Childhood Literacy Volunteer Opportunity: The Junior League of Troy, NY

Are you an avid reader?

Do you love children?

Would you like to help families learn to love reading?

 

Volunteering with the Junior League of Troy is a rewarding experience for women who are passionate about reading and want to share that passion with others.

Junior League of Troy volunteers:

  • Start and facilitate community conversations around childhood literacy,
  • Inspire families across the Capital Region to read,
  • Put books into children’s hands, and
  • Help parents one-on-one to support and inspire their children to love reading.

“I have been able to further my professional learning as well as contribute to my school community with the knowledge and opportunities I have gained.”

 

Volunteering with the Junior League of Troy has helped local teacher Heather Silvernail both in and outside the classroom. “Through the Junior League I have gathered more than enough examples of evidence needed for my portfolio evaluation. I have used hours of volunteerism within the community. Our Literacy initiatives have been a successful way for me to assist in building a positive school and community culture. I have been able to further my professional learning as well as contribute to my school community with the knowledge and opportunities I have gained. I have certificates of attendance for literacy trainings, discussions with professionals and community members in our symposiums, and collaboration with community organizations that serve our students when they are outside of school.  All of these relationships have provided me with strategies and opportunities that I can directly utilize with my students,” said Silvernail.

 Junior League of Troy, NY volunteers

SHARE IDEAS WITH EDUCATORS FROM AROUND THE CAPITAL REGION

 

Several educators were among the over two dozen people that attended the Junior League of Troy Symposium on Improving Childhood Literacy (http://www.jltroy.org/childhoodliteracy-2/) on October 17, 2013 at the Troy Boys and Girls Club.

At the forum, Junior League of Troy volunteers joined with education experts, community activists and local officials to discuss strategies to improve literacy with a focus on childhood literacy. Noted education advocate and 2013 School Administrators Association of New York State’s (SAANYS) Outstanding Educator of the Year Peter DeWitt served as moderator for the evening.

“The Junior League has the beginnings of an important movement towards improving literacy within the Troy area by starting with the book drives.”

 

“It was wonderful to be in the room with so many people interested in helping children not only to learn to read but to love it as well! The Junior League has the beginnings of an important movement towards improving literacy within the Troy area by starting with the book drives. Getting the books into the children’s hands who need it most is the first and most important step. There seems to be much determination and teamwork that not only will get the first step accomplished but the other steps that are to follow like working with the families directly to ensure positive reading experiences for all. It really comes down to empowering the families to truly make this campaign work. Getting the materials into the children’s hands is a great start!” said Ann Plourde M.S.Ed, Adjunct Instructor, Teacher Preparation Department, Hudson Valley Community College.

“I found the Childhood Literacy Symposium to be a most inspiring and passionate voice for our young children,” said Liliana DeGiorgio, a teacher at the Parker School.

Linda Carr, Vice President of the Albany City Area Reading Council, said that, “it was inspiring to hear folks from all sorts of backgrounds express interest and concerns for childhood literacy.”

Special education teacher Season Browe “enjoyed attending the symposium and learned a lot from listening to each speaker who presented information. The symposium brought about the awareness that the topic of literacy should be consistently discussed and reviewed as a community of parents, educators, and community members as a whole. I believe that all cities should have this as a focus and work together to help our students.”

 Junior League of Troy Family Reading Day

INSPIRE FAMILIES ACROSS THE CAPITAL REGION TO READ

 

Junior League volunteers have shared reading tips with thousands of families across the Capital Region in a series of articles published in the ‘Solutions’ Section of the Albany Times Union.

Click on the links to read each of the articles:

Book time to read every day in ’14http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/Book-time-to-read-every-day-in-14-5111807.php

 

New twist in tale of best friends: Researchers detail benefits of having kids read to dogshttp://www.timesunion.com/default/article/New-twist-in-tale-of-best-friends-5214374.php

 

5 ways Daytona 500 can encourage readinghttp://www.timesunion.com/default/article/5-ways-Daytona-500-can-encourage-reading-5256231.php

 

Limericks to Promote Literacy on St. Patrick’s Dayhttp://blog.timesunion.com/parenting/20225/guest-post-limericks-to-promote-literacy-on-st-patricks-day/

 

SHARE READING TIPS WITH LOCAL PARENTS

 

Junior League of Troy volunteers shared reading tips with parents and read a story to over a dozen children at Zion’s United Church of Christ of Taborton in Sand Lake (http://www.jltroy.org/sandlake/) on February 9, 2014. Volunteers also distributed 19 children’s books to families during the coffee hour after the service.

“After explaining to the girl and her mother how to choose a ‘just-right’ book, Cadence smiled and held the book confidently. She knew this was her ‘just-right’ book and now her mom did, too!”

 

Junior League volunteer Heather Silvernail enjoyed volunteering at a book giveaway because she got the opportunity to make a difference in a young girl’s life. “Cadence, a fourth grader, was looking through our selection of fourth and fifth grade books. She found a three novel collection by author Eva Ibbotson. The length and amount of words in the text could have been intimidating for an average reader. Her mother was slightly reluctant, thinking the book may have been too difficult. After explaining to the girl and her mother how to choose a ‘just-right’ book, Cadence smiled and held the book confidently. She knew this was her ‘just-right’ book and now her mom did, too!”

 childrensliteracyintroy

 

HELP LOCAL KIDS TO DEVELOP A LIFETIME LOVE OF READING

 

On May 31, 2014, Junior League of Troy volunteers are planning to donate bookcases full of books and other reading material to the children staying at Vanderheyden Hall in Wynantskill, NY. The project will improve childhood literacy in the community and inspire children to develop a lifelong love of reading. Junior League volunteers met with children at each of the cottages on February 27 to build excitement for the bookcases and find out what types of books the children enjoyed reading.

 Troy, NY volunteer opportunity reading

GAIN EVIDENCE FOR YOUR TEACHING PORTFOLIO

 

“My school district uses The Thoughtful Classroom Teacher Effectiveness Framework for their rubric; it is one of a small list approved by New York State to evaluate teacher practice in their Annual Professional Performance Review” explained Silvernail. “Others include: Danielson, Marzano, Marshall, NYSTCE, NYSUT, LoTi. No matter what rubric a district has chosen to adopt, teachers are essentially evaluated on the same concepts because they are guided by the New York State Teaching Standards and elements. One of the key elements revolves around professional practice and responsibility. It may be worded in a slightly different manner however all will address indicators of ‘growth’ and ‘development,’” Silvernail explained.

This Standard requires teachers to communicate and collaborate with students, colleagues, other professionals, and the community to improve practice.

Indicators or examples of this include:

  • Seeks out professional development and continuous learning opportunities
  • Frequent teacher attendance in courses and workshops
  • Regular academic reading
  • Participation in learning networks
  • Participation in professional organizations supporting academic inquiry
  • Contributes to the school community

 

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP CHILDREN LEARN TO LOVE READING?

 

You’re invited to learn more about our group of educators and other volunteers and share your expertise with parents and children in the Troy community! For more information, email the Junior League of Troy today: juniorleagueoftroy@gmail.com

 Junior League of Troy Christmas Party

 

The Junior League of Troy, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. The Junior League of Troy reaches out to women of all ages, religions, and national origins who demonstrate an interest in, and commitment to, voluntarism.

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