Monday, July 27, 2015

Three Back to School Reading Routines

It is back to school time.


Your family might home school. Your family might have children in a Christian or public school. But any way you look at it, this is back to school time.

And that means routines.

I hear lots of accounts of back to school routines. Some families practice getting up at a certain time. Some families spend time brushing up on basic school skills such as math facts...and reading.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Three Ways to Give Books to Needy Children

How can we support literacy development in needy children?
Today I am the blogger on Christian Children's Authors. . . 
This week I saw a promotion for free books for needy children. 
The organization placed a vending-style machine in several locations. The machine (which delivered its wares for free) was filled with books.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fostering a Love of Reading in Children

Today I am on the Christian Children's Authors blog. . .

This week, I ate at a popular hamburger chain. The sign said that kids could read four books and them get a free hamburger.
It made me think of different kinds of reading programs I have seen.
Some of them offer a prize or a treat after reading so many pages or for so many  minutes. The prize might be a ticket to an amusement or water park.

Monday, July 06, 2015

It Started with a Catsup Bottle

Truth. It started with a catsup bottle. Actually, it was (and still is) the World's Largest Catsup Bottle. 

Do you want to know something amazing?

I live very close to it.

Recently, I traveled from the state of Illinois, home of the World's Largest Catsup Bottle, to Florida. I had the privilege of talking to some children and teens who don't live near a huge catsup bottle, but near two huge bodies of water, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. You can read about it here.

Thinking about what to say to them, reminded me of another true story.

Some years ago, I was talking to a girl about what she wanted to be as an adult.

Her response? She wanted to be a marine biologist.

The only problem (I am embarrassed to say I reminded her) was that she lived in Illinois (near corn fields and the World's Largest Catsup Bottle), not near the ocean where there surely would be work for marine biologists.

Some years went by, and I ran into someone who knew that girl.

She had moved to the east coast and grown up to be...

a marine biologist.

I learned a valuable lesson. We should never, ever limit the plans that God has for us. It reminded me of Jeremiah 29:11, so I took some catsup bottles with me to talk to the Orlando Children's Church. Each bottle had the verse taped to the back.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

We talked about catsup, corn fields, marine biologists and the truth that God has an awesome plan for each one of us. Then, we played a game, and catsup bottles were the prizes.

I had two bottles left.

When I checked out of my hotel, I offered them to the valet.

As I got into my car to drive back to the land of corn fields and the World's Largest Catsup Bottle, the valet thanked me and remarked that he loved the verse on the bottles. He said it was one of his favorite verses. 

Who knew he had even read the verse in the busy moments of packing things into my car?

And it all started with a bottle of catsup.