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“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~Winston Churchill


Celebrating Volunteer Jerry Byrd's 300th Book

Jerry Byrd in his home recording studio, facing the camera.

Today at Learning Ally we are celebrating Jerry Byrd on reading his 300th book!

 

Jerry started volunteering with Learning Ally 18 years ago back in 2002, but has been reading audiobooks for the blind since the mid 1960s. Jerry got his start in recording audiobooks when he joined the St. Louis public library’s recording studio. For his first project, Jerry was given a book, a stack of cassettes, and off he went! He continued his narration when working as a professor at California State University in Long Beach, the Monterey Society for the Blind, and later Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, now known as Learning Ally. 

 

One of Jerry’s favorite memories from working in the Learning Ally studio was meeting the students who stopped in to share their stories. He recalls one student saying: “I was nine in the third grade. I couldn’t read. The teacher thought I had problems; the kids thought I was dumb; I thought I was dumb. Now I am a doctoral student in anthropology.” Jerry said that inspiring stories like these were accomplishments he wanted to share in. 

 

When Learning Ally made its shift to recording online, Jerry went with them. When asked what motivates him to continue to volunteer with Learning Ally, Jerry recalled a lesson he learned from his mother. “My mother always inculcated in me the idea that you don’t do everything for yourself. People do things for you; your dentist, your car mechanic. So you do something for somebody else. I feel privileged that I have the education and the voice to be able to do this for somebody else.” Since narrating audiobooks, Jerry says he has become more aware of the blind and dyslexic community and the people who depend on audiobooks for their education, livelihood and quality of life. 

 

Jerry offered a piece of advice and encouragement for Learning Ally volunteers. He said: “Stop and think about this whole idea that we exchange gifts in life. I can’t fix my car, I can’t fix my teeth, but I can read for people who cannot read and they will do something for me in the long run. They will be that doctor of anthropology or historian for me. We are all in this together. We are dependent on each other. We don’t go this alone. It’s a gift that we shouldn’t turn away. We should use the gifts we have.” 

 

Thank you Jerry for 300 books, 6,000+ hours, and 100,000+ pages. You are inspiring!


Volunteer Appreciation and the Work Yet To Be Done

Greetings, As Always to Our Loyal Volunteers,

 
We hope you're all staying safe and well. Learning Ally continues its efforts to serve the students and schools disrupted by the pandemic, as well as trying to serve our growing population of volunteers. 

Looking Back on Volunteer Appreciation Week

 

On April 21st we had a very special Volunteer Nation Live event in celebration of Volunteer Appreciation Week. We were able to feature several students and teachers who use Learning Ally books in their schools who shared their stories of learning and growth with audiobooks, as well as answering questions from our volunteers in attendance. If you missed the event we strongly urge you take the time to watch the recording on our Resources Page.

 

Still image of the McCarthy family from our Volunteer Nation Live event

 


We drive ourselves by asking Why: Why do we make the time and the effort to provide our services and resources? And we get our answer every time we see the people who benefit from our work. It's a beautiful reminder that we're doing more than making books - we're improving lives; offering success to people who would otherwise be forced to struggle. We bring out our best and afford others the chance to do the same. 

 

Project Shortages?

 

One of the results of having so many new volunteers (over 100 training graduates this month) as well as volunteers with extra time to donate, is that we are actually experiencing a shortage of work in some places. While it's exciting to see that we are not falling behind on deadlines, we are also fielding many requests for book project assignments, particularly in QA and in Storyteller narration. If you are looking for a project in those areas, we suggest you use the contact forms for Learning Ally staff assistance, such as the Assignment Request form for Storytellers.  We can earmark an appropriate book or project for you before we even list it in the catalog. 


Please note however, we are still limited by staff hours and book acquisition budgets. We have had to establish a "waiting list" of sorts for high-demand subjects or large casting pools. We thank you for your patience as we try to keep up with demand. Remember that we are always working to meet the needs of our students, as well as those of our volunteers.

 

Textbook Fast-Track for Storytellers

 

One way to help our Storyteller volunteers find more projects to record is to diversify your Learning Ally narrator skills. If you are a Storyteller narrator interested in helping us record textbooks, we've prepared a special course designed to fast-track experienced narrators with lessons on the specialized reading conventions and best practices for textbook narration. If you are interested in participating in this program please contact the volunteer training and support team by emailing voltraining@learningally.org. If you are uncertain or curious about textbook projects, why not take a look through the catalog of books in production. You'll see that a wide range of subjects and grade levels are available. 


Congratulations To Our Recent Training Grads!

Kourtney I., Trudi D., Luke B., Rohan B., BASIL G. S., Esme S., John B., Liza C., Rene R-R., Kylah F., Edita K., Sarah C., Julie M., Divyanshi S., Hermione P., neha K., Becky R., Colleen A-F., Ben H., Meredith S., Tim S., Chris G., Justin S., Hisham G., Arthur Q., Andy G-R., Latifah M., Carol B., Allison H., Shelby S., Laureanne P., David T S., Shaila M., Beverley H., Meghan L, Christopher C., Amy Z., Jaren J., Jennifer C., Ankitha S., Doris L-T., Oyindamola O., True T., Maureen D., Leslie E., JM J., Theo S., Estelle T., Lisa W., Heather S., Izzy L., April F., Richard K., Kai W., Jessica H., Kelly D., Ivy R., Swethaa R., Jenny S., Kathy O., Bo K., Belinda L., Mark C., Althea B., Priya K., Shyamala C., Anna C., AHUVA S., Haley K., Christina L., Richelle F., Janice O., Shayla B., Narineh S., Yvo S., khardema, Siya B., Smriti D., Jessica H., Michelle G., Edward B., F R., JM J., Erin C., Lisa W., Robyn W., Gustavo F., Mary A., Seattle S., Janet B., tolulope A., Neya G., Katie M., Abbie G., Sthiti P., Robert W., Mark C., Jennifer C., Belinda S L., Gary M., Maria F., Freya S., Rosalyn G., Becky C B., Lisa W., Dan E., Naomi P., Barbara F., Robert W., Shyamala B C., Alexis M., Melanie W., Heidi F., Wendy T., Sandra R., Zachary K-S., 
 


National Volunteer Week is coming soon!

With National Volunteer Week (April 19-25, 2020) right around the corner, we want to thank and recognize you all for the tremendous impact you’ve had on students who struggle to read. Since the start of the school year, 231,067 students have listened to over 118 million pages of Learning Ally audiobooks. 

 

What’s even more amazing is the impact our audiobooks solution has had in just the last month as schools across the country have closed and moved to remote learning due to COVID-19. Of the 231,067 students reading, over 23,000 (10%) read their first pages since March 6th. And of the 118 million pages read, over 19 million (16%) were read since March 6th.

 

This would all not be possible without the effort you have all put in. Since July 1, 2019, we’ve had 624 volunteers donate a total of 47,000 hours -- an average of 75 hours per volunteer! Over 6,700 (14%) of these hours were donated in March. We appreciate how you all have stepped up during this time of need. 

 

Thanks again to all of you! Our students need you.


Resources Tab at the Volunteer Portal: An Overview

 

man sitting at computer writing down information on a piece of paper

 

You’re reading along, either as a Narrator/Reader or a Listener/Checker, and suddenly you run into something you’re not sure about, something that doesn’t seem to be covered in your Project Guidelines.  It’s 10:00 Saturday night and you’re pretty sure all the staff are off-duty. What should you do?

 

  1. Write a long rant in the Hangout or Google Group, complaining about the ridiculous state of education in our country.

  2. Just make a guess; you’re pretty smart, anyway.

  3. Check out the Resources Tab at the Volunteer Portal.

  4. Quit and never respond to any communications from staff ever again.


 

Well, you probably ARE pretty smart...but if you are, you will choose C.  The Resources Tab at the Volunteer Portal can be your best friend in tricky situations.  So, let’s take a look at it together; we’ll give a brief overview of each section. NOTE: you do not need to be a member of any specific community to explore that community’s links.  You never know what useful information you’ll find!



 

Image of Textbook Community set of links     Stack of college textbooks, ranging from Cellular Biology and Sociology to a Latin textbook



 

The Textbook Community section includes a variety of very useful documents, ranging from conventions and helpful guides to forms:


 

  • Computer and Code Guidelines:  directions for computer-related items like reading code, how to announce various symbols within code, etc.

 

 

  • Famous Names and Places:  great tips on how to research the pronunciations of famous names and places; this document includes all kinds of helpful links to sites specific to occupations and locations around the world.

 

 

  • Foreign Language Wiki:  TWO SECTIONS: (1) conventions for the Foreign Language Community;  and (2) resources for pronunciations of words in many different foreign languages, ranging from Amharic and Punjabi to Lithuanian and Lang Belta, as well as a section on science terminology (because science is a language of its own).

 

  • Law Links: hints for learning how to say all those convoluted abbreviations used in legalese.

 

  • Math Reading Guidelines: does your history book suddenly, bizarrely, have a math equation in it?  Try this document to learn how to read that unholy aberration.

 

  • Science Terms and Conventions: Did the authors of the writing style guide you’re reading use examples from a science text?  Go to this document for help with that situation.

 

 

  • Checking Instructions: examples of good versus bad wave forms and instructions for leaving kind yet informative notes to Narrators/Readers.

 

 

 




 

Image of Lit Community list of links      Bookcases packed full of literature books, titles not legible


 

The Literature Community also has some useful links:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

Image of Software and Apps list of links         Image of various Google links on a computer screen

 

Software & Apps:  just what you think it would be

 

 

  • webEB Reference Guide: place to go to access directions and links for using our new web-based software: no more worry about what type of computer you use, or all the files building up on your device!

 

 

  • EasyBooks (PC):  instructions for EasyBooks for PC; includes link to latest version

 

 

 





 

Explorer in a pith helmet, hiding in a bush as he looks into the distance through a set of binoculars     Image of the General section's links

 

General: a catch-all for some items that didn’t fit in the other categories:


 

 

 

  • Try out LAABS!:  directions for using the Learning Ally Audio Book Solution--check out the user experience on the books you’ve worked on

 

 

 

  • Hangouts: document with links to various Hangouts for meeting other volunteers and staff




 

poster reads               Image of Volunteer Nation Live! Events section start

 

Volunteer Nation Live! Events:  links to the all the VNL webinars





 

Image of happy female weight trainer             Image of Training Resources section links

 

Training Resources:  Links to a variety of Mini-Lesson, Videos, and Documents; in the top paragraph there is a link to the Virtual Training Center





 

So, as you can see: even when staff are off-duty, you’re never far from a source of help!  Dive into this tab full of great resources, and see what you find.


 

Archimedes next to his bathtub, shouting


Challenges and Opportunities for Learning Ally

Greetings Learning Ally Volunteers,

 
We hope that you are all staying safe and sane during these challenging times. As an organization, we are pivoting to meet the sudden changes to the needs of our students and our own business models. At the same time, our volunteers are already showing us a silver lining, making us proud of their efforts to help others affected by the crisis.

A woman holds a candle to light the darknessLearning Ally Responds to COVID-19

 

Cynthia Hamburger, COO and CIO of Learning Ally led a webinar to explain, in detail, what actions we are taking, and have already taken, to provide for our students and balance our business model. With school closures and more students learning at home, the usage of our Learning Ally Audiobook Solution has surged over ten times the numbers we saw last year. As schools recognize the importance and value of our learning tools, we are extending trial periods and contracts with those schools so that they can continue to offer our valuable solutions to students whose semesters have been disrupted. 

 

For more information, as well as an explanation of how we are revising fundraising needs and our "sales" plan to reach new students, you can watch a recording of the full webinar presentation on the Resources page of the Learning Ally Volunteer site.

 

A Volunteer Surge

 

In times of difficulty we are always happy to see people rise to the challenge and give what help they can. And with the present conditions keeping many people at home, volunteer opportunities like our online book production have become an excellent way to help struggling learners. Not only are our volunteers continuing the educations of our students, they are providing more books to keep them engaged with reading and entertained in the hours when they most need the comfort of a good book and a friendly voice.  

 

We have seen a massive increase in volunteer activity, with new volunteer applications at 250% what they were this same time last year.  Our training programs and meetings are full of new names, new faces, and new voices. 

 

All Learning Ally staff are now working from home. Fortunately, the online nature of our volunteering opportunity means our Production department has needed minimal adaptation to make this transition. Still, we are adjusting hours, availability, and workflow to support a large number of people with training and support needs in a very short time. We thank you for your patience and understanding as our efficient little team works to keep us all online and active. 

 

If you have questions or concerns, be sure to reach out through the Volunteer Portal, Volunteer Training Site, Google Hangouts and Groups, and other channels.


Congratulations Recent Training Grads

 
Aniella F., Heather S., Kara C., Robbyn P., Rob McG., Renee J., Eileen Y., Anne R., Annina K., Ryan L., Melissa L., Ariel C., Brittney S., Simon G., John G., Victor G., Michael M., Rich O., Marcelo T., Steve C., Abigail J., Maureen R., Marc R., Nicolas S., Nick F., Kristin O., Mary H., Sousa L., Gwen P., Kathy D., Kelli P., Debbie B., Elysia B., Larissa H., Linnea D., Eric A., Ari W., Andy L., Isabella H., Becky R., Jeffrey C., Yashvini D., Kim W., Laura M., Sthiti P., Robert W., Mark C.

Welcome to webEB!

Welcome to webEB!

We are very pleased to announce the general release of webEB, the web-based version of EasyBooks! Please check out the video to the left that introduces this significant advancement in our audiobook production system. Many thanks to Russell for creating this great video!
 
webEB has many of the same features of the desktop versions and in addition to the ease of a web app, it now has punch & roll recording! The video shows some of the changes and new features, and this document also explains all the differences in the desktop applications and the web app. A complete reference document is also available for those who are not familiar with EasyBooks yet, and training will soon be available.
 
This app works in the Chrome browser in Mac and PC, and given the issues with the Mac version of EasyBooks (particularly on the Catalina OS), we ask that all Mac audiobook volunteers switch to this version now. If you are a PC user, you can try out this version if you like, but we will maintain the PC version for a while at least.
 
Even if you're a PC user who wants to stay with the PC version, please install the latest PC version. The character format in notes will not appear correctly between the versions if PC users don't update.
 
I want to sincerely thank the development group, a wonderful group of volunteers and staff who tested and have provided valuable feedback on webEB, particularly the Mac users who have been so patient! And we can't forget a heartfelt thank you to Jay Cotton for the many hours of development time he spent developing this web app. <3
 
 
 

Metrics Update April 4

Despite social distancing being extended through April, we are happy to report that our readers are not slowing down…
Our readers this week increased to 226,913 with over 114 million pages read and 43,037 at frequency – a 21% increase for schools over last year!
 

As we're all getting used to Zoom conference calls and everyone working from home, I wanted to share this video (linked below) from the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra based in the Netherlands.  They’ve continued performing, despite COVID-19, by transitioning to playing virtually.  They remind us that together anything is possible… even when we’re remote! Enjoy Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”!
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra plays Ode to Joy remotely

https://youtu.be/3eXT60rbBVk 

 

And also, a quote from Edinburgh-based journalist, Hope Whitmore that seems particularly relevant to recent events:

 In hard times, reading fiction reminds us we are human in a way Twitter never can.  Reading teaches us not only about our common humanity – it is wonderful to see something expressed in words and think, ‘Yes! That’s exactly how I feel’ – but also about the world.  Reading gives me hope because the chroniclers of dark times tell us that they pass.

 

Have a great weekend, keep reading, and stay safe!


Metrics Update - GRG 2020 Final Stats and More!

The 2020 Great Reading Games have come to a close, and we've sparked joy of reading in even more students than before! Check out our data and some twitter highlights from the last few weeks below:

 

GRG Data…..

Schools opted in: 2909

Students Reading: 46,366

Pages Read: 13,967,038

 

Number of students reading in the GRG for 2020 was 46,740, up 25% from last year’s 37,500

The number of schools that had at least one reader in 2020 broke 2,000 (2,033) up 30% from 2019 (1,571) and up 67% from 2018.

 

In the coming months, the Reading Programs team will track the FOPI C schools that had readers in GRG.  Last year 27% of C schools that had a reader in GRG became an A school.  In 2020, we had 552 C schools participate in GRG, up in the range of 25% from last year.  If the conversion rate of +27% holds for two years, we have a reading program proven to move C schools to A.  Did you catch that?  Did you see how we are using the data to provide PROVEN programs for schools? 

(FOPI= Fidelity of Program Implementation – FOPI A are our highest performing schools and FOPI C are the lowest performing)

 

 

GRG Books

Here are the top 5 books that were added to bookshelves and kept our students reading for the final week of our 2020 Great Reading Games.  We see that a title from Dan Gutman's My Weird School Daze series jumped into the top spot in anticipation of Dan's webinar! Do some of those other titles look familiar? The Dog Man books were the top titles for last year's games! We love seeing all the titles that have moved in and out of the top 5 list this year.  

 

  • KT020 Officer Spence Makes No Sense! 
  • JW075 The World According To Humphrey 
  • NB956 Diary Of An Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal 
  • NC382 Dog Man: For Whom The Ball Rolls 
  • NB760 Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild  

 

Along with Dan's book in the top 5 list this week the kids are also reading: 
- the first book in a series about Humphrey the classroom hamster
- the first book in the Rowley Jefferson series from Diary Of A Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney 
- 2 books in the ever popular Dog Man series by Dav Pilkey 

 

While we are sad to see the Games end we want to continue seeing the increased engagement and usage continue throughout the rest of the school year and over the summer!

 

 

Something to Tweet About
We LOVE these posts from Kimberly Sanders, sharing the fun and joy her students get with reading:


#CCEcougars get into some funny positions once they settle into a good 📖!😂😄😅#GRG20 @Learning_Ally @SuessShannon #Risdsaysomething

 A girl using Learning Ally LINK on her phone while sitting backwards in her chair, with a big smile on her face.
(Image is a screenshot of a young girl wearing a bright pink coat with fur around the hood.  She’s sitting backwards in the chair.  She isn’t wearing any shoes and you can see her panda socks sticking out from underneath the back support.  She’s holding her phone and she has a slight smile while listening to her book with her headphones)

 

Kimberly Sanders tweets: They're future is bright because they read! The photo shows two confident boys in cool sunglasses.

(Image is of Kimberly Sanders's tweet that reads “Their future is bright because they read!”  Below the tweet is a picture of two boys standing back to back with their arms folded and wearing sunglasses.  They are looking very James Bond-like!)

 

 

Holly Sanford's students "continue to arrive early” for reading sessions with Learning Ally...   This means that not only students, but parents and families needed to be engaged and involved in GRG.  They had to be intentional about having their kids there early to read before school.  Our impact goes beyond the classroom!

 Tweet from Holly Sanford: Final push for Learning Ally grg20. These students continue to arrive early to get in an early morning Great Reading Games/Learning Ally session! The photo shows a classroom with several kids using Learning Ally at their computers, at 7:35 AM.
(Image is of Holly Sanford’s tweet that reads “Final push for @Learning_ally #grg20 These students continue to arrive early to get in an early morning Great Reading Games/Learning Ally session!”.  Below the tweet is an image of a classroom with students sitting at their desks in front of computers.  We are seeing their backs and the bright lights of their computers with their books.  Every student is wearing headphones and look to be quite content reading!)  

 

There’s Nothing Weird About Reading with Dan Gutman
It’s not every day that you can reach over 680 schools and 25,000 students and teachers with fun, laughter and excitement about reading.  Oh wait!  If you are Learning Ally, you sure can!

In last month's webinar, we learned about Dan Gutman’s journey as a writer, how he got rejected many times and continued to write because he believed in his books, how he didn’t like reading as a child, and we even got to see the inside of his mouth!

 

If you weren’t able to attend the webinar live, you can watch the recording.  Dan’s only request is that we do not share the recording via social media or anywhere on the internet. The recording was sent to everyone that registered.

 
 Author Dan Gutman smiles wide and holds up a draft of his next book: Mr. Marty Loves a Party!
(Image is of Dan’s face, smiling widely, and holding up his unfinished manuscript of “Mr. Marty Loves A Party!”.  The manuscript is regular 8.5 x 11 paper with the words “Mr. Marty Loves A Party” written in red marker and in all caps taking up most of the page.)

 


 

This year's Great Reading Games may be over, but don’t worry - Spring Into Reading and Summer Reading Together are right around the corner.

During our Spring Into Reading Program, we will be inviting everyone to participate in a couple of the fun reading days:

 
·    D.E.A.R. Day (Drop Everything and Read) will be on April 12th

·    Poem in Your Pocket will be on April 30th

 

Finally, our total readers this week increased to 203,005 with over 94 million pages read and 35,790 at frequency – a 23% increase over last year for schools!


BBSS and WebEB

Greetings Learning Ally Volunteers,

 

Our big fundraising event begins this week and we need proud Macintosh users to lend a hand with our latest software projects.


Building Books for Student Success Is Live 

 

Building Books for Student Success (BBSS) is here! This annual fundraising event is one of the best ways that you can help us continue to do our great work of helping students as well as their schools, teachers, and even parents. Our online program will guide you through putting together a page for collecting donations, sharing the story and goals of Learning Ally, and promoting your own efforts. Visit the Learning Ally Building Books Campaign page on the Learning Ally website to get involved. 

 

BBSS Home page on Learning Ally website

 

If you have questions about the program, need assistance setting up a donation page, or would like to know more about Learning Ally donations, please contact volunteer@learningally.org and put the phrase Donor Support in the subject line of your email. 


Macintosh Test Users Wanted 

 

Our EasyBooks developers are working to create a web application of the software: WebEB. This exciting development will let us keep EasyBooks entirely online, meaning no more downloads or version updates and no need for different versions of the software for Windows or Macintosh users. At present, WebEB is still in testing with a small group of users. But that's where you can help us! We need more users with Macintosh computers to join our test group and use the application.

 

WebEB functions just like EasyBooks with a few changes to the interface and some features still in a development state. Bugs are to be expected - this is a test after all - and you'll be asked to document those experiences and contribute to an online discussion documenting and correcting those flaws. If this project sounds interesting and you have access to the right computer equipment, please contact Eleanor Cotton for more information at ecotton@learningally.org. Please note, this is a test of Mac OS desktop and laptop computers, not iOS devices like iPads or iPhones. Those are not compatible with WebEB and are not part of this test.


Congratulations Recent Training Grads

 

Maria M., CJ H., Kaumeshua H., Emily C., Megan H., Audrey K., Jenna S., Kurt H., Judy S., Dawn K.,  Christian L., Tania P., Aaron T., Alicia H., Therese B., Kristin L., Rick S., Brian H., Derek M., Madi T., Madison S., Bob M., Shannon K., Becky C., Rebecca H-P., Lisa J.


Metric Update: Falling in Love with Reading!

We help students fall in love with reading!As the Great Reading Games continue, we keep helping students with learning differences fall in love with reading!

 

More GRG Data…..
Schools opted in: 2858

Students Reading: 37,367

Pages Read: 7,719,183

 

 

Beloved Books
Here are the top 5 books that were added to bookshelves and kept our students reading for the fourth week of our 2020 Great Reading Games! 

 

KT019 Mr. Granite Is From Another Planet! 
NB956 Diary Of An Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal 
KM769 To Kill a Mockingbird 
NC382 Dog Man: For Whom The Ball Rolls 
NB707 Trapped In A Video Game
 

 

Everyone is still loving Dan Gutman's books - one of the titles that we started promoting out last week is now #1 on the list! 

 

Something to Tweet About…
 As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Check out the photos below of some of our amazing readers!  

 

Kelli Zicha tweeted about two of her students, Cynthia and Tyrese:


Cynthia is enjoying Jason Reynolds’ Ghost during the @Learning_Ally Reading Games 💛 #GRG20 #shelfie #wearereaders #tellyourstoryxrds @BonnieCapes @sondra_hinson @mjkmiec @LamprechtPaula

Cynthia sitting in a purple chair with her laptop in her lap and facing the camera. Her laptop is showing her bookshelf. She’s wearing white pants and a white shirt. She has long black hair and has white headphones draped around her neck. She’s giving a sly smile!

(Image of Cynthia sitting in a purple chair with her laptop in her lap and facing the camera. Her laptop is showing us her bookshelf. She has long black hair and has white headphones draped around her neck. She’s giving a sly smile!) 
 

Tyrese just downloaded the Learning Ally app on his phone! He’s excited to read and participate in the @Learning_Ally Great Reading Games 💛 #GRG20 #shelfie #wearereaders #tellyourstoryxrds @BonnieCapes @sondra_hinson @mjkmiec @LamprechtPaula

Image is of Tyrese. He is sitting at his desk facing forward. He’s wearing a white hoodie with the words that say, “The future is yours”.  He is holding a phone in his lap and is giving a handsome smile.

(Image of Tyrese sitting at his desk facing forward. He’s wearing a white hoodie with the words that say, “The future is yours”. He is holding a phone in his lap and is giving a handsome smile.)

 

Finally, what Joelle Nappi tweeted and the picture she captured is an opportunity for us all to make connections to what Maryanne Wolf described in her keynote speech at Spotlight on Dyslexia last year as “deep reading”.  The student pictured below was able to read with Learning Ally, then stop, think about the text, play it again if she needed and begin to think deeply about the what she was reading.  She may be making connections, finding the author’s purpose, or citing evidence.  Take a minute to think about the brain changes that are going on for her with the power of what Learning Ally audiobooks is able to bring.  We ALL make this happen every single day!  
 

Joelle Nappi, Middle School ELA teacher in NJ, tweeted out several great strategies:

 

Listening while following along with text, stop & jots, thinking about our thinking! We are growing as readers everyday by using ALL our tools and strategies! #GRG20 #ddeempower

Image is a screenshot of a middle school girl.  She sitting in a blue bean bag chair, has on a warm fuzzy jacket and warm boots. Her legs are crossed with a book propped on her leg. She has headphones draped around her neck. She has a pencil in her right hand, looking intently at the page and is jotting notes in the book. There is a poster behind her that reads, “Kindness is the new cool.”

(Image  of a middle school girl sitting in a blue bean bag chair, with a warm fuzzy jacket and boots. Her legs are crossed with a book propped on her leg. She has headphones draped around her neck. She has a pencil in her right hand, looking intently at the page and is jotting notes in the book. The poster behind her reads: “Kindness is the new cool”.)


 

Hear directly from Dan Gutman about the “There’s Nothing Weird About Reading” author webinar coming up on February 27th! Please share this far and wide.  You will start to see it on our website, in emails and on our social media channels.  

 

Our readers overall this week increased to 186,238 with over 76 million pages read and 28,053 at frequency – a 22% increase for schools!
Our readers this week overall increased to 191,092 with 81 million pages read and 30,218 at frequency – a 23% increase for schools!