Friday, August 30, 2013

The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round

The wheels on the bus go round and round and the teacher on the bus is Mrs. Brown!
She is reading a book to the children on their way to their art installation at the Montserrat College of Art as part of their literacy project entitled "Here we are".

Today, The REAL Program was the proud recipient of a van that we call THE REAL MOBILE that enables us to pick up books and distribute books to children. Thank you to the Donti Family.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Harold, Phoebe and Daniel's Purple Crayon!

Harold is 50 years old this year! However, Harold is new to everyone who has not been on his purple crayon journey before so it does not matter how many years this imaginary masterpiece has been around. Daniel Stone and Phoebe Warner have lead children from The REAL Program on an imaginary journey through literacy and art in a collaborative art experience called HERE WE ARE!
The show is at Montserrat College of Art from 9:30-11:00 on August 13, 2013. JOIN US!

Here We Are! Art Collaboration at Montserrat College of Art

Here We Are will also show tomorrow morning from 9:30-11:00 at the Hardie Building, 23 Essex Street, Beverly. Join our communities of children, art, literacy, learning, teaching, exploring, laughing, enjoying,...and see the incredible art leadership of Phoebe Warner and Daniel Stone along with fabulous teaching from Betsy Brown, Charlie Juliand, and more  of The REAL Program, Inc.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Art of Reading

The Art of Reading
During the summer months, the children in The REAL Program have been lucky enough to work with two dedicated students from the Montserrat College of Art, Phoebe Warner and Daniel Stone. Under the tutelage of Susan Handler, Community Outreach Coordinator of the college, Phoebe and Dan took the children into the world of art as seen through specific books and their authors and illustrators. They were exposed to the art of map making as Phoebe and Dan read them Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney and Annette Crosby. They used their imaginations as they took that journey started fifty years ago by Crocker Johnson with Harold and the Purple Crayon. They went back even further as they learned about dinosaurs with Donald and Carol Carrick's book, Whatever Happened to Patrick's Dinosaur?. The children shared some fossils from Susan's personal collection and delightedly played with clay to make their own. They even dabbled in role playing with Dan as they drew their version of footprints and imagined how those beasts of old lived. The culmination of the summer session, alas too soon, was to work with color and the children and their mentors did not disappoint,. Using the book, The Color Box by Dayle Ann Dodds and illustrated by local artist Giles Laro
che, the children could visit the world of color with a little monkey, named Alexander. Here the children reproduced large color panels and travelled through the rainbow colors like Alexander.

These children shared an experience not often available to them and we all thank Phoebe, Dan and Susan for their enthusiasm, hard work and love. It was a great summer!

Betsy Brown
Betsy Brown is a teacher/mentor known as Mrs. Brown who brings more than 40 years of teaching experience to The REAL Program, Inc. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Josue is One Happy Guy for REAL

Come and see the work Josue and his friends from The REAL Program, Inc have done at the Montserrat College of Art Show called HERE WE ARE. Monday or Tuesday, August 12th and 13th from 9:30-11:00 at Montserrat College of Art, Hardie Gallery, 23 Essex Street, Beverly, MA

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Board Member Reflections for REAL

Kelsey McNiff

The goals of REAL Lynn – providing access to books, strengthening children’s literacy, cultivating a love of learning, supporting families and teachers, and offering teaching and mentoring opportunities for aspiring educators – are in and of themselves reason to support this organization.  Yet my choice to join the board of REAL Lynn and my belief in the good that the program does comes from my own experiences as well.

First, snapshots: I remember myself as a little girl lying in a cocoon-like hammock at my grandparents’ house on a hot summer day, reading Dennis the Menace, loving the comfort of the story and the storybook neighborhood, the cool darkness of the shade, and the quiet around and inside of me.  And later, myself as sixth grader dreaming about becoming the youngest girl to ever publish a best-selling novel, writing a chapter book about a roller skating waitress from Texas (who also happened to be in the sixth grade).  As a child, my imagination was one of my favorite places to be, first reading stories and then writing them. 

This continues to be true today.  My love for reading and writing never stopped; in fact, it grew and informed my own career path.  I believe that literacy is a gateway to self-discovery.  As part of the Harvard College Writing Program faculty, I teach students that reading and writing are forms of communication as well as personal expression; as we engage the ideas of others, we develop and refine our own.  When REAL Lynn works to build literacy, its teachers give children tools to cultivate their interests, to nourish their imagination, and to build their confidence.  When we build literacy, then, in the words of REAL Lynn teacher and board member Betsy Brown, we teach children to ask not “whether” they can do something, but “how” they can do it.  

I also know first hand the value of service learning and the importance of mentor relationships, both of which REAL Lynn provides to its volunteers, be they students or experienced educators.   Whether volunteering to tutor elementary school children when I was in high school, organizing a women’s leadership conference for high school students when I was in college, or tutoring adult English language learners when I was a young professional, public service gave me a sense of pride in supporting others and contributing to my community; it also showed me the rewards of a career in education.  And a handful of passionate and engaged professional mentors – my faculty advisor in graduate school, veteran teaching colleagues, and talented museum educators – offered me guidance and expertise as I began to build my career.  These mentor relationships took many forms, but all of them began with me watching, asking questions and being given the opportunity to jump right in and teach.  I learned from trying and emulating, and I got better with reflection and practice and ambition.  REAL Lynn gives its volunteers the opportunity to benefit from similar experiences and to nourish their ongoing love of learning.

Thus I believe that REAL Lynn makes a difference in many people’s lives: the children, their families and their communities as well as the REAL Lynn volunteers and teachers.  And what a gift this is.