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Newsletter April 2016

Celebrate Literacy Winners Announced

Amy Simpson, chair of ARA's Celebrate Literacy Committee, announced the state winners.  

EDUCATOR -  Dr. Kay Calvert is an extraordinary educator, whose experience ranges from kindergarten through collegelevel.  She has an undying love for children and spends countless hours creating learning opportunities that have an enormous impact on her students. She has served in several professional organizations including five years on the Executive Board of ARA, Phi Delta Kappa, AACTE, and Delta Kappa Gamma, just to name a few.  She is very active in a variety of community events and started the Badger Bookmobile, a lending library which travels throughout Beebe during the summer. Kay was nominated by Three Rivers Reading Council

AGENCY -  Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, nominated by Jefferson County Reading Council, has partnered with JCRC to provide booster book bags to the health department and to host teacher professional development. Together, they provided 200 booster book bags per year to the health department and assisted in giving 100 board books to ACCESS, a county program for teenage mothers.  They help provide teacher professional development, give financial support to the education program at the Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas, and do a teacher supply shower for Teach America beginning teachers.  .

COMMUNITY LEADER - Ms. Anna Jones, nominated by SEARK Reading Council, is the Parental Involvement Coordinator for Drew Central Schools.  She organized several events throughout the year to promote literacy within the families of Drew, such as coordinating the Breakfast Around the World on International Literacy Day, dressing as Clifford at Book Fairs, and providing free books to promote literacy within the families of Drew.  She has also been active in her church and community organizations, such as SODA (Students Against Drugs and Alcohol), Boy Scouts, and the PAWS animal shelter.                            


Proposals Sought 
Proposals are being accepted through May 1 for the ARA Literacy Conference held November 17-18, 2016 at the
Statehouse Convention Center and Marriott Hotel.  
Click here to submit your online proposal.                       


Get Students Reading! 

Charlie May Simon and Arkansas Diamond Primary voting deadlines are approaching.  Click here  to be directed to the Arkansas State Library page with information on the reading
lists and how to vote. Let's make this year exceed other years in numbers of student votes!

Winners and honor book winners will be announced in May, and they will be invited to speak at the ARA Literacy Conference in November where the medals will be awarded.                                      



Opportunity - Integrating Art into the Curriculum
The Arkansas Declaration of Learning program is accepting applications through March 29.

This initiative works collaboratively with Arkansas teachers and school librarians teaching 7 - 12 grade students in the fields of art, English language arts, and social studies to develop innovative curriculum that brings history to life and shares the importance of civic engagement with students.

Through this program, 30 teachers will have the opportunity to work with historic art, as well as objects from national and state partners, to develop innovative lessons. 

Click here for more information about this program.       


Local Council Updates                       

Tri-Lakes Reading Council in Garland County has been working hard to make a difference in the lives of their students. The Council has been instrumental in forming the Garland County Reads Committee. This committee has members from each of the seven school districts in their area, officers from Tri-Lakes Reading Council, and many community leaders. Together they plan resources and activities that will enable parents to better help their child to utilize reading strategies to increase their reading ability, as well as form a more cohesive literacy community. The Council has partnered with the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Garland County Library, Garland County Literacy Council, and many others. Expect to see great things from this council and its community in the future.

Crowley's Ridge Reading Council 

Students from Nettleton and Valley View Jr. High Schools recently participated in the I Heavy black heartReading Festival. The day long event was organized by Kelly Hogan and funded by the Dana Jones Literacy Grant she received from the Crowley's Ridge Reading Council.  Students had a donut breakfast and pizza lunch, rotated through four break-out sessions with guest speakers about the Teen Book Award, becoming an author, the local public library, and using social media.  They also heard from Olympic pole-vaulter Jeremy Scott on goal setting and his journey to the Olympics.  They finished the day making 'I love reading!' cards to go in the CRRC Book Buddy Booster Bags to be given to the local AR Kids Clinic.  Students from both schools brought books they were reading and seemed to enjoy spending the day with others who love to read.
 ARA is proud of the many local councils that form the grass roots of our organization.



Featured Conference Speakers Released

Julie Reardon, ARA's Event coordinator, has announced featured speakers for this year's 44th Annual
Literacy Conference.  Speaker promos are 
occurring weekly in a featured email. 
So far the following four speaker names have been released, with many more exciting releases

Win a Conference Registration

Go to the ARA Facebook Page and click "Like."  When the total "likes" hit 1000, ARA will draw
one Facebook friend's name for a free conference registration!

How can you help us reach that 1000?  Share the news with Facebook friends and peers.


    "The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
Be kind. Be positive. Be loving."
Peggy O'Mara

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