Literacy

My Writing Timeline

This post was written by Natalie, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.

Blog_Creative_WritingWhen I was much, much younger, I saw writing as a chore. There’s not a lot a 7-year-old girl being homeschooled in southwest Florida had to write about, and I certainly didn’t do much of it.

As I grew older, the process of writing morphed from a chore into a helpful emotional outlet and then into a hobby. Although I’ve never been a serious, hardcore dedicated writer, I can say that writing definitely should be credited for its impact in my life.

The earliest I can remember writing would be in my tween years. As most people behave when going through that time in their lives, I could get quite emotional and crave an outlet to vent my frustrations or just write a poem expressing my honest feelings.

I read a ton of books back then and can attribute a lot of my literacy skills to my reading. I kept diary after diary for a few years and grew my writing skills without even realizing it. Writing about anything going on in my life made me think about events and interactions more deeply than I ever had before. Continue reading


Celebrate Literacy Week 2017

Albert Einstein Library Quote

Photo Credit: Chronicle Books

Each year the state of Florida and FLVS dedicates one full week to celebrate all things literacy.

Appropriately titled “Celebrate Literacy Week,” the entire state joins together to share their love for literacy through activities that include reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking!

Celebrate Literacy Week is presented by Just Read Florida and the Florida Department of Education to remind everyone that “Literacy Changes the World.”

Now in its seventh year, Celebrate Literacy Week allows school districts and families to engage in fun activities that bring the community together for the love of reading.

The Just Read Florida website provides a comprehensive list of activities that all families can enjoy during this event. They even include a printable bookmark to help us all keep our place as we read, read, read! Did you know that the more a child is exposed to print and books the more successful a reader they will be as they grow? Continue reading


Summer Reading!

Sunshine State Readers 2016I don’t know about you, but I look forward to May 1 each and every year!

Why you ask? Picture this: children standing outside the public library automatic sliding doors in the month of May. Sweat beading down their young faces as they grip in their hands the list of all lists – the Sunshine State Young Reader (SSYRA) book list for the year!

Will my book be on the shelf?

The Sunshine State books are coveted and hoarded by children all over the state of Florida each year. These titles literally fly off the shelves of stores and public libraries. Continue reading


FLVS Intensive Reading Course Tour

FLVS Intensive ReadingWe’re always reading.

But there’s a difference between just reading words and truly understanding their meaning. That’s where the Intensive Reading course at FLVS comes in. Using easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction, this course shows students how to approach and navigate complex texts.

If you’re looking for extra opportunities to sharpen your reading skills and prepare for the state reading assessment, look no further!  Continue reading


Books, Books, Books!

FLVS Book Club“Divergent,” “War and Peace,” “Twilight,” “The Madman’s Daughter” . . .

Whether or not you love the written word, or you just like a good adventure, we all have books we just adore. What better way to explore the awesomely crazy realm of the written word than with a book club! It doesn’t matter if you love romance, sci-fi, fantasy, or indie books. The FLVS Book Club provides students with entertainment and knowledge about these wonderful genres.

In the FLVS Book Club, our sponsors and student leaders make sure that your reading experience is an awesome one by offering fantastic, and sometimes hilarious, summaries of the events that transpire in books. We also play sweet games based (at least loosely) on the books we’re currently reading. Continue reading


National Novel Writing Month

National Novel Writing MonthIf there’s one thing I’ve learned as I’ve matured, it’s that everyone has a story to tell.

And, that our stories matter. Whether you’re a student, parent, grandparent, teacher, homemaker, hairstylist, or CEO, your story is important and only you can tell it.

Did you know that it’s been estimated that 81 percent of Americans say they dream of being an author? That’s roughly 200 million people! I admit I am one of the 200 million, and it’s been a long road, but I will be publishing my book this year.

Have you ever thought of writing a book but didn’t know how to start? Continue reading


The Power of Picture Books

The Power of Picture BooksOn my day off this week, I find myself eagerly drafting my first blog post for FLVS because (as all writers understand) I not only enjoy writing, I need to write.

So given my literacy background and current position as a first grade teacher at FLVS, I think I’ve chosen the right topic for me and you, my readers.  Author Randy Pausch eloquently says, “Your passion must come from the things that fuel you from the inside.”

My own children were quite young when I started my career in early childhood education, but it was clear to me then (and even clearer now) that I am passionate about beautiful picture books and quality children’s literature.  Continue reading


What It Was Like To Break A World Record

Pavlina coverAs published on HerAgenda.com

17-year-old journalist Pavlina Osta set a new Guinness World Record for most radio interviews in 24 hours. Here’s how she did it.

Throughout elementary school I remember going to the library and checking out American Girl books, but on the way to the check out counter, I’d always pass the open book in the reference center of Guinness World Records.

It wasn’t possible for me to even think of myself someday being in the book. I mean, a World Record? Me? Doing what? What could I do better than anyone else in the world?

I wasn’t thinking negatively – just realistically. Continue reading


History Club Celebrates Black History Month

Black History artwork
In celebration of Black History Month, the FLVS History Club has compiled a gallery of student work on their website managed by the club president.

The History Club newsletter, “A Blast from the Past,” features student articles, essays, reports, videos, paintings, drawings, and artwork.

Along with monthly updates, the site also includes current news and a page featuring historic events from the current month.   Continue reading


Reading Aloud to Cats

cat readingDid you ever read to your stuffed animals as a child? Perhaps your family pet enjoyed having you share a colorful picture book as he lay by your side with the bed lamp illuminating the pages. Reading aloud to pets allows children to practice their reading skills to a non-judgmental audience.

In my house you can hear, “Here kitty, kitty! I want to read a storybook to you!” all day long. You see, my family cares for homeless kittens and cats for an organization in Central Florida called Candy’s Cats. It gives our family, especially our young daughters, the opportunity to volunteer and learn how to give of themselves. My daughters are responsible for the socialization of the felines we care for. The kitties come to us scared and hissing, but the girls know that reading storybooks to them will help the unsure kittens learn to trust them.  It works; and other programs around the country have embraced reading to cats reaping benefits for both the reader and the listener. Continue reading