Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2013: Celebrating and Nurturing Lifelong Learning

As we gear up for our 4th Annual Early Literacy Network Buffet, we are grateful to take a moment to reflect on the fantastic year that is coming to a close.  As you mark your calendars for February 22, 2014, we invite you to read below and reflect on 2013's offering, "Nurturing Lifelong Learning."  We hope that all of our participants kept the spirit of the day alive throughout the year, and we look forward to sharing news about next year's professional development opportunity!

The 2013 ELN Buffet explored how educators remain open and alive to new experiences, to learning, and to self-reflection.   “Nurturing Lifelong Learning,” the theme of this day of celebration and professional development, began with a festive spread by the SFPL’s Mint Café, and a brief showcase of services offered by member organizations of the San Francisco Early Literacy Network.

Christy Estrovitz shares the wealth of services provided by San Francisco Public Library.
Jo McConnell shares the many exciting resources at Raising A Reader.
Lynne Mayes informs us about Pulsing Word and the Screen Actor's Guild BookPALS activities.

An engaging and inspiring keynote speech by Betty Pazmiño, Early Education Program Specialist with SFUSD, invited each of us to reflect upon what we bring as individuals to our work with children, and how best to foster curiosity in the children with whom we work.   This deep exploration of what it truly means to nurture lifelong learning in children and in our selves set the tone for meaningful and intentional engagement in the three breakout sessions that followed.

Alli Cuentos of Jamestown Community Center and Pulsing Word Consulting gives a warm and vibrant introduction to Betty Pazmiño
Betty Pazmiño, our dynamic keynote speaker.

Nurturing Lifelong Learning.
Amy Perry (San Francisco Public Library) and Jo McConnell (Raising A Reader) led a session entitled “Self-Reflection,” which encouraged educators to value each other as resources for lifelong learning.  The process of reflection, used intentionally as a tool, can deeply support both professional and personal growth.  This session led educators to examine why and how they make decisions, how to break down barriers to problem-solving, and build new connections with their peers. 

Jo McConnell and Amy Perry lead the Self-Reflection session.
Betty Pazmiño and participants in meaningful discussion.
Dynamic discussion.
The Bookmaking workshop, led by Catherine Aranda (Jumpstart), with assistance from Jude Deckenbach (First Book) gave everyone the opportunity create their own book.  In this session, educators explored different types of bookmaking projects, using various materials - everything that can be found in the classroom or in nature.  Everyone had fun sharing ideas while they made books on their subject of choice: ABCs, Shapes, Colors, you name it!

Catherine Aranda of Jumpstart making it happen.
Jude Deckenbach of First Book San Francisco in discussion with the group.
Making books!
Making books!
Making books!
Making books!
Making books!

Making books!
Making books!
Making books!

Making books!

Making books!

Making books!

Making books!
Making books!

Making books!

Making books!
The third session offered a two-part learning opportunity, focusing on the benefits of practicing yoga and massage for children. “Yoga for Kids:  Building Strength, Flexibility, and Wellness from the Inside Out” and “Squeeze Me! Massage Techniques for Self-Care and Beyond,” led by Pulsing Word consultants Lynne Maes and Alli Cuentos, added an “embodied” approach to learning.  In this session, participants learned a simple series of yoga poses and massage strokes to help foster focus and concentration, self-regulation, and breath awareness—in both adults and children alike.  Educators were introduced to techniques that support the immune system, brain development, and stimulate and support learning, and how they can be integrated into the early care environment.   
Lynne Mayes and Alli Cuentos of Pulsing Word facilitate this calming and invigorating workshop.
Yoga and massage for children and families.
Yoga and massage for children and families.
Yoga and massage for children and families.

Yoga and massage for children and families.
The day’s activities were concluded with a Family Dance Party in the Children’s Center, led by Pulsing Word, in which educators got an opportunity to participate in music and movement activities that foster learning through play!  A generous gift bag of books, along with a certificate of professional development, were presented to all who attended, with our heartiest thanks for making the day such a success and a joy for all.
Family Dance Party!
Family Dance Party!
Family Dance Party!
Every participant received a bag full of top-notch children's books and other learning materials.
Lynne, Amy, Catherine, Christy, Jude, Alli, Jo, and Brian (not pictured) reflect on the day and start planning for next year!

The Early Literacy Network thanks the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund for contributing to the book giveaway, our member organizations, Bring Me a Book Foundation, Children’s Book Project, First Book San Francisco, Jamestown Community Center, Jumpstart-Bay Area, Project Read, Pulsing Word Consulting, Raising A Reader-Bay Area, Screen Actors Guild BookPALS, SFPL Early Literacy Mobile, and of course Children and Youth Services of the San Francisco Public Library and the leadership of Christy Estrovitz, who make this event possible.

Text by Lynne Mayes. Photos and captions by Brian Castagne.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Children's Book Project Slideshow

Hey Folks,
Want to see just how fabulous Children's Book Project's 20th Anniversary Celebration was? Well then, please click on the Play button below.
All the best, Brian


Monday, November 26, 2012

A Message from Kathy Katz

In preparation for our 20th anniversary celebration I have been looking through our stacks and stacks of old photos and letters and endless computer files, reflecting on my many years with Children’s Book Project. What I realized is that It’s the people I’ve met that inspire me ‑— the endless stream of amazing people who work to improve our community. Their concern for Bay Area children and families. Their dedication to the never-ending struggle to keep the social service/nonprofit world alive. Teachers’ willingness to spend additional hours at CBP selecting books to improve their classroom and for their students to take home. Doctors bringing books to free clinics for their patients. Volunteers picking up books for homeless shelters and tutoring programs. And then there are all the wonderful people who collect the books that we can then distribute throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Over 100,000 books donated to us every year. Definitely something to celebrate!
Kathy CBP

5:30pm - 7:30pm, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Latino / Hispanic Meeting Room, Lower Level
San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Let's Celebrate 20 Years of Children's Book Project!

Gentle Readers,

San Francisco's absolutely beloved Children's Book Project is 20 years old this year!

They are too humble to make much about it but we at the San Francisco Early Literacy Network, First Book San Francisco, and San Francisco Public Library are so appreciative of their exceptional work and the profound positive difference they make in so many lives that we are throwing them a party. Please join us and show them how much you love them. See you there, Brian
(Click invite to view at full size)
5:30pm - 7:30pm, Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Latino / Hispanic Meeting Room, Lower Level
San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street

Friday, June 1, 2012

STEAM Workshop at SFPL Main

On May 18th, 2012, the San Francisco Public Library hosted a “What’s Hot in STEAM?” workshop led by Dr. Judy Cheatham from Reading is Fundamental (RIF). This lively event was attended by approximately 50 San Francisco and Oakland Public Library children’s librarians, branch managers, Project Read staff, and other library professionals plus San Francisco Early Literacy Network partners from Raising a Reader, Bring Me a Book, Screen Actors Guild BookPALS, and Pulsing Word Consulting.

STEAM is an enhancement of the STEM initiative which promotes making science, technology, engineering, and math skills a natural part of education from early literacy on up. STEAM proponents hope to broaden the scope by including the arts.

Dr. Cheatham was dynamic, warm, funny, and astute. She discussed RIF’s multicultural literacy initiative, the current reading landscape, basic interpersonal communication skills vs. cognitive academic language proficiency, the summer reading slide, and quite a bit more. Her presentation and the interactive small group activities were engaging and practical. RIF also generously provided each attendee with three picture books particularly suited to STEAM use, a wealth of curricula, and a delicious continental breakfast. For a visual tour of the workshop please peruse the 15 photos posted below.

For more information about STEM, STEAM, and RIF please use the following links.



Reading is Fundamental (the nation’s oldest and largest children’s and family literacy non-profit)

All the best, Amy Perry and Brian Castagne

Christy Estrovitz, San Francisco Public Library Early Literacy Coordinator, introduces Dr. Judy B. Cheatham of Reading is Fundamental (RIF).

Judy Cheatham engages the audience.
Judy Cheatham compares math and science scores of students from the US to those of students from China.
Strategic education priorities from the White House.
Spirited interactive activity.
Sharing her new favorite picture book, Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham.

Modeling how to employ the STEAM framework during a read aloud.
Lynne Mayes of Pulsing Word Consulting and Screen Actors Guild BookPALS embraces the activity with Christy Estrovitz.
Eric Auyeung, SFPL Children's Librarian, and Karen Drachler from Bring me a Book generate learning activities.
SFPL Children's Librarians Ruben Balderas and Eric Auyeung being creative.

SFPL Children's Librarians, Eric Barbus, Sarah Stone, and Children and Teen Selection Specialist Denise Schmidt devise learning activities.

Oakland Public Library's Janet Cheung, SFPL Children Services Librarians Laura Tarango and Mary Ellen Massa, and Golden Gate Valley Branch Manager Irene Lee evaluate new learning materials.

Amy Perry of SFPL Mobile Outreach Services, Liesel Harris-Bundy from West Portal Branch, and Celia of the Oakland Public Library look over the wealth of materials.

SFPL's Kimberly Lauer and Barbara VanderBorght, and Michelle Callwood of Raising a Reader show that learning is fun.

Lyn Davidson, SFPL Fisher Children's Center Assistant Manager, details the bounty of books and learning materials provided free from Reading is Fundamental. She then convened the SFPL Children's Services Monthly Meeting.