A December Reading Challenge

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A December Reading Challenge

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on December 1, 2021

Wow! Our final monthly reading challenge of 2021 is here!

We hope you've enjoyed following along with these challenges, designed to inspire exploration of new authors and topics, to encourage reading at home everyday, and to help develop a habit of reading.

2021 has been a year of changes and adaptation. We've settled into the "new normal" brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and the things that once felt so strange to us--wearing masks, social distancing, remote work and Zoom calls, limiting gatherings, curbside pickup, creating our "bubble"--are now more or less part of our daily routines. How are you doing? Have you been able to make more time for reading this year?

Our December reading challenge invites you to celebrate just how far we've come, with themes that include perseverance, unity, triumph over adversity, and growth mindset.

For a simple December reading challenge that's easy to adapt to any age, reading level, or genre preference, follow the list below. One book per week, every week this month:

Feel free to come back to these Reading Challenge posts anytime for inspiration. Thank you for being a part of our community of readers!

FALL-ing into Books!

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FALL-ing into books!

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on November 17, 2021

Have you heard the news? STAIR-Annapolis is reaching young readers with an exciting new initiative: STAIR Seasonal Book Bundles!

We recently received a MASSIVE donation of beautiful Simon & Schuster children's books from a generous donor. Actually, a number of STAIR supporters had a hand in making sure these books reached us from their former home in New York City. The donation included fiction and nonfiction, books about nature and animals, books about families and neighborhoods, funny books, sweet books, sports books, biographies and history books, and some of the best recently-published children's books.

What to do with so many beautiful books? Share them, of course!

While we continue to thoughtfully plan for a safe return to in-person programming, we want to stay connected to our Anne Arundel County Public Schools partners and our students. Gifting new books for home libraries through STAIR Seasonal Book Bundles is a great way to do just that.

Earlier this month, STAIR staff delivered Fall Book Bundles to our Reading Specialist friends at all 12 elementary schools we serve. It was so nice to see so many friendly (masked!) faces on our rounds and to take a few moments to check in with these hard-working teachers who support developing readers every day.

Reading Specialists will distribute the donated books to students in need of reading support to help ensure they have beautiful new books to read at home.

Seasonal Book Bundle deliveries are already schedule for January 2022, March, and May. We're really excited about this project and happy to have an opportunity to safely support young readers all year long.

If you'd like to make a contribution to help us purchase even more books for students' home libraries, we invite you to consider supporting STAIR's Annual Appeal or joining us on Facebook and Instagram this #GivingTuesday, November 30.

A November Reading Challenge

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A November Reading Challenge

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on November 3, 2021

November is a wonderful month to slow down and express gratitude before the rush of the holiday season.

This month we also celebrate authors, family literacy, generational storytelling, veterans, kindness, and generosity.

November 1, National Authors' Day and Family Literacy Day

November 8, National Parents as Teachers Day

November 11, Veterans Day

November 13, World Kindness Day

November 15, National Philanthropy Day

November 25, Thanksgiving Day

November 30, #GivingTuesday

Family Stories Month

National Gratitude Month

National Life Writing Month

For a simple November reading challenge that's easy to adapt to any age, reading level, or genre preference, follow the list below. One book per week, every week this month:

  • Read a book written by a team of authors who are related to each other.
  • Read a veteran's memoir.
  • Start a gratitude journal, and write down something you're grateful for every day this month.
  • Read a book with the words "thank," "grateful," or "kind" in the title.

Good luck! We'll be back next month with a new reading challenge for you. Until then, keep reading!

October’s Best Books for Young Readers

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October's Best Books for Young Readers

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on October 27, 2021

Whether your home library could use a refresh or you want to get a jump on your holiday shopping, we're pleased to share this list of October's best books for young readers, compiled by our friends at Brightly.

Picture Books

Grandude's Green Submarine
by Paul McCartney, illustrated by Kathryn Durst

I am Oprah Winfrey
by Brad Meltzer, illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Return of the Underwear Dragon
by Scott Rothman, illustrated by Pete Oswald

Gladys the Magic Chicken
by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Adam Rex

Better Together!
by Amy Robach and Andrew Shue, illustrated by Lenny Wen

The Real Santa
by Nancy Redd, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

You can see Brightly's list of October chapter books, middle grade reads, and books for young adults here.

And remember to use the STAIR-Annapolis link if you're shopping for these awesome books on Amazon. A portion of your purchase price will be donated directly to STAIR-Annapolis in support of young readers in our community, at no extra cost to you! It's one of the easiest ways to help STAIR get more books to more kids. Just click the banner below to get started!

Celebrating the Bilingual Child

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Celebrating the Bilingual Child

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on October 20, 2021

October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month!

Kids who learn two or more languages in early childhood have been shown to have greater empathy and social understanding, are more adept at problem solving and multitasking, demonstrate more concentration, and learn faster visual processing than their single language-speaking peers.

There's a common misconception, though, that bilingual children have difficulty learning to read in their non-native language. That just isn't true!

Studies have proven that kids who are read to in their native language actually have an easier time learning to read in their second language. And children who develop strong literacy skills in their first language are better equipped for reading success in a second language.

There are lots of ways for bilingual families to support literacy both in a child's native language and second language. Check out some of these suggestions from our friends at ¡Colorìn colorado!

  • Read native language books every day.
  • Talk about stories together.
  • Play rhyming games and sing songs in your native language.
  • Keep plenty of native language reading material around the house, like magazines and cards from loved ones.
  • Encourage kids to practice speaking and writing in your family's native language.
  • Visit your local library for books in your native language, your child's second language, and bilingual books, too!

To learn more about the benefits of bilingualism for children and ways to support second-language learning, check out this article from Parents.com or visit www.colorincolorado.org.

An October Reading Challenge

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An October Reading Challenge

Posted by STAIR-Annapolis on October 13, 2021

Though the days are getting shorter, there's still plenty of time to complete a reading challenge this month!

October is a time to welcome in the change of seasons. Cooler weather, colorful foliage, and longer evenings perfect for cozying up with a good book make fall one of our favorite times to get back into reading. As the hustle and bustle of summer fades away and we settle into the routine of a new school year, October was made for storytelling. 

This month also presents lots of opportunity to explore new authors and voices. Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up on October 15, just after the observation of Indigenous Peoples' Day on October 11. And of course there are plenty of tricks and treats to read about for those who celebrate the "spooky season" and Halloween!

For a simple October reading challenge that's easy to adapt to any age, reading level, or genre preference, follow the list below. One book per week, every week this month:

  • Read a book by a Latinx author.
  • Read a nonfiction book about the Native American experience.
  • Read an anthology of scary stories.
  • Read a book set in New England (famous for its fall foliage!).

Good luck! We'll be back next month with a new reading challenge for you. Until then, keep reading!