Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy

Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy

What can you do to help improve literacy? The Literacy Cooperative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving literacy rates in Northeast Ohio has launched – today – a campaign: the Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy in the Greater Cleveland Area. Books@Work is honored and excited to be included in the Literacy Cooperative’s Top 10. The campaign is both hands-on and holistic, recognizing that there is a great need for literacy education for both children and adults. Together, we can make a difference.

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The Books@Work Badge

The Books@Work Badge

At Books@Work, we know that our participants are committed to learning and personal growth. This program exists to encourage and support individuals and communities as they engage with reading, conversation, and collaboration. Without the active engagement of our participants, Books@Work would not be possible.

We are pleased to announce the Books@Work Badge, a digital representation of that journey. Using Mozilla’s Open Badge system, the Books@Work Badge is both a testimony to participant learning as well as a credential that individuals can take with them as they move forward in their careers and communities.

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Our 2013 Social Impact Report

Our 2013 Social Impact Report

We are pleased to release our 2013 Social Impact Report, detailing our progress from our inception to December 31, 2013. During that time, we served 230 participants in 17 programs in five companies, partnering with professors from six colleges in four states. As we release the report, our numbers have already increased steadily on all dimensions, and the stories we hear from participants, professors and employers continue to assure us that we are on the right track. As we strive to scale our program and our impact, we pause to appreciate the support we have received from our donors and our partners. Thank you.

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Reading is Essential

Reading is Essential

Research shows that sharing books with children helps them learn about peer relationships, coping strategies, building self-esteem and general world knowledge. Our new Deputy Director, Jamie Simoneau, reflects on these ideas as she shares her own excitement about sharing her passion for reading with her young son.

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Meet Your New Trainer

Meet Your New Trainer

Athletic victories do not come easily, as we all know. Performing requires countless hours of practice, conditioning, and hard work. In his 1854 Walden, Henry David Thoreau made an impassioned plea for what we might call the athletic reading of challenging books. For many people, Thoreau is remembered as the lone cabin-dweller enjoying direct contact with nature. If we remember Thoreau only for his ecological consciousness, however, we miss one of the most compelling defenses of active literacy in American literature.

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How Challenging Literature Shows Deep Respect for Learners

How Challenging Literature Shows Deep Respect for Learners

We have a societal narrative that says that busy, working people have no interest in high quality literature, or in challenging themselves to explore complex texts. This narrative permeates the current national dialogue on education as a means to get a job rather than learning to become a better learner (and a better worker). It fuels the humanities “crisis” about which we read so much. Underlying these messages is the insidious belief that the liberal arts – literature, the arts, history and culture, the natural and the social sciences – belong not to the working classes but somehow to the leisure class and the leisure class alone, as if critical thinking, communication, intellectual debate and skills of analysis, resilience and reinvention should be rationed or parceled out to a narrow few.

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Reflections on 2013: An Amazing Year of Learning and Growth

Reflections on 2013: An Amazing Year of Learning and Growth

Happy New Year from all of us at Books@Work. As we close the books on 2013, I cannot help but reflect back on the prior year. Nothing has occupied my thoughts and energies more this past year than Books@Work. 2013 was intended to prove that the program works in multiple industries, with diverse participants and a wide array of reading materials. And prove it we did! As we embark on 2014, we are all excited to take the program to the next level.

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A Text at Work: O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”

A Text at Work: O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi”

Since this is the season for gifts and giving, our latest installment of a Text at Work is O. Henry’s famous holiday tale “The Gift of the Magi.” O. Henry was the pen name of William Sydney Porter (1862-1910), a popular American short story writer. The prestigious O. Henry Award bears his name, and is granted every year for excellent short fiction. A Text at Work is a Books@Work “teaser” – a chance to experience a reading and a set of questions to spur discussion. Read it on your own, or share it with a friend. But please don’t forget to come back and comment!

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Taking the Gown into Town

Taking the Gown into Town

In our recent discussions at Books@Work, we have been tossing around the term “ecosystem” to help us understand the many interconnected ways our program can make a difference. We are learning to see that every partner in a Books@Work program, from the individual participants to the companies and faculty, is connected to a whole network of relationships.

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