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i was watching something on CSPAN today related to literacy, which got me thinking about this project a little....

we started out talking about doing a "literacy"-related project this year, then quickly turned to the other needs that seem to plague economically disadvantaged school systems...which, please don't get me wrong, i'm all for. i'm not sure we would accomplish a whole lot by merely boosting the number of books in a school library somewhere; because who's to say that would have any effect on that school's desire to read them, right? i think this whole "goody-bag" for each student is a great idea. it feels more personal too, if we do reach our goal and are able to give one to each student.

however...we do seem to be lacking focus. or maybe changing focus? i don't mean that as a criticism, just an observation. i guess this thought came to me while i was watching this bookfair/convention thing on CSPAN. i also had an idea: to tie this all back to literacy more directly, *and* (more importantly) to try to make this project more personal for both the elves and the children...could we suggest that all elves [who are interested and able] send, along with whatever other contribution they had in mind, a favorite book appropriate to the age range we're dealing with, perhaps with a handwritten "merry christmas" note written inside? if enough books are sent, we could include one in each bag.

personally, i don't see any reason the books would have to be brand new*, as long as they are in good condition. i have some favorites that i've kept since childhood, and i think i'm going to pick one or two and mail them to jeff, along with the gift certificate i was going to send anyway.

just a thought,
scolly

*not to discourage anyone who would like to send new books!
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I love the idea of a note in the book! Unfortunately, I have never read any of the books I bought. But I could write a note about how interesting I think they will be!

A local school gives a new book to each child on his/her birthday (I think they do everyone in a month at a time). Books are set out in the library and the kids get to pick. It was just featured in our newspaper. That's a cool literacy project. But I don't think we'll be able to do that with this project, but perhaps an idea for the future.

Selphiras
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Scolly,

That's a commendable idea but, I live in a rural area where school isn't as important as sports. The majority of kids in this area will not progress beyond high school or tech school. As a child I hated to read. It wasn't until a language arts teacher in 5th grade suggested I read the "boxcar children" series for the mystery requirement for the school reading program. After reading one in the series I began to like reading. Over the next 3 yrs I grew to love to read!!

I think we should findout what kind of reading program in the school they offer and maybe we could somehow help to promote reading with a prize. I know they had a program at the public library in the town I grew up during the summers & still do. Don't know what the prize is for the most read know but, in a low income area it might not take much.

Just my $0.02,
RF
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I think in part we were waiting to hear back from the school about their curriculum to know what specifically we could provide in terms of books and instruction material they'd requested. While waiting on that, it was easy to focus on the other stuff.

At least I'm still waiting for that info . . .
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