By Suzan Kurdak on June 29th, 2017
It’s finally here!
Summer is in full swing, and if you’re a student, that most likely means no schoolwork and no intensive schedule to follow.
You’re ready to relax as you’ve worked hard and earned this welcomed break. It may feel like summer will last forever and that you’ll have plenty of time to do all those things you think of doing during the school year.
But while summer is a nice stretch of time, June, July, and August go all too quick…
(Can you believe it’s almost July already?)
So to make the most of the endless sunshine, here are five thoughts on how to make your summer great. Continue reading
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on May 25th, 2017
The 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
By Melodie Robelo on April 11th, 2017
As 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
By Guest Blogger on March 8th, 2017
This post was written by Natalie, a student in the FLVS Creative Writing Club.
When 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
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on January 23rd, 2017
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
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on June 29th, 2016
I 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
By Guest Blogger on March 1st, 2016
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
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on August 27th, 2014
Did 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
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on July 16th, 2014
Enrichment Activities for Families
In this three-part FLVS Virtual Voice blog series, I will share enriching activities to keep students learning all summer long.
As our children enjoy the long days of summer vacation, parents all over the country have been hyperventilating as they fill 10 weeks of play dates, summer camps, pool parties, and weekend family adventures. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned parent’s eyes glaze over. As an educator I encourage parents to add one more activity to their summer calendar: enrichment.
By Jeanne Giardino-Zanegood on June 24th, 2014
Did you know that June is National Audio Book Month? Really!
Do you know what a cassette tape is? Well, ever since the cassette tape was the latest high-tech audio medium, I have been a huge fan of the audiobook. Recorded books helped me pass the hours on long car trips, enjoy beach days, and cram for final exams on complex literary tomes. Today, I recommend audiobooks quite often to parents who have reluctant or challenged readers. I speak highly about the MP3 books available through the local libraries when it comes to getting children excited about reading and supporting their academic growth. Continue reading