Saturday, April 30, 2011

Celebrating Dia! With Friends

We celebrated El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day) at Oak Brook and Van Meter. To make the day extra special we invited the amazing Alyson Beecher, principal at San Rafael Elementary in Pasadena, California to join us in our celebration.

Dia is sponsored by ALA's (American Library Association) ALSC and celebrated on April 30th each year. As stated on the website,

"El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), known as Día, is a celebration EVERY DAY of children, families, and reading that culminates every year on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of advocating literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

El 30 de abril es una fecha muy significativa para los niños. Se celebra el día de los niños y de los libros. Esta celebración se conoce como El día de los niños/ El día de los libros, y celebra la alegría y las maravillas de la infancia y la importancia de los libros en nuestra vida."

We celebrated by reading Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora. The students took turns reading the Spanish and English parts of the book. It was so exciting listening to Alyson's sweet students at San Rafael read the book in Spanish. They practiced very hard and did a wonderful job reading the book. The students in Oak Brook read the pages from Book Fiesta together as San Rafael and Van Meter listened. Also, in Van Meter we had special readers when Antonio, Sylvia and Carmen Angel (whose father is from Cuba) read the book to everyone in Spanish.

It was so special to have everyone come together as a community celebrating reading and friendship for the day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our Poem In Your Pocket Day Celebration

Keep a poem in your pocket

and a picture in your head

and you'll never feel lonely at night when you're in bed.

The little poem will sing to you

the little picture bring to you

a dozen dreams to dance to you

at night when you're in bed.


Keep a picture in your pocket

and a poem in your head

and you'll never be lonely at night when you're in bed.

-Beatrice Schenk de Regniers

Yesterday Van Meter and Brook Forest celebrated national Poem In Your Pocket Day together.

Poem In Your Pocket Day is an easy day to celebrate--simply place your favorite poem in your pocket and share it throughout the day. You can share your poem in the classroom, in the hallway, in the lunchroom, on the playground....anywhere!

Our first step was to create signs and displays to make everyone aware of this special celebration. We also added the details of the day to our library blogs, websites and the wiki we created together for poetry month entitled What Words Do You Send Out Into The Air? (which by the way will continue to grow throughout the month of April with the poetry projects we are creating in our libraries).

We encouraged students to write their own poems and gave them time to browse poetry collections. The poems were copied and given to each student for their pockets. They also practiced their poems and were ready to share on the special day.
One day we were planning out our activities for Poem In Your Pocket Day and thought it would be fun to invite others to celebrate with us. We planned a similar event for LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day and it was so much fun! Within minutes a Google Doc was created and the collaboration began!

Diane Cordell from New York, Steve Gagnon from New Hampshire, Donna Kouri from Illinois, Jen Malphy from Wisconsin, and Kathy Schmidt from Georgia quickly jumped on board and plans formed for this special day.

The day arrived and there was excitement in the air! Teachers and students passed out stickers that read "Ask me about the poem in my pocket." An email was sent out to remind everyone to be ready to share their poem and ask others to share too. In the library there were Skype connections throughout the day that connected students, adults and ourselves to a wonderful poetry experience.

In Shannon's pocket...


I will not play at tug o’war
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses
And everyone grins
And everyone cuddles
And everyone wins.

-Shel Silverstein

In John's pocket...


“Love that dog,
like a bird loves to fly
I said I love that dog
like a bird loves to fly
Love to call him in the morning
love to call him
“Hey there, Sky!”

-Sharon Creech

We love these two photographs that show the connection between our kindergarten students and Diane in New York. This student had the perfect poem that he practiced and was proud to share with a new friend over 1,000 miles away. After they shared, she read a poem her son wrote when he was a little boy and shared Hush, Little Alien by Daniel Kirk.
The students even got the administrators and teachers involved in Poem In Your Pocket Day.

This is a day that Van Meter and Brook Forest will never forget and one that we will celebrate together next year.

And remember...

it doesn't have to be Poem In Your Pocket Day to share poetry with your friends.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We Are Excited to Celebrate Poetry Month with LitWorld!

April is National Poetry Month! Join LitWorld, A Global Literacy Organization, in celebrating the power and spirit of words by helping to compose a Global Poem for Change:

The wonderful poet Naomi Shihab Nye got us started with a first line:

I send my words out into the air, listening for yours from everywhere.

What words do you send out into the air?

What words do you listen for?

Celebrate Poetry Month and create a Global Poem for Change with LitWorld!

What comes next?

Submit a line of your own at and watch our Poem GROW at

We need Your Words to Change Worlds.

Share our announcement and help our poem soar around the world...