Storytelling, New Rural Library Partners, Bridging the Word Gap

May 2016


May has been abuzz with events, Summer Readers preparation, Rural Library and At-Risk Fall grant selection, and conferences. As we prepare for summer storytelling events that will help curb summer slide for almost 5,000 children in NH and VT, we reflect back on our May happenings that not only brought us closer to the children and families we serve, but reinforced the power of storytelling for all. Here are some examples:

At Burlington Park and Rec's Kids Day on the Waterfront, CLiF spread our story, helped kids tap into their inner poet, and gave out free books. Many unique poems were created with topics ranging anywhere from moms and frogs to reading and dreaming.
Also in May, we joined inmates and their families participating in CLiF Children of Prison Inmates program at the New Hampshire State Prison as they delighted their children during family visiting day by performing a puppet show with a Minion-themed twist on the classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt

We recently attended Vermont Story Lab conference, which focused on the importance of storytelling for nonprofits. The conference left us pondering: What if your story IS storytelling? This question sparked a new initiative for CLiF, which is the production of short videos of each of our five programs. These videos will better help us share the stories and demonstrate the impact of our programs in the communities we serve. 
While it didn't seem to matter where the event took place - a prison, family fun day, conference, or school - one thing rang true - stories not only bring us joy, but connect us in meaningful ways. 

Warm wishes,
Duncan, Meredith, Jana, Tracy, and Stephanie

Keeping Family History Alive

Third and fourth graders at Central Elementary School in Bellows Falls, VT dug deep into their families' pasts and displayed their findings at a presentation for family and friends in May.

As a part of Central Elementary School's CLiF Year of the Book, author Natalie Kinsey-Warnock visited CES to bring her Storykeepers genealogy program to students as a way to teach research, storytelling, and keep family history alive. Students used a variety of sources to collect information, including census records, town records and artifacts, and undated photographs students dated through hairstyles and clothing.

"They get so involved and they're so proud of these people they found and they want to tell people their story." says Warnock.

CLiF Year of the Book will wrap up in eight elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire in late May and early June. We look forward to partnering with nine new schools this fall for the 2016-17 school year!

Bridging the Word Gap

CLiF partnered with the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) in Burlington, VT for this year's annual COTS Walk to help bring the reality of the word gap to light.

Children living in poverty often hear less than one-third of the words heard by children in higher-income families. This has significant implications on the futures of these children. 

Opening books, opening minds, opening doors has long been CLiF's motto. The idea that books can have a profound impact on a child's life is especially compelling in the context of children experiencing homelessness.

COTS also received a CLiF At-Risk Children grant this spring, which brought Duncan to the COTS Family Shelter in Burlington for a storytelling presentation, parent discussion, and book giveaway.

Learn more about how CLiF is helping to inspire children at risk of growing up with low literacy skill through our At-Risk Children grant program

New Rural Libraries Partners

We are excited to announce our 2016/2017 Rural Libraries grant recipients! 

View the full list of recipients here! 

Six libraries in New Hampshire and six libraries in Vermont will each receive $2,000 in new, high-quality children’s books for the public library, $500 in new books for the school library, storytelling presentations at the elementary school and childcare centers, $250 mini-grants to support library programs, and brand-new books for all participating children from birth through grade six.

Rural Libraries grant programs begin fall 2016.



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