VIPS book giveaway benefits area students
This summer, hundreds of East Baton Rouge Parish students will receive free books in the mail thanks to funds granted to Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS) by the Verizon Foundation. EveryBody Reads All Summer strives to keep students reading throughout the summer months when experts say that students can lose between two and three grade levels of reading progress. Dr. Laura Berk, professor and psychologist, indicated that access to age appropriate books and early education programs is at the core of the issue of children lacking reading skills.
“Preschoolers from low-income families have fewer home and preschool language and literacy opportunities than children from economically advantaged backgrounds — a major reason that they lag behind in reading achievement throughout the school years.”
Kindergarten through third-grade students who were matched with a Reading Friend volunteer during the school year will receive a reading packet at the end of the year.
The reading packet contains a permission form, a brief book report, a self addressed, stamped envelope and a book. The student only needs to read the book, complete the book report and mail it back to VIPS in order to receive another book. The process continues all summer. Students can receive as many as seven books in the mail.
VIPS developed the program in 2009 as a result of a survey conducted by VIPS of the students who were matched with Reading Friend volunteers. The survey demonstrated that students possessed three books or fewer in their homes. Children’s initial reading competence is correlated with the home literacy environment, number of books owned, and parent distress (Aikens & Barbarin, 2008).
However, parents from low-Socioeconomic Status communities may be unable to afford resources such as books (Orr, 2003). VIPS provides free books to help build a child’s personal home library.
“The importance of children having books to read in the home cannot be overstated. Reading during the summer not only reinforces the idea that reading is fun; it also helps strengthen a child’s reading skills, something that research has shown can decrease over the summer,” said Hope Dawan, EveryBody Reads Coordinator.
During the school year, Reading Friends tutor students identified by their teachers as one or two grade levels below in reading. Reading Friends spend 30-45 minutes of one-on-one reading time on a consistent basis.
VIPS’ mission is to foster student success and build support for public education.
Poets at Casa Azul
Casa Azul Gifts, 232 Martin Luther King Drive in Grand Coteau, will host a poetry reading by Jocelyn Young and Zayne Turner from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 31. The evening concludes with an open mic in which writers and musicians are welcome to participate.
Turner grew up in rural eastern Oregon. She is the author of Memory of My Mouth, a chapbook forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press. She was the founding executive director of Forward Arts, Inc., a youth arts non-profit based in Louisiana, which houses the WordPlay Teen Writing Project. She has received grants and fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and University of Virginia, where she was a Henry Hoyns Fellow. Her work has appeared in venues such as Ancora Imparo, Lettre Sauvage Press and the High Desert Journal.
Young holds a degree in psychology from Southern University. She has been an active artist of both written and performance poetry. She is a member of the Baton Rouge Poetry Alliance where she competed against peers in poetry slams for an opportunity to compete on a national scale. She competed nationally with the 2010 Baton Rouge Slam Team.
More details are available at http://festivalofwords.org/weeklyevents.html. This free event is sponsored by the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective. The event is recommended for mature teens and adults. For more information, call Patrice at (337) 662-1032 or email email@example.com.
EBR Parish Library
ne_SHrS Book Buffs children’s book group will meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at the Baker branch, 3501 Groom Road. Children ages 8-12 will take turns reading aloud from parts of two books, Monster Hunt by Jim Arnosky and A Field Guide to Monsters by Johan Olander. Children will also participate in an art activity and should be sure to wear a smock or old clothes. For more information or to register, call (225) 778-5960.
- Books into Movies Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Jones Creek Regional branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road . Members will discuss Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.
Livingston Parish Library
WAFB Channel 9 News Chief Meteorologist Jay Grymes will give a talk about hurricanes and what to expect during the 2012 hurricane season at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs.
Hurricane season officially starts on June 1. For more information, call the library at (225) 665-8118.
n Cover2Cover Book Club will meet 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Members will discuss Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm, play games, and have refreshments.
Cover 2 Cover is a book club for tweens between 8 and 12. If you are interested in signing up, contact the library at (225) 567-1441.
- South Branch Bookies will meet 5:30-6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at South branch, 23477 La. 444 in Livingston. Members will discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
W. Feliciana Parish Library
The Genealogy Guild will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 27, at the library, 11865 Ferdinand St. in. St. Francisville.
The group meets every month on the fourth Sunday. Ancestry.com users will have free, uninterrupted usage for two hours.
Lafayette Public Library
On the first Saturday of each month, the Lafayette Genealogical Society presents “Genealogy 101,” a series of presentations for the research novice and expert alike. The group also holds monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of each month.
Each meeting features a guest speaker. Anyone interested in genealogy may attend either event. The next event is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 2, at South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St. in Lafayette .
Writers’ Guild of Acadiana
WGA will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St. in Lafayette. WGA is an organization made up of local writers, published and unpublished, who meet on the last Tuesday of the month to share and gain knowledge in the craft of writing.
Beginners and veterans of the writing industry are all welcome.
Lawrence Powell, author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans,will sign copies of his book at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 27, above Fair Grinds Coffee House, 3133 Ponce de Leon in New Orleans.
Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home, will sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 30, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St. in Lafayette.
James W. Miller, author of Where the Water Kept Rising: A College Athletic Director’s Fight To Save a New Orleans Sports Institution, will sign copies of his book 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Amy Elizabeth Smith, author of All Roads Lead to Jane Austen: A Year-Long Journey With Jane, will sign copies of her book 1-3 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Johnette Downing, author of Today Is Monday In Kentucky, will sign copies of her book at noon Friday, June 1, at A Tisket A Tasket Book Shop, 910 Decatur St. in New Orleans.
Items for Book Events were provided by Volunteers In Public Schools, Casa Azul, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, West Feliciana Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library and Writers’ Guild of Acadiana.