Posted by admin on 03.18.2011 at 9:13 am
As you may recall, a group of BWB employees and two of our Librarian partners recently volunteered to do some hands-on work with the National Center for Family Literacy in Oakland, CA. Here is the first of two videos showing the collaboration of schools, students, and their parents in literacy education. See firsthand what kind of impact your purchases from Better World Books have in the world.
Part 2 is on the way!
Posted by admin on 02.04.2011 at 6:12 pm
Even though we raise money for literacy with every sale, there’s no substitute for experiencing a literacy initiative first hand. That’s why twice a year BWB sends a randomly selected group of employees far from our headquarters to work with our non-profit partners “in the field.”This past summer, employees traveled to Africa with Books for Africa and Invisible Children – you can read about their experiences here.
Right now, a different group of employees is focusing on domestic literacy with a trip to the West Coast organized by the National Center for Family Literacy. We even had the opportunity to bring two librarians from our library partners with us this time. The NCFL set-up some excellent work for us to do, and the first hand accounts are just starting to come in.
Here’s one from our CFO, Paul Sansone:
Monday we hit it early at a 7AM meeting with NCFL previewing the week, then broke up into our 4 teams and headed out to Oakland Public Elementary schools (Garfield, Manzanita, Greenleaf, and Lazear). My team is at Garfield Elementary and we’ve been working with about 15 parents (all Moms) of students at the school, aiding in teaching them English. We are in a doublewide trailer on the school grounds.
The students are originally from all over the world: Vietnam, El Salvador, Mexico, Bhutan, and have a wide range of English proficiency. Monday afternoon’s orientation session was held at a local high school where the Oakland Adult education offices are co-located. We learned the schools we were sent to have the lowest literacy rates in the district.
We also learned tactics to better educate – use gestures, pictures, speak clearly, do not use slang and avoid talking like you would to an adolescent – these are proud adults who need a hand. Our NCFL hosts and the Oakland teachers we’ve been with have been wonderful.
It’s Important Stuff
We learned that when the parents are learning English this helps make a much more effective educational experience for their children, so helping these Moms is, in essence, going to help the kids become more literate. Also, the social structure in the homes are often turned upside down as the 1st graders often know more English than the parents do.
We spent much of the day reading kids books together, getting to know family members through speaking and writing exercises. I read Good Night, Gorilla as I have to my kids but it meant so much more reading with an adult mother from Vietnam with 2 kids. Brad Weirich’s Greenleaf team is working on a play for the adults (The Grouchy Little Ladybug) to perform to their children.
We also take breaks with some exercise to music which is a highlight for others and a source of embarrassment for me, as I’m old and have no rhythm. We also get to go into the classrooms with the parents of their kids where for 45 minutes a day, they learn together (PACT time – Parents and Children Together). I don’t know anything about their compensation, but whatever these elementary teachers are receiving, it is not enough for what they are doing.
Our Librarian guests are also having a great time, and before this trip is over we should have some great stories to tell.
Chief Financial Officer
Have your say » | Tagged Literacy Trips, Impact, literacy trip, NCFL
Posted by John on 06.25.2010 at 12:04 pm
Applications being accepted for $30,000 in library grants
Better World Books and the National Center for Family Literacy are teaming up again this year to provide grants for libraries with exceptional family programming.
Applications are now being accepted for the Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award. You can get more information and apply at online at http://www.famlit.org/BWB-library-award. Applications are due by Nov. 12, 2010.
NCFL anticipates awarding three $10,000 grant awards– one in each of the following three categories:
1) Local Friends of the Library programs
2) Public/academic libraries
3) Urban libraries
In addition, award recipients will receive scholarships to attend the National Conference on Family Literacy.
Last year’s winners are doing amazing things! Learn more about them here!
This will be the second year of the award and the latest partnership effort between our organizations, which together have raised more than $555,000 for NCFL’s programming since 2005.
Posted by admin on 02.19.2010 at 3:30 pm
Applications for the new Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award are now available!
Through this opportunity the National Center for Family Literacy and Better World Books will reward and enhance existing family programming and expand literacy-building practices of families in library settings. The three $10,000 grants awarded each year will connect more families to their local libraries and expand their literacy efforts in new and innovative ways.
The deadline to apply is March 3, 2010. One winner will be chosen from each of the three following categories: local Friends of the Library programs, public/academic libraries and urban libraries. The winners will also receive scholarships to NCFL’s 2010 National Conference on Family Literacy that will take place April 11-13 in San Antonio, Texas.
Posted by admin on 07.11.2009 at 7:00 am
The Better World Books/NCFL Libraries and Families Award is three $10,000 grants that will be given to three different library recipients each year to help enhance family programming already under way in library settings. The award will connect more families to their local libraries and expand their literacy efforts in new and innovative ways.
We work with over 1,800 libraries across the country, so we know how passionate they are about literacy. We also know how tough this economy is and how hard it is to get funding for much needed programs. That is why we are so proud to be partnering with NCFL on this award.
Posted by admin on 06.13.2008 at 12:09 pm
In honor of the coming Father’s Day, we asked our newest dad, CTO Andy Warzon how he was preparing to involve books in the raising of the newest member of the Warzon clan.
Our baby room, weeks before my wife is due, is full of books already… old ones, new ones, little infant books, grade-school level educational books… we’ll never be short of reading material. I can’t wait to show our baby all the great books I read as kid, the ones that informed and excited me about the world, and the ones that stretched my imagination. [ed. note: Andy's wife just had the baby! Congrats!]
The dad with the most experience (having raised his own children as well as Kreece, Xavier and Jeff when the company started), CEO David Murphy weighed in at the NCFL blog with the following:
Father’s Day is Sunday, and each year around this time I tend to look back to when my children were young. As the father of three fantastic children, I so clearly and vividly recall many moments curled up with my children reading to them, at all times of day and night…on the kitchen floor, in their forts, on old sofas and beat up bean bags, in bed and in the car.
Few moments in life can compare to the wonders of opening up the new world of language and communication and wonder and awe to your child. From those first moments of seeing and understanding new words, to now their collective love for ‘devouring a book’ — they possess the tools they need to be independent and to help them discover who they are and what they are destined to become in this world.
So, Happy Father’s Day all. I took the time to send my own father “The Economics of Happiness” and “Go Green, Live Rich” to help his quest (to change his own life from NYC finance type to NYC finance type with a smaller carbon footprint). One of the most important things he taught me was to educate myself to do the things I wanted to do, so I’m hoping I can help him do the same or at least convey that his message to me stuck.
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, andy warzon, david murphy, father's day, NCFL, Our Partners
Posted by admin on 04.01.2008 at 11:35 am
Post swiped from the NCFL’s hot new blog, “Literacy Now.”
The good times just keep rolling! Here are some of the conference highlights from Monday:
David Murphy of Better World Books helped open the general session with thoughts about how Better World Books are working to .merge commerce and philanthropy in a way that will make the world a better place. One simple way to do that…shop BetterWorld.com to buy books from a company that balances profit, planet, and people.
- Marie Bradby shared the background and inspiration for her book, More Than Anything Else.
- The NCFL photo booth wrapped up with almost 70 groups visiting and having their pictures made. Keep an eye out for your picture in your local paper!
And we were honored with some great coverage in the local newspaper in Louisville. Click here to see the online version of Monday’s article in the Courier-Journal.
Photo gallery and comment over at the original post
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, david murphy, NCFL, Our Partners
Posted by admin on 02.11.2008 at 12:17 pm
Great news from the NCFL, I’ll let them tell the story:
eHarlequin.com issues 2008 100,000 Book Challenge
Year-long event will benefit NCFL programs
eHarlequin.com has challenged its community members to read an astounding 100,000 books in one year in the 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge. At the end of the year, Harlequin will make an unprecedented donation of an equivalent number of books to the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL). The estimated retail value of a 100,000 book donation to NCFL by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd. is $700,000.
In addition to promoting literacy, the 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge encourages readers to discuss the titles they’ve read on the eHarlequin.com Web site in their own blogs. Those participating in the challenge share their thoughts, reviews, opinions, recommendations and progress. The 2008 eHarlequin.com 100,000 Book Challenge is taking place right now at eHarlequin.com. In one short week 350+ participants have accepted the 2008 100,000 Book Challenge and already read some 1,000+ books. Click here to find out more about the Book Challenge or how to participate.
Alright ladies, get reading!
Have your say » | Tagged Our Partners, challenges, eHarlequin, NCFL, Our Partners, reading
Posted by admin on 02.07.2008 at 10:43 am
What is a literate adult? In the world of literacy statistics we hear tons of information thrown around about “proficient” abilities, “basic” abilities, etc… but what does it really mean to be proficient or basic as far as these tests?
Over at Educational Cyber Playground they did some research to figure out what exactly was going on. In order to do this they went to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy at the National Center for Education Statistics. What they found was more interesting…
If you’re willing to use some simplifications, we can break down some pretty fascinating information here. I’ll let them tell the story:
World IQ averages about 90, so the 50th percentile for Americans (IQ 100) is the 75th percentile for the world.
Find which energy source will supply more power in 2000 than it did in 1971, using this table.
|Total 10^12 BTU||
Source: US Department of Interior United States Energy Through the Year 2000
BTU: Quanity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Now if you said nuclear power, you figured out what 46% of adult Americans can’t (and 71% of adults on this planet cannot either.)
Use the article to write a sentence that explains why the investigating committee thinks these practices are dangerous.
Panel: Sloppy work perils nuke plants
By THOMAS O’TOOLE
WASHINGTON–After investigating corruption in two of the nation’s largest construction unions, the Senate Labor Committee charged Wednesday that so many incompetent welders and engineering technicians are helping build nuclear power plants it constitutes a national safety hazard.
“Unqualified workers have been routinely referred for work as skilled craftsmen, working qualification tests have been circumvented and favoritism is rampant in choosing who will work,” according to a 72-page report released by the majority staff of the Senate Labor Committee.
The committee spent two years investigating the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers and one year investigating the International Union of Operating Engineers.
The report concluded that “new legislation to certify workers and make test cheating and extortion a federal crime is needed to ensure the safety, proficiency and durability of . . . construction sites.”
The committee said that one of the most serious practices it uncovered is the sale of union cards for as much as $1,600 to welders who never took qualifying tests.
The committee also charged that experienced welders routinely took tests for inexperienced welders, who were then put to work on jobs that included the Three Mile Island and Beaver Valley nuclear plants in Pennsylvania and the Perry, Ohio, plan near Cleveland.
The committee said that one witness testified that “60 percent of the welders he worked with on the [TMI] fuel pool [where spent radioactive uranium was kept under water] were not qualified for the union journeyman books they held and had bought their books right on the job.”
Another witness said that “some of the worst work I’ve ever seen” was done at the TMI fuel pool. The witness said “incompetent welders” made up to 25 or 30 bad welds in the pipe used to carry radioactive fuel, the report said. The witness added that the welders covered mistakes by “washing the bad welds down with a torch to make them all look uniform.”
This is a much tougher exercise. Only 20% of American (6% of world) adults could write the required one sentence. This corresponds to an IQ of 113. “
Imagine for a second the ramifications of this. We want our kids to be successful and we want our educational system to be excellent by world standards (the best, really) but only 20% of the respondents could even execute simple reading comprehension from a newspaper article(!) Not just any article either, one that would directly affect how you vote and what you support for the future of our country. The most important thing in a democracy and civilization is literacy because information is the key. Meanwhile there’s only 20% of adults with adequate reading comprehension in our own country.
I’m more thankful for the NCFL’s efforts everyday…
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, literacy, NCFL
Posted by admin on 02.05.2008 at 10:00 am
Exciting news about the NCFL from the Courier-Journal, in Louisville, KY:
The National Center for Family Literacy, based in Louisville, has named Deborah Hasson director of the Hispanic Learning Institute and co-director of Toyota Programs, which focus on serving Hispanic and other immigrant families. Hasson, the daughter of Argentine immigrants, formerly was an assistant professor and program coordinator at Florida State University.
Related: We talked about the NCFL’s commitment to Hispanic Learning
Have your say » | Tagged Uncategorized, NCFL, Our Partners, partner updates
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