MID-State Reading Council

An Illinois Reading Council Affiliate

Winter 2017

Volume 5 Issue 2

President's Message

It is hard to believe we are already past the half way mark of the 2016-2017 school year. There are several events that MID-State has been working on for the upcoming months that you can read about in this newsletter. Everyone should mark their calendars for a special evening with Michael Carton. He will be presenting Lego, Literacy, and 21st Century Skills on March 2nd. The flyer/registration is included in this newsletter. It will be a fun night that you will not want to miss.

In April, don't miss Teacher Appreciation week at Barnes and Noble. MID-State will be there on April 8th for a fundraiser book fair. We would love your support and look forward to seeing you there. Also in April, will be Wine-a-Read. This is always a popular event to come and hear about the latest books to add to your "must read" list. We look forward to seeing you soon at some of our upcoming events.

-Christa Hoder

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The Power of the Reading Strategies Book: 3 Take Aways from a Book Study

Upon first glance, you might be overpowered by Jennifer Serravallo’s book “The Reading Strategies Book.” I mean, it has over 300 strategies! In fact, you might want to put it on the bottom shelf and tell yourself, “I’ll think about that tomorrow.” That is exactly what I did, but through this book I have learned of to use the 300 strategies to power my literacy instruction rather than overpower it. I would not have been able to make the switch without these take-a-ways from MID – State book study.

Take Away # 1. This book is for everyone!

It is suitable for all the readers in my classroom with strategies ranging from emergent readers who still need help with the right fit book, to readers devouring every Babysitter’s Club, Percy Jackson, or World War II story they can get their hands on, to my nonfiction readers obsessed with facts and figures, to readers ready to write their own stories.

Take Away #2. The “Tool Kit” is key!

This book can be transferred into a usable tool kit filled to the top with any strategy any reader might need. The tools can be used by teachers for mini-lessons, small group, or individual conferencing. Local teachers participating in MID – State’s book study are creating useable tool kits with their students based around the visuals for each strategies. Students copy these into their tool kit, in the form of journals, notecard spirals, steno notebooks, to take ownership and have the strategies to reference. This tool kit becomes a communication vehicle between classroom teachers, interventionist, and resources teachers. Allowing them to better support the students they share.

Take Away #3. It is a great time to be in education!

No, really! If you have not already done so, join the Reading and Writing Strategies Book Community on Facebook you definitely should check it out! Teachers post resources, questions, and ideas to push each other to better instruction for students. The tool kit was an idea which was posted to the Facebook group and was scooped up by Jennifer herself!

If any of these take-a-ways sound like something you would like to implement in your classroom before this year is up, join us! Email Christa at mid-state@illinoisreadingcouncil.org or Mary at region6@illinoisreadingcouncil.org. Bonus – Jennifer will be at the Illinois Reading Conference in October 2017. Start thinking about adding this wonderful professional development opportunity to your calendar next year!

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Illinois Reads- A Reading State of Mind

Illinois Reads 2017 Launch is March 11, 2017, in Wilmington, Illinois! Click on the button to find out more and learn all about this year's noted authors from Illinois!

"Booked for Summer: A MID-State Reading Council Grant Award Winner Update" --Michelle Glatt

Most students who participate in RTI services at the junior high school level show growth during the school year. However, what happens when these students go home for the summer? If they do not have access to books and/or choose to read them, there is danger of their progress being lost via “summer slide.” For that reason, I wrote a Carol Berry Literacy Grant for “Booked for the Summer,” a program which provides free books to students to make it easier for them to keep reading during summer break.

I identified 42 participants in grades 6-8 to participate in the project. All had received RTI services at some point during the school year. These students were invited to join me for lunch in the IMC on a day in April 2016. I spoke to them about the importance of continuing to read over the summer, about the local public libraries and their summer reading programs, and about the two days the IMC would be open for summer check-out. Then, I told them I wanted to give them free books of their choice. Students were able to preview appropriately-leveled, high interest books that I purchased from Scholastic Book Club flyers. Then they were each allowed to choose up to $15 worth of books from the preview offerings or from others listed in several Scholastic flyers made available to them. Books were ordered and distributed to students in May at another lunch (and free dessert) session. I also provided students with a bookmobile schedule, information on how to get a public library card, and a letter to parents about the “Booked for the Summer” program.

In the fall of the following school year, I surveyed these same students about their summer reading. Twelve students had moved on to the high school, so I contacted them via email, but none returned the survey. Also, a few students moved. In all, 22 responses were received. When asked if they read their free books over the summer, 77% replied that they had read some or all. When asked how many total books they had read over the summer, 23% did not read at all, 64% read 1-5 books, and 13% read more than 6 books. I also asked about their visits to the library or bookmobile and participation in summer reading incentive programs. 45% of students never visited the library or bookmobile. 86% did not participate in the summer reading incentive program, and no students finished it. This tells me that some participants might not have read a book at all were it not for the free ones provided by “Booked for the Summer.” Finally, 86% of students said they would like to receive free books again in the future.

Fortunately, I did not use all of my grant funds in 2016, as Scholastic provided some great discounts and incentives. Therefore, I should be able to offer this program once again using remaining funds and Scholastic bonus points in order to keep more students reading over the summer.

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"Book Showers for Literacy" - Mary Current

Providing Christmas presents for our county’s most vulnerable families, the Marine Toys for Tots distribution is a blessing for those who receive the gifts as well as for those who share in the joy of presenting the gifts to those in need. Under the leadership of Sheila Diaz from the ROE 17, and in its 26th year, a book for each child in every family was given through Book Showers for Literacy prior to families receiving a toy for each tot. MID-State members kept the books sorted, made suggestions or recommendations, and had the pleasure of hearing parents exclaim, “Oh! I remember that book!” or others asking for, “books about that bear that Kohl’s was selling." (That was Paddington Bear.)

A special thank you goes to our generous community members who purchased books at Barnes and Noble or donated books to the public libraries or other designated businesses. MID-State looks forward to supporting this annual tradition in December 2017 and would love for you to share the joy of being part of the event.

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Barnes & Noble partners with MID-State Reading Council for a Book Fair

Saturday, April 8th, 9am-9pm

1701 East Empire Street

Bloomington, IL

Barnes & Noble and MID-State Reading Council is teaming up for another book fair to sponsor our Illinois Reads program. Come to Barnes & Noble during Educator’s Weekend, on April 8th, to make purchases and use the following voucher at checkout to give some of the proceeds to MID-State Reading Council. Your contribution will go towards the purchase of books from the 2017 Illinois Reads Program. These books will be given away to children in our community at MID-State events, such as the Habitat for Humanity House Blessings and our free family event, the Carnival of Reading.

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Carol Berry Memorial Literacy Grant

Overview & Instructions for Submission

The MID-State Reading Council will annually award a financial grant up to $1,000 to individual council members for the purpose of promoting the literacy of children in the classroom.


Each applicant will:

1. Be a current member of the MID-State Reading Council

2. Submit a complete proposal for the program or project which includes:

a. A statement of purpose

b. A needs statement, including information about the population to be served

c. A description of the project including a timeline

d. An itemized budget

e. A plan for program or project publicity

f. A plan for program or project evaluation

Review Process:

A committee of MID-State members will serve on the review committee using a blind review process. Grant proposals with identifiers will be disqualified. Grant recipients will be informed of their awards by email by the notification deadline. Those who submitted but did not receive grants will be notified by email and will be provided with feedback.


1. Complete the cover page with identifying information.

2. Complete the grant proposal on a new page with required information (NO IDENTIFIERS will be allowed in the grant proposal)

3. Mail or email to Trisha Warner by the deadline

Grant Deadline: April 7, 2017 (by mail or email)

Notification and Award Date: April 20, 2017

Carol Berry Grant Forms

MID-State Reading Council

2016-2017 Carol Berry Memorial Grant

Cover Page

(this page will be removed from proposal for the evaluation process)

Review of each grant submitted is contingent upon full completion of the cover page and every guideline item.

Program/Project Title: _________________________________________________

Amount Requested: ____________________________________________________

(amount requested may not exceed $300)

Contact Person: _______________________________________________________

Mailing Address: ______________________________________________________

Email Address: ________________________________________________________

Target Population:

Demographic descriptors:_______________________________________________________

Age range of children:______________________________________________________________

Please check applicable descriptions:

___ This is a new project.

___ This is an ongoing project.

___ This project has been funded previously by a MID-State Reading Council grant. If so, indicate the grant title and the year in which it was received.______________________________

Please include complete grant application on separate page(s).

Grant proposal must be free of any identifiers. Identifiers include the actual names of schools, council, towns, agencies, and people. Use pseudonyms. Grant proposal with any identifying information will be rejected. Incomplete grants will not be reviewed.

Email grants to sebenyj@myunit5.org or mail to Janel Sebeny at Kingsley Junior High School

303 Kingsley St.

Normal, IL 61761

Grant Deadline: April 7, 2017 (by mail or email)

Notification and Award Date: April 20, 2017

Grant Proposal

From this point forward, any identifiers will disqualify the grant proposal. Please include the following in the grant proposal:

a. A statement of purpose

b. A needs statement, including information about the population to be served

c. A description of the project including a timeline

d. An itemized budget

e. A plan for program or project publicity

f. A plan for program or project evaluation

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