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Results 1 - 25 of 2,000
1. Waving the White Flag on Valentine’s Day!

There are some days in an elementary school teacher's life where the white flag must be waved. Halloween. The day before holiday break. Pajama Day. Crazy Hat Day. And, of course, Valentine's Day...

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2. Forthcoming in ... South Africa

       At Books LIVE Jennifer runs down The local fiction to look forward to in 2016 (Jan - June) in South Africa.
       Always interesting to see what gets published in other countries -- especially a place like South Africa, where even though the majority is written in English, very little finds its way to the US/UK markets.

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3. Caterva review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Juan Filloy's 1937 novel, Caterva, recently published in English by Dalkey Archive Press.

       Filloy -- who died aged over 100 -- is a fascinating figure, and among the titbits from translator Brendan Riley's Introduction: since his death three books have been posthumously published -- but there are still twenty-one unpublished ones ! (As far as English, the situation is even worse, with this just the second work available in translation (while Faction has been long-announced but oft-delayed ...).)

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4. Two Current Art Shows

Hello, my friends! I’ve been busily working away on 10 new pieces (11×14) that are currently showing in two locations in Sacramento, CA. Six of my little waifs are at Details Salon and four others are on exhibit at Little Relics Gallery.
alice in wonderland white rabbits
For all those local or nearby, I urge you to pop in and say hello to Alice and a few of her other friends. Not nearby? Don’t fret…for I am offering LIMITED edition prints of each of these. Here are three of them and I’ll continue to share the others both here on on my Instagram @caitchock [so do follow me there, if you’ve not already :) ]
geishas and cherry blossoms
To ORDER, simply drop an email to: cait@caitchock.com and I’d love to send one of my special prints your way.

Thank you, as always!
snow queen

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5. Speed painting Children's Books Illustration

This is a fascinating peek at one artist's watercolor (LIAN) and ink illustration process. With my recent interest in the media, I learned a lot watching this! Click the image to watch on YouTube and learn more about the artist:

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6. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

As you share this day with your favorite Valentine, don't forget to color! I have lots of Valentine's Day themed coloring pages - just CLICK HERE to see them all!

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7. Book Launch: Once Upon an Elephant

OnceElephant

On the African savanna Elephants are gentle giants that have an incredible impact on the ecosystem. Once Upon an Elephant by Linda Stanek debuts this week, and the amazing facts about elephants are sure to make any child want to know more about how they can help this important animal.

Learn how this book came to life from the author Linda Stanek:

lindastanekIt’s funny how researching one thing can lead to something else. While working on a book for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium about their baby elephant, Beco, elephant expert Harry Peachey mentioned the words “keystone animal” to me. Keystone animal? I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know what that was. When he explained that these are animals so critical to maintaining their ecosystems that without them, other species would die, I was shocked. This was important stuff! How did I not know about it? If didn’t know about this, then who else didn’t know as well? And what an important concept to share those who would inherit this fragile Earth—our children.

That was the beginning of Once Upon an Elephant. What if, I thought, elephants were only “Once Upon a Time?” It was a heartbreaking thought. And if they did, indeed, become extinct, what else might become once upon a time as well?

After writing this manuscript, I shared it with my friend, Harry and got his thumbs-up. Then, I sent it to a handful of publishers. Within two weeks (which is quicker than lightning, in publishing-time) Arbordale made me an offer. And even more quickly, I accepted.

Two days later, I got an offer for Once Upon an Elephant from another publisher. “Drat!” my sister said. “You could have an auction!”

But I was satisfied. I knew that Arbordale produces beautiful books. And, I onceelephant_pic3appreciate that they place their books not only in bookstores, but in museum, aquarium, and zoo gift shops as well—where interested readers are likely to be found. When they signed Shennen Bersani to illustrate it, I was even happier. She crafted the amazing images to make this book complete, allowing me to share with children the concept of the keystone animal, and my love of elephants.

Learn more! Teaching activities, quizzes and other printable activities are available on the book’s homepage, check it out!

Enter to win your own copy of Once Upon an Elephant on Goodreads!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Once Upon an Elephant by Linda Stanek

Once Upon an Elephant

by Linda Stanek

Giveaway ends February 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


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8. #824 – My Tummy Disaster by Scott Nelson – Heritage Builders

My Tummy Disaster SERIES: An Embarrassing to the Max Book Written and Illustrated by Scott Nelson Heritage Builders Publishing  6/23/2015 978-1-941437-54-4 32 pages   Ages 4—8 “Max is having a tough day at school. While his classmates are singing during chorus practice, our hero is at the back of the band room losing his breakfast …

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9. loaded...Found Objects Day 14

May your Valentine's Day be loaded with everything lovely, just like this baked potato...

 http://laurashovan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/diane.jpg

which is the Found Object for Day 14 of  Laura Shovan's February Poetry Challenge.

Loaded Language

"Does this potato come with any toppings?"
"Lady, that's a loaded question."

"Whoa, that baked potato must be loaded!
Look at his white stretch limo!" 

"Get a load of Baked Potato--
she thinks she's so fancy in her cream-colored coat,
butter pat hat and her chives-and-cheese
statement necklace."

"Baked Potato's been down at Benny's Bar & Grill all night."
"Yep, he'll be heading home loaded again..." 

© Heidi Mordhorst 2016

The photo is by Diane Mayr, I believe, and I was torn--should I treat the potato as the Found Object, the poster, or strange, seemingly pointless object taped to the front of the poster?  As you can see I picked none of those and chose the LANGUAGE as the object instead.

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10. Is it true you have to write what you know?

Question from a reader
I am an aspiring author (I checked out your FAQ page so don't worry about me asking you to read something of mine). I loved Girl, Stolen! I wanted to ask how you wrote about Cheyenne being blind? I was wondering if you knew someone who was blind, if you did extensive research, or if you just trusted your gut and thought about how you would feel? I was reading something from another author who said you should only write about things you've experienced, but as a pretty sheltered 16 year old there isn't a lot I've experienced. I was wondering if you followed the same rule.

My answer
You don’t have to write only what you know. I’ve heard “write what you want to know” and I think that’s more true.

Years ago, before I was published, I started writing a book from the POV of two middle-aged male Southerners who are identical twins, one of whom is paralyzed. (Not sure I had even been to the South - and I was younger, female, and not paralyzed. Oh, and not a twin.) That wasn’t the best idea. I think I thought it was more “writerly” to write a character I totally had to make up.

I am not blind and at the time I started writing Girl, Stolen, I did not know anyone who was. But I had just seen a news story that was basically the first few minutes of Girl, Stolen (the real girl was let go after 10 minutes) and I knew it would make a great book.

I think if you are going to write about someone who is not like you (especially someone who is in the minority), you should try really hard to get it right. So while I could walk around my house with eyes closed and think about what it would be like to be blind, I knew that wasn’t enough. So:
- I read books by people who had gone blind. (And I was lucky, because there are a LOT! Understandably, it’s a dramatic thing)
- I interviewed blind people and asked them to read the book when it was done.
- I got a white cane and learned basic caning technique.
- I went to the guide dog school for the blind and spent a day there.

And I also trusted my gut and thought about how I would feel.

I think it’s good to experience something yourself if you can. I have fired a gun, I have been handcuffed, and I have learned how to pick my way out of handcuffs with a bobby pin. When a copyeditor questioned whether the killer could really put a body under the kitchen sink, I pulled out everything and climbed in and took a selfie.

So you can combine trusting your gut, thinking about it logically, doing research, interviewing people, and having real life experiences. If you are writing fantasy, it is likely you are never going to experience what it is like to be a were-dragon or cast spells or whatever. So that’s going to be more thinking about it and trusting your gut.

I was a pretty sheltered 16 year old myself. Nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to become a serial killer to write about them (or do you…?). (Nope, pretty sure you don’t.)

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11. Happy Valentine's Day










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12. VIDEO: DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg Fights A Lion

This lion learned his lesson the hard way: don't mess with Jeffrey Katzenberg.

The post VIDEO: DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg Fights A Lion appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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13. Illustration Inspiration: Patrice Barton, Illustrator of Little Bitty Friends

Patrice Barton’s artistic talents were discovered at age three when she was found creating a mural on the wall of her dining room with a pastry brush and a can of Crisco.

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14. Valentine's Kittens

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations

My cat, Galileo, received two new kittens for Valentine's Day. They're litter-mates, adopted from Austin Pets Alive! (Austin is celebrating five years as the largest no-kill city.) Meet:

Tycho


Apollo
And you may remember....

Galileo (AKA "Leo")

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15. Illustrators social

The illustrators were getting their party on this evening at the SCBWI Illustrator's Social, with big nods to Tomie dePaola for putting the  "I" in SCBWI! Peter Brown started off the festivities by introducing members of the SCBWI Illustration leadership team. "It's important for us to get to know one another and network, said Brown.

David Diaz, Peter Brown, Sarah Baker, Paul O. Zelinsky, Laurent Linn







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16. thoughts on it all, on Valentine's Day

This Valentine's Day weekend, I write of long love in an era of tighter purse strings, a shared photography adventure, and wandering the streets of Conshohocken (and meeting one young entrepreneur, Marcie Spampinato, in a market fresh cafe) in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

I read Bettyville—that great George Hodgman memoir—through for the third time, as my class at Penn, joining with the students of dear Julia Bloch, prepare for a special Skype visit from the author. I first encountered Bettyville when reviewing the book for the Chicago Tribune. In returning to these pages, I find myself even more grateful for its championing of heart, its honesty of emotion, its embrace of sliding time, and its wisdoms, large and small. "To fall in love you have to think you're okay, stop watching for clues you've done something wrong."

I look toward a simple meal with the man I love.

These have been interesting days. I am learning how to live through uncertainty, find peace with broken promises, work toward the tangible in often intangible times, wrangle with dishonesties and pressures. I do less well when I survey the world at large—the posturing of politicians, the schoolyard antics of debates, the cruelty of regimes, the small voices that are not heard, the cracks in the earth. Three a.m. is my internal monologue-ing hour, and often nobody wins.

And then I remember to be grateful. For sun despite the frigid cold. For the laughter of my son over the phone. For the emails from friends who write of warming days, risotto, a mother's whisper, HelloFresh, encouragement for the books I write. For the team my father and I have become as we continue to hope for the sale of his home. For the orange roses that were waiting for me at five a.m. today, when I stopped talking to myself.

It's the small things, I think, that are the biggest things of all. The small things that sustain me, that break the monologue.

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17. Michael Jackson

If you watch Michael Jackson
When he was a boy,
You will smile and delight
In his unabashed joy.

He commanded the stage,
All his brothers mere props,
For as young as he was,
He pulled out all the stops.

Check the Spike Lee biopic
And you’ll be impressed
At the talent and energy
Jackson possessed.

We all heard of his problems –
Each habit and flaw –
But when up on the stage,
He was worthy of awe.

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18. Day 14: Dr. Lorenzo Pace

Photo by Cindy Reiman

Photo by Cindy Reiman

Renowned artist and storyteller, Dr. Lorenzo Pace created a series of poignant picture books – the African American Quartet –  that pay homage to black history and the power of the human spirit. Pace’s debut, Jalani and the Lock (Rosen), was inspired by the lock that bound his enslaved great-great grandfather and was handed down to him. The three others –  Marching With Martin, Harriet Tubman and My Grandmother’s Quilts and Frederick Douglass and the North Star – explore the lives of these pivotal historic figures Dr. Pace, whose monument Triumph of the Human Spirit in New York City’s Foley Square honors the enslaved Africans originally buried there, uses words and mixed media artwork in his children’s books to bring to life stories from the past.

We are proud to celebrate Dr. Lorenzo Pace on Day 14.

Journey to Publishing

It began with a lock. A cold, hard, more than 150-year-old iron lock. A legacy of man’s inhumanity to man. When my father passed away in Birmingham, Alabama in 1991, I left New York and went South to bury him. My Uncle Julius shocked me and the rest of my family by giving me a lock that had shackled my great-great grandfather Steve Pace in chains. Steve Pace had passed down the lock to other Pace men. I accepted the lock but really didn’t want it. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I put it in my closet in Brooklyn.

Not long after that, my daughter, who was about 8, came home and said, “Daddy, kids are making fun of me because of my hair, my nose, and my lips.” I asked why. She said they told her it was because she was from slaves. I said, “Wow, baby. You don’t have to be ashamed of your looks.” I told her she came from beautiful people, strong, creative, and resourceful people.

Our conversation inspired me to explore the lock. The lock was calling out, “Hey, come deal with lockbookme.” So I explored the lock and my great-great-grandfather’s story. Turns out, after emancipation, Steve Pace purchased more than 500 acres of land and shared it with his family. His third eldest son was in the first class at the Tuskegee Institute. He was a minster and the church he founded still exists and will soon be on the National Register of Historic Places. Soon, I found myself writing Jalani and the Lock, to explain to my daughter and other children our history and the triumphs that are the essence of it.

I finished writing and illustrating and shopped for a publisher for five long years. One day a buddy in Chicago referred me to Rosen Publishing. I met with the publisher. He loved the content. He loved the illustrations. He agreed to publish it. It came out in 2000.

I’ve traveled the world with Jalani and the Lock and the book has been translated into Spanish, French, and Dutch. Last year, Jalani and the Lock was re-printed as part of a series I wrote and illustrated called the African American Quartet. The Quartet includes: Marching with Martin, Frederick Douglass and the North Star, and Harriet Tubman and My Grandmother’s Quilts. The Quartet came about after the publisher and I began talking about ways to build on Jalani’s story and bring it into the 21st century.

Art from Marching with Martin

Art from Marching with Martin

All of the books relate to my personal experiences. I marched with Dr. King in Chicago when I was a teenager. I grew up seeing Frederick Douglass on my grade school walls. I grew up hearing about Harriet Tubman from my grandmother. She and my mom were quilters. I learned that quilts sometimes had anti-slavery sayings woven into them, and there is a legend that the enslaved put Underground Railroad symbols and routes in their quilts. There’s also an Underground Railroad station in my Brooklyn, NY neighborhood. For all these reasons, I wove photos of my family’s quilts into the book’s illustrations.

Inspiration 

The inspiration for my books has come first from my personal history. It occurred to me that if these stories are in my family, they’re probably in most African American families. I’m inspired by John Coltrane and Charlie Parker. I listen to them as I write and create. They are such innovators, constantly bringing out new ways of thinking in their music. They make we want to go to a higher plane as an artist. Alex Haley inspires me because of his groundbreaking research on our history. He made me want to dig deeper and deeper. The artist and author Faith Ringgold also inspires me. I love Maya Angelou’s books, period. Her gift for playing with language is second-to-none. There are so many great writers, but those who tell our stories –new stories, uplifting stories –inspire me most. I’ve also gotten motivated by the books of Caroline Brewer. She’s been under the radar because of her focus on literacy, but is about to come into greater recognition. She has some very intense and motivational books on the African American experience, like a fun but educational picture book on President Obama’s 2008 election, Barack Obama: A Hip Hop Tale of King’s Dream Come True. And the next book, a middle grade novel, is intense, fun, and motivational, too.

Process 

I just go. If I have a character or concept, I just begin to feel the energy that goes into how to tell a

Art from Marching with Martin

Art from Marching with Martin

complete a story and how to illustrate it. I go out and get all kinds of materials that I think can help. I go to the art store. I look for materials in the street, in my environment, and just go.

I’ve illustrated my Quartet books using mixed media and collage. I will use an old dress from a thrift store with a particular pattern or color, beads, paper sacks, kente cloth, animal print, newspaper print. I also use acrylic paint, watercolors, colored pencils, markers, glitter, whatever makes a page pop. I let everything around me speak to me and then I put the pieces together.

The most important thing that I do as I work is have fun. I also know I can get kids on color. They love color and so do I. I approach my art in the same way I approach living: be sure to have some fun and add lots of color.

The Buzz

tubmanpacePublisher’s Weekly called the first edition of Jalani and the Lock “a stunning debut.” NBC News cited Harriet Tubman as one of the top 14 books to read in February 2015. The School Library Journal met me at my Brooklyn studio last year to do a piece on the art I created for the books. Booklist offered these words below about the new quartet.

“Perhaps the most personal entry in celebrated sculptor Pace’s ambitious African

American Quartet is this first-person remembrance of what Martin Luther King Jr. meant to Pace while growing up in Alabama and Chicago. The design of the book, and indeed the entire quartet, features two-page spreads of wild, almost Basquiat-like art incorporating paint, jewelry, paper, plastics, and anything else that captures Pace’s fancy. On the left-hand page goes the prose, which, though simple, is packed with restrained emotion: “Many years ago, in 1949, to be exact, when I was a little boy in Alabama, I saw signs that I did not understand.”

State of the Industry

Walter Dean Myers and Chris Myers said it best in their New York Times pieces a couple of years ago. The publishing industry is not doing enough to reflect the rich and deep and vibrant diversity of this country. There are so many children who need to see themselves in books. Books are game-changers. And yet, authors of color can’t depend on the industry to do it all. The efforts of sites like thebrownbookshelf.com are critical to helping put the spotlight on authors and illustrators of color. Whatever we can do to support one another makes us more powerful.

Find out more about Dr. Lorenzo Pace here.

 


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19. My tweets

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20. KING BRONTY IS TWO YEARS OLD! Happy 2nd Anniversary!

Valentine's day, 2014 was the first day I published by web comic "King Bronty, The World's Greatest Dinosaur Knight!"
I initially started with a kingbronty.com address but it became easier, and more fun, to use my blog and YouTube as King Bronty's home.
Here is the beginning of King Bronty, I hope you'll enjoy King Bronty!



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21. Katie Leung on ‘One Child’ and Racism in Media

Katie Leung (Cho Chang) will be back on screen this week in the BBC mini-series One Child. Leung plays Mei Ashley, who was adopted from China by British parents.  As a young woman, Mei learns that her birth mother and biological brother need her help.  She travels to Guangzhou where her brother is on death row after being framed for murder.  (All of this happens during the period of China’s one child policy, which was only revoked last year.)

In anticipation of One Child, Katie Leung sat for an interview with Herald ScotlandShe begins by reflecting on her days filming Harry Potter.  Katie tells Herald Scotland:

“I was so innocent and naive… I think that allowed me to enjoy the moment of being a teenager, part of this massive franchise and not really having a worry in the world. If I was given the chance to go back and relive it, I would probably try to absorb everything around me a bit more.”

Katie also tells Herald Scotland about her relationship with Harry Potter fans over the years.  Some have embraced her and become friends online and regular attendees at her plays.

“It has been incredible because the fans I got to know and love from the beginning have been with me throughout my career,” she says. “They come to see my plays and contact me through social media. When they go to one of my shows that isn’t Potter I get really excited. They have been so supportive and I’m grateful for that.”

Unfortunately, others have not been so kind.  The Herald Scotland reports that one particularly unnerving group in the Harry Potter days started an “I Hate Katie” website to complain about Cho Chang’s romantic involvement with Harry Potter and make racist comments.

“Looking back I can’t remember much about that part of it because I was so in denial of what was happening,” [Katie Leung] concedes. “I put it to the back of my mind. I don’t know if that is the best way to deal with it, but that is naturally what I did in order to move on and be a good actor… I was being judged purely on my looks because she [Cho Chang] is supposed to be a very beautiful girl. This all happened before the films even came out. I thought: ‘Well, I can’t do anything about the way I look, so I’m going to need to do the best acting to make up for it.’”

Katie stills deals with racism at times, even in passive situations.  She tells Herald Scotland:

“There are people who are subconsciously racist and not aware of it…  If I’m in a taxi and asked: ‘Where you off to?’ and I say: ‘I’m going to the airport’, I’ve had the driver say: ‘Oh, your English is really good … It happened not that long ago. You get strangers coming up and saying the one Chinese or Japanese word they know, such as ‘ni hao’ or ‘konnichiwa’.

“It happens on the street or a night out in a bar. It’s sexist and racist, actually. That is something which needs to be addressed, but then again that can be solved through more diversity on our screens.”

With that, Katie Leung points out the problem of racism in film and media.  While in drama school, Katie wondered if she would ever be cast in a Shakespeare play because of her Chinese heritage.  It took a friend to help her realize that “I had been putting myself in a box when I was capable of so much more,”  according to Herald Scotland.  Later, Katie played Portia in The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Leung is delighted that Noma Dumezweni has been cast as Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as she noted at A Celebration of Harry Potter in January.  “I was ecstatic when I heard she was going to be playing Hermione,” Katie Leung tells Herald Scotland.  She sees it as a step in the right direction.

“If we are not representing what is in real life on our screens then people are going to remain ignorant, be prejudiced and maintain these stereotypes,” she says. “It could always be better and we are definitely not quite there yet.”

To read more about Katie Leung and BBC’s One Child, see the Herald Scotland article, here.

 

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22. Happy Valentines' Day from #NY16SCBWI

A special message from all the authors and illustrators gathered this morning...


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23. 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #470: Featuring Benji Davies

“It’s got bright, waving things attached to it like huge kites. It’s got colors.It’s got sound. It’s got, it’s got—WHEELS!”(Click to enlarge spread)   I’ve got a review over at BookPage (here) of Linda Sarah’s Big Friends (Henry Holt, January 2016), illustrated by Benji Davies and first published in the UK in 2014 as On […]

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24. SCBWI Staff Introduction

Lin Oliver introduces the amazing staff of the SCBWI. A much deserved standing ovation received.



Thank you, SCBWI!

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25. Join the ALSC Community Forum on Summer Reading & Learning

ALSC Community ForumThe ALSC Board of Directors and ALSC President Andrew Medlar will be hosting an ALSC Community Forum live chat on the topic of summer reading & learning. This forum will include a live text discussion with the newly appointed ALSC Summer Reading & Learning Task Force.

Join us to discuss how libraries across the country are finding new and engaging ways to keep kids reading and learning in their communities and explore ways in which ALSC can help assist members in their work.

ALSC’s next forum will be held on Thursday, February 25, 2016 at:

  • 2pm Eastern
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Members are invited to check out the National Summer Learning Association’s new Summer Learning Policy Snapshot in preparation for this discussion.

Accessing the Forum

ALSC Community Forums take place on Adobe Connect. A few days prior to the event, ALSC members will receive an email with a URL link to the forum. You can also find a direct link to the forum from the Community Forum site (member login required). A recorded webcast of the forum will be available after the live session has completed.

Participate via Twitter

Members who cannot participate in the live chat can participate via Twitter using the hashtag #alscforum. Questions and answers will be submitted to the forum as time allows.

Questions? Contact ALSC Membership and Marketing Manager, Dan Bostrom or by phone, 800-545-2433 ext 2164.

The post Join the ALSC Community Forum on Summer Reading & Learning appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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