Today at Drury

Hi everyone,

I’m focusing on the poetry workshop next week in Honesdale but today I look forward to speaking to the Advanced Writers Workshop at Drury, which is part of this year’s Writing Center program: Writers Talk, Brown Bag Lunches. The course is taught by professor Jo Van Arkel who is a fine writer.

Sorry to be so brief in my posts lately but it’s crunch time on several fronts, not the least of which is getting my hair cut before facing all those poets next week!

David

The launch party

Hi everyone,
David and Laurie
Writing partner Laurie Edmondson and I enjoyed the launch party on Thursday of our new kit, LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON. Here are a few pics from the party. Lots of people came so we had plenty of opportunities to show off the new DVDs, teacher guide, student writing journal, and three trade books used as examples for some of the lessons. We go national on the 19th at IRA in San Antonio but I bet it won’t be any more fun than we had at Drury on Thursday.
Kit on display 2Digging in
I’m grateful to Drury University, especially President Todd Parnell and former Director of the School of Education and Child Development Chris Craig for their encouragement and support throughout the project. The university provided the studio and financed the production of the DVDs and Brian Shipman used his considerable talents to produce and direct them.
David giving brief remarksExplaining the kit to a teacher
This is a project I began as Drury’s Poet Laureate and I’m pleased to say that it reflects a true collaboration involving the university, co-author and interim Director of the School of Education and Child Development Laurie Edmondson, and me. There’s even an online graduate course offered to those who wish to take LET’S WRITE for credit. One teacher has already written about LET’S WRITE as part of her master’s program.

Many others gave valuable assistance along the way, particularly technology expert Damon Hargraves who developed the prototype for the DVD format we eventually selected.
David and Charles Taylor
Now comes the hard part: getting out the word to elementary schools across the country that we have a unique teaching tool to help students develop their writing skills. We’re ready when everyone else is! Here’s the contact information for anyone who wants to learn more and/or place an order.

Stourbridge Distributors
812 Court Street
Honesdale, PA 18431
http://www.stourbridgedist.com

David

What Are The Pros Up To?

REMINDER: Vote by 10:00 CST tonight. That’s when the polls cut off!

Hi everyone,

Mondays are when I like to present past Featured Guests to give us an update on recent and current activities. As is often the case, busy people can’t always take time off when they might like to. Therefore, I’m giving you my own update today.

First, meet my wife Sandy. This was taken on a trip to Dogwood Canyon near Branson, Missouri.

Pretty classy gal. I’d share a trunk with her any day.

I’ve had some nice things happen to my work recently.

PIRATES

As I mentioned last Saturday, PIRATES is on next year’s Young Hoosier Book Award Master Reading List along with 19 others in the intermediate category.

MAMMOTH BONES AND BROKEN STONES

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Nominated for one of the two SAA 2010 book awards—“a book that is written for the general public and presents the results of archaeological research to a broader audience” http://www.saa.org . The nomination stated, “Harrison’s book targets 4th-7th graders (ca. 9-12 year olds), a most-important age group that rarely receives nonfiction attention in this medium from the archaeological community. It is this age group that experiences tremendous intellectual development, when children begin to read to learn (rather than learn to read), start to think critically, and display a burgeoning curiosity about everything. Mr. Harrison has done a tremendous service for our discipline by focusing on this age group and introducing an up-to-date story full of concepts, facts, and current issues.”

At Pittsburg University, Dr. Anthony Boldurian, Professor of Anthropology and Director, Archaeology Program, writes, “It may interest you to know that next semester I am teaching for the first time a newly-developed course, directed specifically for majors in the Science Teacher-Ed program. The course, Science + Prehistory →Archaeology, is designed as a pedagogical approach to teaching teachers-to-be about how to instruct archaeology in the Science classroom (elementary & secondary levels). One of the texts I have for required reading is your Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones.”

MY BOOK poem from SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK


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Reprinted as the featured poem to start Chapter Two: “Learning about Reading and Literature,” in the latest edition (7th) of Essentials of Children’s Literature. Poems by Charles Ghigna and Rebecca Dotlich also appear in this book.

Selected by a western city to be lettered around their new bookmobile. I hope to learn more about the final design soon.


THE BOOK OF GIANT STORIES


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Translatioin into Lithuanian is in the works. Previous translations include French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Afrikaans, Norwegian, and Danish.

DYLAN THE EAGLE-HEARTED CHICKEN


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Selected by Zaner-Bloser for their Voices in Reading Program. (http://www.zaner-bloser.com/Voices-Reading.html )

ON OTHER FRONTS

I just returned from NCTE in Orlando where I presented Word of the Month Poetry Challenge. We made new friends and, I hope, recruits to the monthly exercise in imagination. REMINDER: Voting ends tonight at 10:00 CST for the November poems.

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On December 12-15 I’ll be in Paterson, New Jersey at three schools to provide professional development for teachers and work with their students. I’ll continue the work later on Skype.

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I’m excited about the new program for Drury, to be called This Week with David Harrison. We have a team of four working out the details for a regular 7-8 minute program that teachers can bring into their classrooms nationwide. The central theme will be literacy and each week I’ll offer tips and ideas about writing and reading.

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Yesterday was the kickoff for a book drive for preschool children, which is part of Family Voices (another project with Drury). We have recorded 17 well-known people reading 34 age appropriate books. This library of children’s literature will be given on a CD to parents who agree to record their own voices reading to their children. Families will also receive free books for their children five or under. More about that later.

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On a closing note, I’m working on the final four poems to complete a new manuscript. The book will be published by Boyds Mills Press and illustrated by Dan Burr (who did PIRATES.)

David

This Week with David Harrison

BULLETIN: I enjoyed my week in Florida and look forward to catching up on all these posts and comments that came in while I was away. Please be patient with me for a few days while I work away at the back list.Thanks!

Hi Everyone,

I’m working with Drury University to creat a regular, online show for The School of Education and Child Development. It’s to be called This Week with David Harrison.

Our initial effort was recorded on September 15. As the first show gains focus and polish, our creative team is coming together. Technical director is Damon Hargraves. Dr. Laurie Edmondson is in charge of professioinal development. I do content and presentation. Our fourth member, the show’s director, should be named soon. Dr. Chris Craig, Director of Drury’s School of Education and Child Development, also sings, plays guitar, and writes music. Chris is creating an original theme song for the program. If all goes well, we’ll shoot the second show on November 15. Once we get the framework perfected, we’ll pick up the pace considerably.

The goal is to air a new show weekly or at least on a regular basis. Each episode will last 8-12 minutes, be suitable for sharing in the classroom, and will feature a theme that supports literacy. These will include How to Find Ideas, Getting Started, Keeping Journals, Rewriting and Revising, Writing Stories, Writing Poetry, Writing Nonfiction, Choosing What to Read, and numerous others.

Over time each theme may accrue more than one show on the subject. Laurie and I are working on professional development for teachers so this can also be made available as a course for credit. Although the program is geared toward students and teachers in the classroom, we’re keeping a much broader audience in mind. Thanks to the magic of technology, it will be available everywhere.

Sometime this fall I’ll start linking these shows to the Drury site to make it easier for readers of my blog to follow the program. For now I just wanted to let you know what’s in store. Please share this with those others who might be interested. Thanks.

Family Voices

BULLETIN: Today is the last day to vote for the August Hall of Fame Poet!! If you haven’t done so yet, be sure to pick your choice and vote before 10:00 p.m. EST. Go to this link, http://davidlharrison.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/let-the-voting-begin-7/, click in the circle by your choice, and click on vote at the bottom of the box. If you want to reread the poems, they’re listed below the ballot box.

I’m involved in a project to stimulate parents to read more often to their preschool children. We’re in the process of recording voices of area celebrity readers to create a library of good books read on a CD. When we’re finished, we’ll add the voices of parents to personalize each CD, then give it and a free book to the family. Here’s an article that appeared in Springfield News-Leader last week.

FAMILY VOICES, Connecting Generations with StoriesThis fall, several child advocates will launch a project called Family Voices: Connecting Generations with Stories. The goal is to help your children succeed in school. We’re going to do it by reading stories to them.

Sound radical? It is in many homes.

Only 54 percent of our nation’s children under age 5 are read to at home on a regular basis. That drops to 36 percent in families living at the poverty level; 31 percent when neither parent is a high school graduate.

That’s like withholding tools a child needs for a good life. Literature’s words through stories build a child’s language skills, and kids who are good with language are more likely to succeed in school. Poor readers at the end of first grade are likely to remain poor readers after fourth grade, and become prime candidates for dropping out of school.

Family Voices is an effort to make more parents aware of the positive long-term effects of reading daily to their preschool children. Beginning this fall with a trial effort at Boyd and McGregor elementary schools, project volunteers will record parents reading to their preschool children. Age-appropriate books will be selected by children’s librarians and provided at the recording session.

The parents’ voices will be preserved on a CD along with the voices of more than a dozen community leaders reading more stories. The result will be a treasury of more than one hour of stories for young children, read by adults who want kids to grow up loving books and literacy.

Each participating family will receive the CD that includes their own voices, and one free book for each child under age 5 in the family. Even when a parent is unavailable to read to a child, the CD will provide opportunities to listen to good stories read well, and help the child develop a love for books and the magic of words.

Family Voices is an independent committee of literacy advocates whose members represent Drury University, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield-Greene County Library District, Parents as Teachers, and community leaders. The project is sponsored by Drury University’s School of Education and Child Development and chaired by its poet laureate, David Harrison.