The letter G for me this week is going to be easy. It stands for GIVING BACK and it's something I try to do every day. It doesn't matter whether you are a READER or a 'RITER or both...here are some things I've done over the years to give back to the wonderful reading and 'riting community. What are some of the things YOU have done? Tell us in the comments section and keep up the great GIVING BACK work!
1. DONATE BOOKS...if you were on Facebook yesterday you might have seen my post about my latest book drive results. Every summer I host my annual book drive for local elementary school libraries. I've been doing this for eight years now and due to the generosity of too many people to include in this post, I have been able to donate literally THOUSANDS of books to my local schools. In just a couple of weeks I will be delivering over $5.000 worth of books for this year's donations. This will bring my total donations to over $165,000 to date!!
2. FREE AUTHOR PROMOTION...before I became a published author with my picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, I did everything I could think of to help promote my fellow writers by sharing THEIR books with other readers through my FREE AUTHOR PROMOTION events. The last year I did it I had close to 2000 autographed books and swag items to hand out at my booth for the Children's Festival of Reading.
3. WRITERLY WISDOM SERIES...if you click on the "For Writers" link to the right of this post, you will discover an entire year's worth of posts dedicated to helping beginner and established writers improve their own writing skills. Many wonderful authors, agents, and publishers generously provided guest blog posts every week for an entire year covering everything from deciding what kind of writer do you want to be to overcoming writer's block to school visits and marketing your books.
4. STORY CATCHER FAN CLUB...this is for the readers out there who like receiving a FREE bimonthly newsletter filled with games, puzzles, coloring sheets, mazes, and the latest STORY CATCHER news as well as fun nature and animal facts. Teachers use parts of the newsletter in their classrooms and even homeschoolers share it with their kids as part of their reading activity. I love doing them and my readers seem to enjoy them so it's a win-win for everyone!
5. STORY TIME AT THE MALL...for the past couple of years I've been going to the local mall and reading to the children who visit the play area there. The kids love being read to and get excited if I read a book they are already familiar with and the parents thank me for the unexpected surprise reading for their children.
6. READ TO ME VOLUNTEER...I am an approved READ TO ME volunteer and have worked with my local elementary schools to visit select classrooms where I read to the children or even help tutor children who have difficulty learning to read. My picture book, THE STORY CATCHER, about a little girl struggling to learn how to read, is based on a very real girl and my working with her for the entire school year before she finally began to read on her own.
7. GIFT BASKET DONATIONS...there are many festivals, school carnivals, and local events where I am invited to provide a crafts booth and share my love of reading with people. I always provide door prizes and baskets at my own booth where people have a chance to win a basket of free books. I even decorated my car one year for a church TRUNK OR TREAT and gave away hundreds of FREE books as well as candy to the children who stopped by to visit with me.
As you see there are many different ways to GIVE BACK as both a reader or a 'riter. There's nothing more powerful as a gift than instilling in children the love of reading. To open their minds to the magic to be found within the pages of a good book. And if I'm lucky enough, I will have many more years to keep paying it forward every way I can. What are YOU doing to GIVE BACK??
Blurb: Addie comes from a long line of readers or "story catchers" as her family likes to call themselves. Every time Addie tries to catch a story on her own the wiggly words play tricks on her. She tries different ways to make those words sit still but it will take a little faith for Addie to become the next STORY CATCHER.
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Bi-montly Newsletter full of mazes, puzzles, games, news, and other goodies
Reading Log for earning STORY CATCHER AWARD