A nice surprise

Hi everyone,

I got a check from Scholastic for four poems reprinted in a new book by Tim Rasinski and Melissa Smith called THE MEGABOOK OF FLUENCY, which came out in April and is doing well.

My thanks to Tim and Melissa for including me in a section entitled “Use Partner Texts.” I’m happy to be along for the ride. Half of one poem was written by my old friend, Terry Bond, so I’ll give him his part and use it as an excuse to get together.

Tons of puns

Hi everyone,

My thanks to Terry Bond for passing this one along to me:

Q
What does a thesaurus eat for breakfast?
A
A synonym roll.

Terry has been guilty of such wry word play in the past. In my book with Tim Rasinski and Gay Fawcett called PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY, you’ll find a poem called “Groanosaurs”. At the time I was working on the poem I shared it with Terry, who promptly doubled the number of puns. The final poem reads like this:

GROANOSAUR TEST, 2 voices
(Terry Bond, who loves puns, wrote half of this poem. DLH)

(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur in a hurry?
(class)
A dino-scurry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur in a snowstorm?
(class)
A dino-flurry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur at a funeral?
(class)
A dino-bury.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur who likes spicy food?
(class)
A dino-curry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur stuck in tar?
(class)
A dino-tarry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur digging a hole?
(class)
A dino-quarry.
(teacher)
What do you call a dinosaur pulling a wagon?
(class)
A dino-lorry.
What do you call a dinosaur who takes this test?
(class)
A dino-sorry!

(c) 2009 by David L. Harrison
from PARTNER POEMS FOR BUILDING FLUENCY
Scholastic Teaching Resources

The final day of Reading Roundup

Hi everyone,

Two days ago marked the end of a campaign that began seventeen years ago. We called ourselves Reading Roundup. We formed to help Springfield Public Schools libraries improve their book collections to meet the highest standards set by the state. We were a small group of like minded members of the community who believed passionately in the necessity of placing quality books into the hands of students. We were always advised by numerous knowledgeable district folks: librarians, supervisors, administrators; but we operated as an independent, grass roots band of seven people or so: Terry Bond, Morey Mechlin, Rex Hansen, Renee Hunt, Jim Troye, Linda Fredrick, and me.

We met monthly for a long time and found all sorts of ways to bring our campaign to the public. The schools needed books! Our Springfield community agreed and we raised a lot of money. The school board pitched in by dramatically increasing its annual budget for books. From 2000-2007 the combined efforts of the district, Reading Roundup volunteers, and others added or replaced more than 190,000 library books costing more than $3.6 million.

When Reading Roundup reached its original goal, we shifted focus to meet specific needs of individual school libraries. Librarians throughout the district began submitting grant requests each year for money to make things better for their own population of students. From 2007-2017 Reading Roundup raised $150,000 to fund or partly fund 180 librarian requests that impacted on 50,000 Springfield Public Schools students.

It’s hard to sustain a fund raising campaign for seventeen years. Over the last few years our donations — the only source of our income — dried up. We could no longer continue and so this year we gave away the last of our money to fund grants, and took down our shingle. These pictures show most of our gang surprising librarians by showing up together on sort of a farewell tour. We loved it. It has been a privilege to work beside so many good people. I’d do it again. But for now, Reading Roundup exists no more.