Literacy

It’s That Time of Year!

By on May 25th, 2017

Sunshine State Readers 16-17The Sunshine State Young Reader Award books for 2017-18 have arrived!

Picture this: children standing outside the public library’s automatic sliding doors during 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 Awards (SSYRA) book list for 2017!

Will your favorite 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. Libraries have wait lists 50 students long waiting for the popular titles to become available.

Amazon.com stocks up on these books and Barnes & Noble piles them 10 books deep on tables with the title “Sunshine State Award Books” each summer knowing families are looking specifically for these hot titles! Continue reading


The Close of a Chapter: Plugging into the Virtual Community

By on May 19th, 2017

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

FLVS ClubsAs I near the end of my high school career, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful memories and lifelong friends that I have made through FLVS.

As a writer, I have been able to thrive in clubs like Creative Writing Club, News in a Click and NEHS. I have participated in Poetry Read-Ins, Shakespeare Festivals and Celebrate Literacy Month. I have also had the invaluable opportunity to collaborate with immensely talented writers and highlight student work through Open Mics. These experiences have greatly enriched my writing and provided inspiration that I will carry with me when I go to college.

In my final [Creative Writing Club] blog post, I wanted to remind you of the power of plugging into our virtual community. By getting involved in FLVS clubs and activities, you are introduced to a world of inspiration. Continue reading


Why Libraries Still Matter

By on April 11th, 2017

Blog_LibrariesAs a young girl, I always enjoyed visiting my local library.

My librarian, Mrs. Ferris, knew me by name and greeted me with a loving smile. She always had recommendations for great books, from beautiful Caldecott Medal picture books to the latest Newberry Award winners. She knew just the right stories that would captivate me for hours, keeping me up well past my bedtime as I read by the light of a flashlight under my covers.

In the days before the internet became a household staple, the library was my go-to source for answers about life’s most pressing questions. Even with nothing but that clunky card catalog of old, Mrs. Ferris could find resources to answer my many questions within minutes of me asking them. I wanted to know everything there was to know about kangaroos? Got it. Pompeii? Easy. The Holocaust? Let’s try reading Number the Stars and go from there. Continue reading


My Writing Timeline

By on March 8th, 2017

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

By on January 23rd, 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!

By on June 29th, 2016

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

By on March 1st, 2016

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!

By on December 4th, 2015

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

By on November 21st, 2015

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

By on November 13th, 2015

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