The end of a good week

Hi everyone,

My thanks to all who contributed to my article on how to celebrate National Poetry Month in April. The piece is done, submitted, and accepted. It includes ideas from seventeen people in thirteen states — classroom teachers, school librarians, public librarians, university professors, authors, and poets. I worked on it all week and think it will become a useful reference for classroom teachers looking for ways to energize their efforts to make poetry more exciting and appealing to their students.

Sandy Asher and I have now received a recording of our reading of JESSE AND GRACE. I know that some of you who registered for the event were unable to get in due to last minute technical issues that weren’t your fault. This way is easy. Just click and you’re there. https://youtu.be/wiD4avfXCAI You may need to back it up to the beginning.

How do you celebrate National Poetry Month?

Hi everyone,

I’m putting together a list of ways to celebrate National Poetry Month (April) for the March/April issue of Missouri Reader, the online journal for Missouri ILA, co-edited by Glenda Nugent and Sam Bommarito.

This will include a listing of various ways teachers, librarians, families, and poets focus on poetry, especially during April. I’ll have a few suggestions of my own but I am eager to include your ideas too. If you send me tried and true ways to celebrate poetry that I can use in the article, I’ll give you full credit and list your contract information (if you want it) and one book of poetry you’ve written or that is a favorite that you recommend. You can post your contribution(s) on this page.

Thank you in advance. I’m on a very tight deadline for this so please respond by the end of this coming week. Thanks to all. This will be a unique contribution to poetry lovers everywhere, in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Time to try something new

Hi everyone,

I’ve been thinking lately about submitting to a few children’s magazines. I know that many writers regularly publish in magazines but for some reason I’ve never developed the habit. I think the last time I was in one was something from one of my books that Highlights picked up and used. That would have been twenty-five years ago.

I know nothing about this market so I’ll have a lot to learn, but every few years I like to try something new that will stretch me. Maybe the time has come for some stretching exercises. Wish me luck.

First organizational meeting for Springfield Public School Foundation

Hi everyone,

I promise to stop talking about treasures that keep turning up in the basement, but I do want to mention this last one. It isn’t about writing. It’s about when a small group of us started the Springfield Public School Foundation (later changed to Foundation for Springfield Public Schools) in 1990. In a folder I found the memorandum from Tom Field addressed to Larry Dixon, David Harrison, and Jackie McKinsey suggesting we pick a date for our organizational meeting. What we had the privilege of starting has grown over these past 29 years as described on the Foundation website:

“Since its beginning in 1990, the Foundation has worked with our generous donors and volunteers, the community, district administrators and teachers to put dollars exactly where they are needed – in classrooms to fund new technology, innovative learning projects, scholarships for graduating seniors, and many more, powerful tools for education.

What began with a handful of volunteers, putting together a Foundation that would take donations and manage funds to benefit the schools, has grown to become a Foundation that manages over $5 million and more than 150 funds and scholarships.

To date, the Foundation has given more than $17 million to the Springfield Public Schools and its students to accomplish the Foundation’s mission to raise, manage and distribute private investment to benefit the students of Springfield Public Schools.

The vision of the Foundation is to promote educational excellence for every child by working with the public school system and the community.

Among the Foundation’s landmark achievements are the Telethon for Technology, the annual Teacher Appreciation Banquet, annual Back to School grants program and Pick-a-Project – an online, fundraising site for teacher-submitted, classroom projects.

In 2016, the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools ranked number seven out of 188 of the top education foundations in “Stepping Up: The Nation’s Top K-12 Education Foundations 2016.”

I stood in the basement for some time, holding the folder in my hands and reading again after all these years our original documents of intent as we organized for the future. I felt taller when I came back up the stairs.

Video day

Hi everyone,

I’m off to the library today to make a one-minute video for a kindergarten teacher in Florida.

One of her favorite storybooks as a child was PIGGY WIGLET’S GREAT ADVENTURE and she still uses it, along with WAKE UP, SUN! A MONSTER IS COMING!, and WHEN COWS COME HOME, to help her students develop vocabulary and reading skills.

I’m delighted to know of another fan of PIGGY and am happy to make the video for her. My thanks to Krissy Sinor, Training Coordinator at The Edge Community Technology Center, Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, for facilitating my video, and to Kathleen O’Dell, Community Relations Director at Springfield-Greene County Library District, for being there to take me through it.