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CLiF's Write to Read Contest!

Looking for a fun project for your students that will result in a new set of classroom books? Read more about CLiF's first book giveaway contest!

The book giveaway is a key component of all CLiF programs. Research proves that if kids can chose their own book, then they will be more likely to read it. CLiF has some titles earmarked for giveaways that we think might be enjoyed more if used as a part of a classroom project, and we want to get them into the hands of kids!

The competition is simple; the participating teacher should follow this link to fill out a simple form. Then have your students answer the following prompt: Why do you think that your classroom should receive a brand new class set of books?

For first and second grade classrooms, students should draw a picture and write one to two sentences explaining why their classroom should receive new books. Differentiation - have students who cannot yet write full sentences on their own draw a picture and label the parts.

For third and fourth grade classrooms, students should write a paragraph (three to five sentences) answering the prompt above. Differentiation - have students who cannot yet write a full paragraph on their own dictate thoughts to a teacher to scribe, or draw picture and include one to two sentences explaining their picture.

For fifth and sixth grade classrooms, students should write a detailed paragraph explaining why their classroom is deserving of new books. Differentiate as necessary.

The form will prompt you to add these documents electronically to the form.

Entries will be accepted until 12pm on October 14, 2016. Winners will be notified by October 26, 2016, and books will be mailed soon after.

Eligibility: Books must go to a program/classroom in Vermont or New Hampshire. 

We hope to be able to give all entrants books, but there are limited quantities of some titles. We are looking for creative answers! Email Meredith Scott, Program Director, with questions.


Available Books:

Title: Magic Tree House #13 Vacation Under the Volcano
 Mary Pope Osborne
Recommended grades: 1-4
Pages: 80
Lexile Measure: 410L

Summary: In their first adventure as Master Librarians, Jack and Annie go to the city of Pompeii to bring back an ancient story that is in danger of being lost forever. Little do they know they are saving the myth of Hercules! But before they can find it, the town’s volcano erupts in a mighty explosion. Just when things look hopeless, Jack and Annie get some unexpected help from a certain mythic hero – and the rest, as they say, is history.


Title: Magic Tree House #34 A Merlin Mission Season of the Sandstorms
Mary Pope Osborn
Recommended grades: 2-5
Pages: 144
Lexile Measure: 850

Summary: In this story, Jack and Annie travel back in time 1,200 years to the Golden Age of Baghdad. While the siblings are unaware of what they have to do, Merlin has given then a book of rhymes to help them in their travels. While in Baghdad, they meet a Bedouin tribe, ride camels, learn about ancient writing, and brave dangerous sandstorms. This is another classic Magic Tree House story, filled with adventure, mystery, history, and magic!


Title: Ramona la Chinche (Ramona the Pest)
Beverly Cleary
Recommended grades: 2-7
Pages: 192
Lexile Measure: 580L

Summary: In this dynamic tale (written entirely in Spanish), Ramona finds herself in a sea of trouble when she begins school, between her first crush and her inability to sit still in the classroom, her teacher, Miss Binney is always on her case. While Beezus, Ramona’s older sister finds her quite obnoxious, it’s hard not to fall in love with Ramona’s surprising and quirky character.


Title: The Time Warp Trio Viking it and Liking it
Jon Scieszka
Recommended grades: 3-5
Pages: 73
Lexile Measure: 0530

Summary: Did you know that the word ‘Thursday’ originated from the term ‘Thor’s Day” – a tribute to the Viking god, Thor? And apparently if you repeat the word ‘Thursday’ many, many times over again, you will inevitably get sucked into a magic book that will bring you back 2,000 years to the era of the Vikings. That’s just what happened to Joe, Sam, and Fred, the time warp trio. Can they survive the wild ride with Leif Eriksson and his evil cousin or is the trio completely doomed?


Title: Eagle Song
 Joseph Bruchac
Recommended grades: 4-5
Pages: 80
Lexile Measure: 680L

Summary: A story that focuses on contemporary Native Americans – this is a story about a boy named Danny Bigtree who is having trouble adjusting to his school in Brooklyn after leaving the Mohawk reservation where his family used to live. All Danny wants to do is make a friend, but he finds this to be a challenging task when the kids at school tease him based on stereotypes and Hollywood perceptions of Native Americans.


Title: El Senor De Los Ladrones (The Thief Lord)
 Cornelia Funke
Recommended grades: 4-7
Pages: 344

Summary: This book is written entirely in Spanish and tells the story of two orphaned brothers, Prosper, age 12 and Bo, age 5. The boys have run away to Venice to escape their aunt and uncle who wish to adopt Bo and send Prosper to boarding school far away. In Venice they find a “family” of orphaned children who are cared for by a young man that calls himself the Thief Lord. The boys take to life on the streets, stealing valuable antiques and selling them to a local shop to be sold for profit. However, everything changed one day when they steal an antique that supposedly has magical powers.


Title: Hidden Music: The Life of Fanny Mendelssohn
 Gloria Kamen
Recommended grades: 5-8
Pages: 82

Summary: An amazing story uncovering the secret life of Fanny Mendelsohn. While many people know of Fanny’s older brother, famous composer Felix Mendelsohn, many have never heard of his sister Fanny, who was arguably as talented as brother. During the course of her life, she composed over 400 hundred works, including songs 8 and 9 in Felix’s Midsummer’s Night Dream Overture.


Title: The Ancient Egyptians
 Jane Shuter
Recommended grades: 2-4
Pages: 32
Lexile Measure:
Learn all about life in Ancient Egypt, from the social, economic, and political structure to Ancient Egyptian culture – this book provides children with factual information, colorful photographs, maps, and diagrams to bring this ancient civilization to life.


Title: Life at Ellis Island
 Sally Senzall Isaacs
Recommended grades: 2-4
Pages: 32
Lexile Measure: 730L
Summary: This book focuses on life at Ellis Island and covers daily life for both children and adults, who left their lives oversees and immigrated to the United States. This book also discusses arriving at Ellis Island and the process that people went through to become citizens, including passing medical examinations.


Title: Buffalo Hunt
 Russell Freedman
Recommended grades: 4-7
Pages: 53
Lexile Measure: 1000L

Summary: Author Russell Freedman describes the importance of the buffalo to the way of life of the Great Plains Indians – focusing on various hunting methods and uses for various parts of the animal. He then goes on to explain the devastation caused by white settlers' “firearm slaughter” of the species that brought them to near extinction.


Title: I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert
 Eve Bunting
Recommended grades: 1-3
Pages: 32

Summary: Told from the perspective of Heb-Nefert, a mummy on display in a museum. Heb-Nefert recounts her youth, from linen robes and elaborate jewelry to servants and life with her royal husband, but that was long ago when she “was beautiful.”


Title: Tut’s Mummy Lost… and Found
 Judy Donnelly
Recommended grades: 2-4
Pages: 48
Lexile Measure: 370L
Summary: This story begins with the death of Tutankhamen, the book then moves forward to Howard Carter’s discovery of the tomb with information about life in ancient Egypt throughout the book.

Special thanks to Hannah Luce, CLiF's summer intern and UVM senior studying education, for putting together the contest.



CLiF News

Read more about CLiF's completed research on sustaining Year of the Book momentum, which ties to new research on combatting “initiative fatigue”
Back-to-School tips for everyone
Heartfelt sympathy to the friends, families, and fans of two CLiF presenters – Anna Dewdney and Leland Kinsey

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Why out-of-school time programs and schools must partner, one idea – funding for after-school homework centers in the public library

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Five ways to ensure learning happens in Makerspaces
Catalyzing Family Engagement to Support Student Learning

Mapping the School to Prison Pipeline

Give input on how to US Dept of Education can serve rural schools

Tips for using picture books to build language skills

For Teachers

Evidence supporting getting kids (and adults!) exercising after sustained study time
Help combat chronic absenteeism
Build a classroom library that motivates kids to read

Five tips for improving teacher-parent relations

For Librarians

Library/Media Centers in U.S. Public Schools: Growth, Staffing, and Resources Executive Summary

2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature Longlist (Vermont’s Katherine Paterson one of five judges)
School library as change agent

Urban Libraries Council Leadership Brief: Libraries Supporting Family Learning

Public Libraries: A Vital Space for Family Engagement by the Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association

Register your little free library

For Parents

Research supporting parents continuing to read more difficult books with kids
Communicating with babies birth to 3

What parents need to know about re-reading books and reading non-fiction
Recommended books by grade, tips, and activities

For Birth to 5

Long-term study shows lasting effects of attending Head Start

Pop-up preschools
What Boston Preschools get right
Should HIPPY come to VT and NH?

Program Ideas

Simple “brain games” to build three competencies – focus, remember, stop and think.
I Wish My [Teacher] Knew – a classroom experiment gone viral speaks to the need for caregivers to create a safe environment.
Interested in having professional performers read books to your group? Check out Storyline.
Author study toolkit



Jo-Ann Fabrics Store Teacher Grants plus support for arts-integration and environmental activities (Due September 30th)
Funding for a Bookmobile?
Grants for classroom supplies
Grants for art educators, gardens, and more

On October 13, 2016 at 4 p.m. (ET), the GetEdFunding professional learning community (PLC) will host a webinar, "From Minigrants to Major grants: Stan Levenson's Tips for Success." 
Learn more or register now.
Tips for fundraising in rural districts

See CLiF's Program Calendar

Subscribe to our blog - recent posts on Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, books celebrating remarkable women, tips for parents on back to school time, and more!

Ideas, contributions, or questions for the Community Update?
Contact Meredith Scott, CLiF program director.

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