Dear Ready Readers Volunteer: Happy Holidays! Although it seems

December 2014
Dear Ready Readers Volunteer:
Happy Holidays! Although it seems really hard to imagine, January will be here before you
know it, and with the new year comes our new Ready Readers University support program!
As discussed in last month’s newsletter, the Reader Café model gives participants an
opportunity to come together and chat about areas of interest, hear from one another, even
an expert if one is needed, in a casual format. Based on the feedback you provided, the topic
for the January sessions will be…
Effective Classroom Management Strategies
If this is an area you are interested in chatting more about - either as a reader who
experiences challenges or someone who has fabulous strategies that could benefit
others - please join us!
Wednesday, January 14th 1-2:30 pm
Tuesday, January 20th 4:30-6 pm
Thursday, January 22nd 10-11:30 am
Each session will be capped at eight, to encourage close-knit discussion - please reserve your
spot NOW! To sign up, please respond to the Sign-Up Genius email you’ll receive, or you can
email or call Julia:
[email protected] (314) 564-8070
Another set of Reader Cafés with new topics will take
place in March and April. Our annual pilgrimage to the
St. Louis County Library will be making its return in
February. Stay tuned for more information...
Happy reading!
Julia Auch
Early Childhood Literacy Specialist
(314) 564-8070 or (314) 914-2125
[email protected]
Ready Readers’ program staff is available
to answer your questions,
assist you in the classroom,
provide great read-aloud suggestions,
and share ideas for enhancing your experience.
Diane Sinclair, Volunteer Program Director, [email protected], 314-825-8751
Julia Auch, Early Childhood Literacy Specialist, [email protected], 314-914-2125
Nora Steele, Book Coordinator, [email protected], 314-402-7800
Miriam Chapman, Mentoring Coordinator, [email protected], 314-399-8389
Importance of music on page 2
Page 2
Music: It Does a Body Good!
Music is not only enjoyable for young children (well, really “children”
of any age), but it offers a variety of learning opportunities, as well.
Several studies now show that when a young child is engaged with music from a young age,
he/she is building connections in her brain that can lead to enhanced reading readiness and
language development. A recent study of 165 toddlers conducted by the University of Buffalo
demonstrated that early and frequent exposure to music improved vocabulary and language
processing. According to the Children’s Music Workshop, “the effect of music education on
language development can be seen in the brain. Recent studies have clearly indicated that
musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved
with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways. Linking
familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds,” the
group claims.
In addition, the relationship that exists between music and language development is
advantageous from a social-emotional standpoint, as well. “The development of language over
time tends to enhance parts of the brain that help process music,” says Dr. Kyle Pruett, clinical
professor of child psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and a practicing musician. “Language
competence is at the root of social competence. Musical experience strengthens the capacity to
be verbally competent.”
While the act of just listening to music is beneficial, the best types of experience for young
children are those where they can actively participate in the music, by marching or clapping
along with the beat. When children listen to, repeat, and create rhymes, they learn to match
the sounds of language. And what could better inspire rhyming than playful children’s songs?
As you listen together, repeat the rhyming words and encourage your child to do the same.
Introduce and talk about new words like rhythm and note. Listen for new words in song lyrics
and talk about what they mean. You can also encourage the children to enjoy music and build
their vocabulary by teaching them the words to your favorite songs or making up songs
So, for all the Ready Readers volunteers taking in this very important information,
here’s my message to you: SING! It doesn’t matter if you can’t carry a tune in a bucket (as
my husband would say), or if you’re tone deaf, or whatever the excuse.
Adorable books based on songs:
Volunteer spotlight on the next page
Page 3
Volunteer Spotlight
Hope Transitional House
Child Development Center
Holiday Gift Bag Drive
Kingdom House recognized their
Star Supporters at their annual “Thank You”
Event this fall. Among the honorees, was
Our very own Jan McCurley and her
Husband Roger! Congrats on being the
Recipient of the
2014 Volunteer Impact Award!
Thank you for all you do for the St. Louis
Community and for Ready Readers!
A huge thanks goes out to reader Sheila Oliveri
for creating and donating these BEAUTIFUL pins
that our volunteers have purchased as gifts
for their classroom teachers.
All proceeds go directly to
our program!
We have four left… call the RR office to make
sure you get one! (314) 564-8070
Volunteer Reader Janis Wiley is at it
again! As Campus College Chair of the
College of Education for University of
Phoenix, she coordinates a drive intended
to collect items for the gift bags she
distributes to the center where she reads.
40 gift bags will be prepared that include
books, crayons, Chapstick, and
healthy snacks.
Janice, this is truly amazing
and we can never thank you
enough for your involvement
with Hope House and of
course, Ready Readers!
A big “shout out” to volunteers
Linda Jackson, Sara Thomas, and Cheryl Whatley
for helping out with fall book distribution!
You ladies were FANTASTIC!
Author Study
Margaret Wise Brown
● wrote hundreds of books during her life,
but she is best known for Goodnight Moon,
Big Red Barn, and Runaway Bunny
● she loved animals and featured them in
many stories
● she liked to place a hard word in a story,
to make children think
Community outreach on page 4
Page 4
Community Involvement
Eagle Scouts Build Bookshelves
When the first scout working on his Eagle badge
got in touch with me, looking for a project, I had to
really dig around in my brain a little. Then, I
remembered that frequently their projects involve
building things. A light bulb went off… why not
have them build bookshelves!
First, we met with five prospective Eagle Scouts
over the course of the last year; providing them
will very little direction, as designing is a big part
of the project. Next, a small handful of our
neediest classrooms were identified
that could use a new bookshelf.
Four of our scouts are hard at work, but I’m
thrilled to announce that one - Josh Sumner - has
completed his project! He not only
provided Agape with THREE beautiful shelves,
but stocked them with books as well. The added
bonus… Josh is a volunteer reader at Agape,
through our partnership with
Westminster Christian Academy!
Josh, we can never thank you enough!
Incredible Bar Mitzvah Project
Congratulations to Jack Kahn on his recent Bar Mitzvah!
As his project, Jack collected HUNDREDS of brand new
books, and not only donated them in person to one of our
centers, Lot-a-Luv, but also had a spot as a guest storyteller
while he was there.
Such a sweet kid and a truly generous project.
Thanks so much, Jack!
Fiery Phoenixes
Robotics Team
In October, five young
men - part of the Lego Robotics Club at Ladue Middle
School - visited with me at our office, to learn more
about literacy and the challenges that underserved
families face. They want to design a literacy support
tool as part of a local competition. We are super fired
up to be part of this amazing project!
These brilliant young men and their leader are
designing an insert, that could be affixed to a board
book, that will allow the story to be read to the child
by the push of a button. It’s certainly not intended to
replace the parent or caregiver,
but to support those efforts.
In November, the highest score for their division
resulted in the winning of the Champions Award!
Now, they move on to the next round at the state
level… super competitive.
We’ll keep you posted on their progress!
News you can use on page 5
Page 5
News You Can Use!
Whole Foods Community Support Day
December 18, 2014
1601 S. Brentwood Blvd. 63144
1120 Town and Country Crossing Dr. 63017
Winter gift books will be in our
warehouse late January. Please
wait for an email from Nora;
she’ll let you know the
specific days/times
when they can be
picked up.
Thank you!
5% of all proceeds will go directly
to Ready Readers!
Thank you for your patronage!
The Volunteer Resources
section of our website is just
a click away - found in
upper right-hand corner
of our homepage.
For a LIMITED TIME ONLY, the programs that
participate in Ready Readers can attend a
FREE field trip at the Magic House!
Ask your teacher if she’s made reservations yet!
We are interested in the topics that you’d
like to discuss in our new, Ready Readers
University “coffee talks” that will begin in
January! If you didn’t get a chance to
respond to the survey last month,
please do so:
What would you like to see
added to our website
and/or Readers’ Corner newsletter?
Ideas for a blog topic?
Email or call Julia and let her know!
(314) 564-8070 • [email protected]
Click the link below
to submit your topics of interest!
Follow Us On Our Website, Facebook, and Twitter
Be sure to visit Ready Readers' website at You can find additional information about Ready Readers,
what we do, ideas for volunteer readers, and more. You can also join Lisa Greening, Executive Director, on our website blog to share
and learn about great read-aloud ideas. Two more ways to stay connected with Ready Readers - follow us on our Facebook Fan Page
and on Twitter, to get the latest information about programs and events.
Ready Readers
1974 Innerbelt Business Center Drive St. Louis, Missouri 63114
(314) 564-8070
[email protected]