Wednesday, December 31, 2014



Friday, December 19, 2014

#REAL #Book Enthusiasts Dedicate Donation to Lalie Clayman

Jan Plourde of The REAL Program and Pam Price of Book Shop of Beverly Farms
This blog post and this season is dedicated to fellow #book enthusiast #LalieClayman. Thank you in behalf of the children of The REAL Program. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#Community Helping #Community for #REAL

This is The REAL Program. This is about helping people with literacy, support, care and friendship. This is about #community helping #community. 

Jan ask to write a few words that stated why do I send my kids to real?

REAL have many meaning to my family, means hope, future, foundation, and caring. I have been sending my Daughter for the pass few years and this year my son also started to attend. Real is  were the family hope is created. Real created hope for a family that could not even image that could be possible. Real makes the future seems reachable and not impossible. Real create the foundation for my family to stand on for the rest of their   life also and change their destination to a better life. Real inspirers your children in learning and develop a love for reading.  Real cares in the community that every individual child can be or want to be anybody or anything with out any limitation no matter whom or what you are and look like.

A REAL Parent

Friday, December 12, 2014

#REAL Board of Directors and Vision Planning for #REAL

This is a blog post written for other founders of programs or businesses where folks have literally jumped on board your dream to help you achieve. This is #REAL! This is powerful stuff. This is unbelievable. 

The Board of Directors of The REAL Program is a highly successful, highly educated group of professionals from many different fields, backgrounds and communities who give time, expertise, funding, social capital and care to help make The REAL Program REALIZE its potential!

Thank you Betsy Brown, Kevin Carey, Charlie Juliand, Mary Kiene-Gualtieri, Fred Mathieu, Kelsey McNiff, Dinorah Mendez, Kitty Mullen, Judith O'Hare, Darryl Ruffen, Liz Yanishevsky.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Words are important!

Vocabulary is important! 

Reading is important! 

Communication is important! 

Community is important!
Joined by #REAL volunteer #Sophiakennedy, #swampscotthighschoolsenior, I had the distinct pleasure of reading "Whoever You Are" by Mem Fox to a very engaged audience of fourth graders today. These children feel and know how lucky they are to have #books, library visits with family, opportunities to learn and play and build community. They want to help others and they want to make a difference! 
Well, fourth graders! You made a difference in my day today for #REAL! THANK YOU!

Monday, December 1, 2014

REAL Opportunities are Here! Use this Code until 12/4 GG-5?JUD

REAL kids need #books, help with vocabulary and learning opportunities and educated adults to help them learn!
It is FUN!
The REAL Program is doing an online fundraiser with Barnes and Noble from now through December 4th. If you use this code  GG-5?JUD in your check out of purchases online at a portion of the proceeds goes to help us get more books for our REAL kids!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Important components of The REAL Program

 The following is one volunteer's view of what are the  Important Components of the REAL Program

1.     The REAL Program stresses the importance of reading to academic success and sends the message to the student that he/she is capable of of achieving great things.  This is accomplished through an atmosphere that gives positive feedback and stresses the message that each child is valued and capable of accomplishing  great success in their pursuit of education.

2.      The Real Program provides opportunity for the student to have a great deal of one on one time with a caring adult .  The one on one interaction of the student with a caring adult as they read ,do homework ,play games or engage in meaningful conversation together is invaluable to the development of the student.

3.     The Real Program fosters a love and interest in Reading and the written word through Reading aloud to the students , listening to the students read to the adults and by providing the student with high quality books to take home for their personal library at each and every session.

4.       The Real Program stresses the importance of healthy eating by providing the students with healthy and nutritious snacks as well as the option to take home a family meal to share at home together and enjoy family time around the table .

5.        The Real Program provides a safe and happy environment for the student to enjoy that provides them with a home-like comfortable atmosphere after a long school day , staffed by adults who are always happy to see them and are interested and concerned about their welfare and their happiness and success.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hungry for Food and Thirsty to Learn for #REAL

Good Morning to All,
November is the month of Thanksgiving in the United States. It is the #REAL end of the harvest season and a time to be with family, community and others to give and share thanks. It is a time to have food together, to forget about all the squabbles and differences we encounter in every day life and to simply enjoy life.

The families and children at The REAL Program are rich in many ways in that they have a sense of family and community even though many of them struggle to have enough food to feed them all. The sense of together is very strong. The sense of love is very strong. We simply give them the academic support and the extension of love and care that their families already provide. The families recognize that The REAL Program provides more than just books, homework help, literacy games and activities and guided play time. Many people are mislead to believe that these can all be provided by computer games and software. The difference is the people who give of themselves to work with the children. The quality of human connection is #REAL. The volunteers are educated, motivated and enthusiastic to help the children and their families.

The children come to The REAL Program with #REAL hunger that we are able to satisfy with food of fresh fruit and healthy snacks provided by #My Brother's Table. We are often able to provide fresh bread and even pies from Traditional Bread who share their understanding of what is feels like to be hungry.

After we have provided food (either for snack or for taking home to their families for family dinner night), the children need a chance to play, to move, to laugh and be free to create. Some of them want to get their homework done and then go to play. Some of them need to play before they can settle down to read, do homework, draw or play a board game. All of the children are thirsty to learn!
Grateful for the opportunity to help. Grateful for the recognition and care.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Don Kelley -auctioneer

Maryann Lemelin -REAL Mentor and FUN person

Freehling, Manganelli FUN table--oops, No table!


Fabulous live jazz music from #PocketChangeTrio

Larry and Kitty Mullen (REAL Board Member)

#REAL Kevin Carey and #REAL Darryl Ruffen

Fanciful displays put together by Pat Landry!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Think About It -for REAL!

Children heading into the Boys and Girls Club in Lynn as we arrive to provide The REAL Program on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to help children with their homework and to read, play literacy games and more.
We provide this for children on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Congregation Ahabat Sholom near the Brickett School. This is #REAL and we need your help to make this work over many years! Think about it.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

#REAL NIGHT OUT is Saturday, October 25th

#REAL Night Out is the first fundraiser for The REAL Program whose mission is to improve literacy through collecting and distributing gently used or new children's books to underserved children. REAL (Reading~Educational Assistance~Learning) is a 501c3 organization whose headquarters are in Lynn, MA. People often ask "Why Lynn?" and when they come to see what we do and what the children and families need for help the answers are very clear. The teachers and parents are very dedicated, loving and caring. The children are eager to learn and loved! However, there is a big gap that we, at The REAL Program, are trying to fill in our work with children in the area of the Brickett School and at the Boys and Girls Club. If you are curious, come and see!

Monday, September 15, 2014

#REAL is #933

The REAL Program exists to improve literacy

Retired teachers and other professionals mentor high school and college students who mentor elementary school aged children. We often have younger siblings, parents, grand parents, cousins and more who want to learn English or who want to help in any way they can. We work with the children for 2 hours a day for 2 days a week at the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn from 3:00-5:00 for 20 weeks of the year. We work with the children at Congregation Ahabat Sholom from the nearby Brickett School for 27 weeks of the year for 5-8 hours per week. We give them care, attention, respect, books, homework help, modeling, food, snacks, enrichment opportunities and a sense that we are all one community. This is #REAL. 

Please join us at our first #REAL fundraiser called A REAL NIGHT OUT on Saturday, 10/25 from 6:00-10:00 at Glen Urquhart School, 74 Hart St., Beverly

To learn about The REAL Program and how you can help please visit


Sunday, September 7, 2014


A REAL Night Out is the first #REAL fundraiser. Saturday, October 25th at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly. Here is just one of the creative and generous donations made by our own board member, Darryl Ruffen. 

Contact jan@therealprogram for tickets, for corporate sponsorship, if you want to make a donation, help organize the event. WE PROMISE IT WILL BE A #REAL NIGHT TO REMEMBER!!!

Isaiah is ready!

Play by the Rules
Hey @#REAL Pick Up Basketball Fans!
Here is your chance to make your game OFFICIAL! REAL Board Member Darryl Ruffen is a REAL basketball official, too. Have a REAL basketball game, where the rules are clear for all the players and even fans, and you might even get the home court advantage because we can provide some REAL fans, too!
Choose a court date; make it official with Darryl and play by the rules.
Donated by:  Darryl Ruffen

Value:  $150

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bring Your Friends to A #REALNIGHTOUT

Bring your friends and join the fun at our #REALnightout fundraiser
Wonderful food presented by Kelly's Roast Beef
Silent and Live Auction lead by Auctioneer Don Kelley
Smooth Jazz by Pocket Change Trio
Glen Urquhart School, 74 Hart St. Beverly Farms
Contact us for sponsorship, tickets or donations

Saturday, August 9, 2014

#REAL #LIteracy
Just think that there are children who do not have the experience of #reading; of being #read to, of #sharing #books.
The #REAL Program works to improve #literacy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Books, Stories, Boxes, Paper, Puddles, Popsicle Sticks, Music, ELL

This is a post about the first two weeks about this summer's fun at The REAL Program. Every day the children select books that they can keep! In addition, they read books or they are read to by a volunteer. The books are donated from all over the region by people who understand the importance of reading to children. The books are good quality and our decision to give these books to the children is simply this:  If you would give this book as a gift, it is suitable for donation. Mrs. Brown is our lead enthusiast!

Our wonderful intern this summer is Sarah Sessa. Sarah is a senior at Gordon College and she is a great asset to The REAL Program. Sarah has creativity, resourcefulness and compassion that we have  adapted for project-based learning in the form of cardboard box construction that become villages, cities, trucks, space ships. ENGLISH descriptions and conversations fill the air while our COMMUNITY BUILDING takes place literally and figuratively.

 The children are given some summer reading as part of their school requirements. We have lots of discussion about reading, nonfiction and fiction material. We have selected a nonfiction book  about a young girl who was an immigrant on the Mayflower named Remember Patience Whipple. This gives lots of discussion, clarification and vocabulary building around the concept of immigration.
Steven examines an insect in our puddle classroom!
Another day's teachable moment  utilizes the giant puddle in our outdoor classroom. The children and volunteers create rafts with colorful popsicle sticks/glue/masking tape and poster board. Older children use the white board to make a graph of the rafts and to record predictions about the number of pebbles each raft would carry before sinking. We even make the puddle bigger with the addition of a hose to create current and make further predictions of where the rafts would go when the wind and current do not flow in the same direction.

 Special guests, children's musician Darren Muise and Lynn teacher/crafter Kim Staples provide developmentally appropriate entertainment and activities for children and adults, too.

Sharon Fosbury provides English classes to a growing number of adults whose children attend The REAL Program. The energy and enthusiasm to learn English is as clear as the children's energy to learn everything!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The #REAL World of Summer

We have started our summer fun at The REAL Program! Children, adults, parents, teens, volunteers, students, board members, friends, neighbors, grandparents and all are enjoying learning and teaching together. The time goes by so quickly and the children do not want to leave. Today's adventures centered around a wonderful puddle with an insect swimming in it. This prompted observation, investigation and, ultimately, raft building with popsicle sticks, glue, tape and markers. Older students documented it all with photography and graphing on a giant white board.
Thanks to all the families, volunteers and the folks at Congregation Ahabat Sholom!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

#REAL Literacy Grows

WE ARE EXCITED! #REAL books, #REAL gardens, #REAL fun starts next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#REAL Happy Summer Kids and Teachers, Too!

#REAL Happy Summer to ALL

The winter was long. 
The challenges were great! 
Summer is here for #REAL! 
Please Save This Date!

for A #REAL Night Out
October 25, 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Longest Day of the YEAR HAPPY SUMMER!

REAL parent and drummer Hughe Traore performs for children on the lawn at Ahabat Sholom

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A REAL Night Out

You are cordially invited to come to our first fundraiser at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#REAL Thanks to Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori of Beverly

#REAL thanks to Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School in Beverly for donating children's books and learning materials to The REAL Program! #REAL stands for Reading~Educational Assistance~Learning. 
Our mission is to improve #literacy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

REAL TABLE AT Youth at Risk Conference

#REAL happens to be at an exhibit table at the Youth At Risk Conference tomorrow morning at Endicott College! This is a great day organized by Essex County Community Foundation!

Summer registrations are pouring in for #REAL and board meeting is tomorrow night! It is good to get some time off to do #REAL stuff.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

#REAL #Puppets at the Lynn Public Library with #Judith #O'Hare

Judith O'Hare, a board member of The REAL Program, will present a puppet show on Saturday morning, 5/31, at 10:00 at the Lynn Public Library as part of the celebration of reading in the month of May. This event is offered as a collaborative of Lynn READS and the Lynn Public Library. 

JESSICA’S FRIENDS is a participatory puppet play presented by Judith O’Hare of the YOU AND ME PUPPETS and your children.  It is a full theater production that includes children from the audience who manipulate rod puppets and marionettes within the context of the story.  It is designed for young children aged 3-9 and presents ideas and concepts that are part of the early childhood and early primary experience.
     The story is about a princess who wants a friend. She “wishes" for a friend and her mother tells her that she will “command" someone to be her friend. BUT when her toys come to life, she learns from them that “ You gotta be a friend to get a friend". You can’t just “ wish" for a friend or “ command" a friend. You have to care and you have to share.

All kinds of activities, books and fun will be available for children in addition to the puppet show:  West African Drumming and Singing will give "reading a voice" in the city this Saturday..HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

#Maya Angelou- #REAL #THANKS

With great respect for Dr. Maya Angelou who died today at age 86 years..."you can't use up creativity..."; artist Lisa Congdon.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Memorial Day Weekend Everyone!

The REAL Program wishes to remind you to  enjoy time with your families and friends in this season of graduations, celebrations and remembrances of important people!
The REAL Program is committed to helping more enjoy that graduation experience!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


The #REAL summer program is posted at

Save the date:  The REAL Event is our first fundraiser

Saturday, 10/18/2014, at Glen Urquhart School, Beverly Farms

Litzy is a great student. She is a great friend; sister; cousin; #REAL helper!

Friday, May 16, 2014

#REAL Students Help Each Other

Sampierre and Manny are #REAL ushers for our play that was written, directed by and acted by elementary students.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Congratulations to the #REAL Student Director

Third grader, Sydney Porter, co-wrote, directed, and MC'd The REAL Program's play performed yesterday for the last day of the semester's event. The #REAL students work hard at school and they have fun and learn together at The REAL Program.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#REAL Presents The Puppy Tale (Honesty is the Best Policy)

Invitation to come and see young students of The REAL Program to view the play they wrote; they directed; they produced; they will share!

When:  Wednesday, 5/14/2014 from 3:30-4:30

Where: The REAL Program at Congregation Ahabat Sholom
151 Ocean Street
Lynn, MA 01902

Please dress up to attend our debut!

Sharon Fosbury helping out with some of our #REAL stars!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


To all the #REAL children's mothers! 
To all the mothers and special caregivers that dedicate themselves to raising children....


Friday, May 9, 2014

Have a Wonderful Summer to all of our #REAL college students!

It is hard to believe that it was one week ago that we had a #REAL blast at Gordon College with our #REAL families from Gordon College. THANK YOU GORDON COLLEGE STUDENTS. We miss you already and we hope you have a wonderful summer. Please follow our summer fun at

Friday, May 2, 2014

Getting Ready to go to Gordon College for #REAL

It is the night before our little kids go to college. The little kids are students primarily from the Brickett School who attend The REAL Program at Congregation Ahabat Sholom at 151 Ocean Street in Lynn. Tomorrow 34 children and 16 adults (moms, dads, aunts, uncles and #REAL volunteers) will form a car pool processional to drive to Wenham.  The thirty minute drive is one that many of our volunteers do in order to come to Lynn but our little kids have not been that far away from their neighborhoods. The Gordon College students participate in a service learning class as a freshman and many of them have never experienced urban life. Learning about each other's communities and neighborhoods is the theme for our visit to Gordon College tomorrow. The little kids will learn about the college student's neighborhood of a college campus including a dorm, the college library and the gym with some basketball playing followed by some pizza. Many of these families have not had the opportunities to help them in education. Many of the parents had to leave school at an early age in order to help put bread on the table when they were not much older than some of our #REAL kids. The parents of the kids are just as excited to join us tomorrow as the little kids. So off we go! Look for the photos tomorrow for #REAL.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May- Your Day be Great! READ!

It is hard to believe that we are looking at the calendar and it says May 1st, however, it is bleak and wet outside! The colors of the flowers in the garden are the only hint that it is indeed spring! Today we will give the children their May READING LOG that is a collaborative of a group of organizations who dedicate their lives to helping others. The Lynn Reads will celebrate literacy with children on Saturday, May 31st and we anticipate the #REAL kids to be the SUPERHEROES of Lynn when they read all their books every day!!!

Today our #REAL plan is to play bingo with our kids at the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn- not until we have read for 10-15 minutes to start! Thankfully we have our dedicated volunteers in Mrs. Brown, Jay, Emma, Ashley and our superhero, Mrs. Lemelin!

Jay Keshevan has been a dedicated volunteer this whole year at The #REAL Program. Jay is entering his junior year at the University of Maine, Farmington in the fall. Here he is pictured with a very bright young guy, Chris, who is a great reader at the Boys and Girls Club of Lynn.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#REAL Kids from Lynn are going to Gordon College

This Saturday, May 3rd, the #REAL kids will be going to Gordon College to see where our volunteers study, live, play and learn about the neighborhood of a college campus. Rebecca Hugal has worked very hard to plan a morning for our children and families with a visit to the Gordon College library (they also have a children's library); some basketball with players from both the women and men's basketball team; a visit to a dorm to see where they sleep (no parents) and ending with pizza!
#REAL families going to #REAL college!
Rebecca Hugal has done a great job facilitating and volunteering at The REAL Program. She is a social work/sociology major at Gordon College.