Monday, September 23, 2013

My kind of competition

    In case I haven’t shared, I really love my new job and for so many reasons. Reason 237: the St. Charles City-County Library District Book Blog. I get to blog about books I’ve read while I’m at work – someone pinch me (but not too hard). I'm sensitive after all. 

    The SCCCLD Book Challenge is a Competitive Reading Challenge. It is like kickball for literary nerds which is, in my opinion, AWESOME. Because if we are really being honest here, a good many of us aren’t exactly getting picked first for most sports teams. But this one, this one, I’m all over!

    To play, participants earn points for various categories including: reading the highest number of books, reading an award book, responding to blog posts, etc. I just started so I have a lot to make-up, but this also gives me an excuse to read. I can hear it now, “Sorry honey, I can’t cook dinner (ever), I have to finish my book for work.”

   Feel free to stop by the site and check out some of the great books already posted by the library staff from the various branches.

Friday, September 13, 2013

How do we get our young friends Ready to Read?

Ready to Read is a new early-literacy focused program sponsored by the St. Charles City-County Library Foundation and is committed to ensuring every child is equipped with the tools necessary to read successfully in kindergarten. Through volunteer engagement and active partnerships with community-focused organizations Ready to Read will empower a generation of young readers. In addition, Ready to Read educates the community on the many services available within the library district to support families in becoming life-long readers.

The Ready to Read program depends on volunteers committed to our young readers. We are always looking for patron partners to deliver our Early Literacy Kits, maintain our Mini-Libraries, host Book Donation Events, and provide sponsorship. Most important, we need your voice to champion our cause as we work to raise awareness about the importance of early literacy and the role parents play as their child’s first teacher. 

Helping our young children is more important than ever before. Studies show children who fall behind in school stay behind and their struggles continue long after graduation, impacting their ability to gain employment and fully participate in the community. We can make a positive change and break intergenerational struggles with programs like Ready to Read. By working with family units and partner agencies such as Youth In Need, Crisis Nursery, Parents as Teachers (PAT), Sts. Joachim & Ann Care Service and many more, we are taking a stand against childhood illiteracy. The Ready to Read program and the Library Foundation are excited to invest in our next generation of readers.

For more information on the Ready to Read program, please visit the Library Foundation’s website or contact Karen Guccione-Englert, Extension Services Specialist, at 636-441-2300 x. 1517. 

Photo Credits: St. Charles City-County Library Foundation

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

MO-SCBWI Conference Update

I’m all registered for the 2013 SCBWI-MO Fall Conference "Follow Your Dream" November 2-3, 2013 right here in St. Charles, MO.  I’m super excited to hear from this year’s keynote panel and attend breakout sessions. Here’s a sneak-peek at the amazing talent with us this year. (Excuse the copy-paste, I didn’t want to leave out any accomplishments).

KEYNOTE - Author Matt de la Peña -- "Working-Class Writer"
Matt de la Peña is the author of four critically-acclaimed young adult novels: Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here and I Will Save You. He's also the author of the award-winning picture book A Nation's Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis (illustrated by Kadir Nelson). Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. Matt currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.

KEYNOTE - Author Lisa Yee -- "Following Your Dream Without Falling on Your Face"
Lisa Yee’s debut novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. With almost two million books in print, her other novels for young people include Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, So Totally Emily Ebers, Absolutely Maybe, and a series about a 4th grader, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) and Bobby the Brave (Sometimes). Lisa is also the author of American Girl’s Kanani books and Good Luck, Ivy. Her latest novel, Warp Speed, is about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up everyday at school. A Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence, Lisa's books have been named a NPR Best Summer Read, Sports Illustrated Kids Hot Summer Read, and USA Today Critics’ Top Pick.

KEYNOTE - Author Judy Young -- "Judy Young, Counting Her Lucky Stars"
Judy Young is an award-winning author of children’s fiction, poetry and nonfiction books. Judy is a frequent speaker at schools nationwide and her author visits include both educational presentations and poetry writing workshops for elementary and middle school students. She also conducts writing workshops for teachers for their professional development in-services and is a frequent speaker for educational organizations and professional conferences. With twenty years previous experience in the public schools, Judy has first hand experience with improving students’ writing skills and her presentations and workshops are directly related to school curriculum.

KEYNOTE - Illustrator-author Dan Santat -- "The 'IT' Factor (Parts of getting published that you need to know but no one has taught you)"
Dan Santat is the author/illustrator of Sidekicks and the winner of the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett. He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit, The Replacements. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.

For more information or to join me at Lindenwood on November 2-3rd, visit Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Missouri Chapter (SCBWI – MO) at