the economy.
Family is the most fundamental unit in the world. Not only is it a reliable organizer in neighborhoods, communities, countries and cultures—it’s simply the most powerful force in the world. A family will make changes and tackle even the most daunting challenges because of the instinctual commitment family members have for the unit to survive and thrive.
We’re here today to talk about the drivers of literacy in our community. Using that analogy, the family is the pace car. It determines how fast and how far we go – and it has the power to unleash the possibilities that education provides.
Education begins with literacy. So to improve, refine and transform education, we must first begin with literacy – and the challenges low literacy presents. I believe that [the] barriers to literacy are a multigenerational problem that need a multigenerational solution.
Today, I will focus on three principles:
First, family is a fundamental driver of education. Consider these statistics:
• Students spend five times as much time in communities and with their families as they do at school;
• The greatest predictors of a child’s future success in school are the parents’ income and education – two factors that are inextricably linked;
• Children from professional families will hear 32 million more words by age four than children in welfare families; and
• Studies have found that during the school year, advantaged and disadvantaged children learn at about the same rate. But during the summer months when schools are closed, home and peer influences reassert themselves. At the end of the summer, advantaged children actually score higher on a standardized test than they did when the summer started, while disadvantaged children fall further behind.
Those statistics show it is clear that parents are not only a child’s first teacher, but also his or her most effective one. Yet that teaching relationship is threatened by the fact that 34 million U.S. adults struggle with reading and have such low literacy levels that reading a newspaper or filling out a job application is nearly impossible.
The cycle is then repeated in the next generation because parents who are not literate tend to have children who struggle academically and don’t achieve literacy proficiency in adulthood. Those adults aren’t prepared for a 20th century economy, much less ready to keep pace with the global competition of the 21st century or provide important guidance to their children.
Secondly, global forces are causing the composition of the American family and that of our world competitors to change. Many global populations are expanding while the American population is contracting — except for the immigrant population. We must educate all immigrant families to ensure the U.S. continues to be a player on a global basis.
In addition to the changing composition of the American family, we are impacted by our relationship with families across the world. For every 120 babies born in the U.S., almost 500 will be born in China and more than 700 will be born in India.
And it isn’t just the contrast in quantity that’s startling. In terms of brain power, the top 25 percent of China’s population in terms of I.Q. is greater than the total population of North America. In terms of output, the number of American 18- to 24-year-olds who receive science degrees has fallen to 17th in the world. The U.S. ranked 3rd three decades ago.
We must find a way not just to compete by today’s standards but to envision tomorrow’s possibilities so we can anticipate and prepare for them. That means equipping our new American family to compete with large and smart global families.
Third, we must recognize that addressing literacy cannot be a stagnant process. To effectively increase literacy levels in this country, our approach must reflect new innovations, the changing demographics of families and the priorities of a globally competitive nation. Albert Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
By the year 2010, the top 10 jobs that will be in demand didn’t even exist just three years ago. Tomorrow’s worker will have had 10 to 14 jobs by age 38. To prepare tomorrow’s workforce, we truly must institute lifelong learning. Success simply can’t be measured by what we know, but how quickly and easily we are able to learn.
To reverse the stubborn challenge of underachievement and low literacy in our families and communities, we must utilize the tenets and tactics of the new economy — research, innovation and technology.
Today, there is a second layer of skills that our daily routines depend on — whether we’re stopping at the ATM, using the U-Scan at the grocery store, pausing a program with our TiVo or leaving a voicemail. Just as we all need to be able to find information in the newspaper, we also need to be able to locate it online. Just as we need to be able to compose a letter, we need to be able to set up an e-mail account. Just as we need to be able to communicate, we need to be able to process enormous amounts of information.
Once again, the family will be our pace car. The nation cannot speed down the information highway if it is leaving families behind. We simply won’t get where we want to be -if we don’t place families out in the lead.
It’s easy to think that technology literacy starts with the generations of tomorrow. But today’s so-called digital natives are being prepared for the future by their parents, their teachers and their community leaders — many of whom are digital immigrants.
This is why [the] NCFL and Verizon have created the first national award to recognize programs that demystify technology for parents and bridge multigenerational learning through technology. The Tech Savvy Award is showcasing how technology applications can span both socio-economic gaps and age gaps. Because of this award, I can personally attest to the fact that there are many exciting examples of how families, schools and literacy programs are employing technology in our pace car.
But these pioneering approaches are not enough.
Today, we must all commit ourselves to approaching literacy not only in the context of — but also with a commitment to — seizing the power of new opportunities brought forth as a result of globalization and technology. Later in this Summit, we will be unveiling a new tool that leverages the power of technology to help programs institutionalize practices that are proven to bring about literacy achievement for students.
Households have power to drive literacy and education more than ever due to technology. The challenge before us is harnessing and tapping into the learning opportunities and styles within families and households, so they truly can compete and thrive in the global marketplace.
The American writer and futurist Alvin Toffler said: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
That has never been more true for the literacy field, as well as for those we serve.
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, NCFL, Our Partners, podcast, Sharon Darling, summit speech
Posted by admin on 10.22.2007 at 7:35 am
Al Vos, a teacher at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton, has been chosen to receive the “Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service”
The website suggests:
This award recognizes individuals whose long history of service to the campus, State University, local community or professional societies/organizations sets them apart as well as those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in local or system-wide faculty governance.
You can read the full description of his excellent works, but you’ll notice that one reason he is receiving this award is of particular interest:
[Al] works with the Center for Learning and Teaching and the Institute for Student-Centered Learning. Vos, campus organizer and coordinator of the Books for Africa campaign, also contributes time and expertise to other community initiatives.
Congratulations, Al, you’ve always been a committed and excellent representative of Better World Books and Books for Africa, and this award is well deserved!
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, al vos, book drive, books for africa, campus, New York, SUNY
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