Greetings Oasis Reading Mentors!
Happy Mentor Monday, May 4th to you and I hope this communication finds you well and smiling.
The offering for this week includes a little silliness, a little beauty and The Giving Tree.
Since Tuesday this week is Giving Tuesday, May 5th, I thought it appropriate.
I frequently say “thank You” to all of my volunteers, because I am truly thankful for your time and talents so generously shared with our students. In my mind, giving is not limited to a day or an amount of money, but a spirit. In speaking with many of you, I have heard that by volunteering, by investing in our students, you have reaped the rewards of joy and purpose!
The Giving Tree
I am sharing two versions of The Giving Tree, both read by Shel Silverstein. The original book was published in 1964 and sold for $2.50. A first edition copy now sells for $4,500. The book was recently updated for release to a new generation. But it is not in the cost of the book that I find the value -it is the message. “It is a poem that celebrates nature’s giving to mankind…reminding readers that happiness in life exits in the little things.” Many of our books in the library have strong messages of kindness, being different, acceptance and giving. Those books you will find in the section entitled Feelings, Emotions and Inclusion. When we return to our schools and students, I hope you will consider not only the humorous or the current graphic books, but those stories with depth. Stories that embrace and celebrate a positive, giving spirit.
Safe Distance Student Contact
Many of you have reached out to the school and the teacher to determine how you can help your student with distance learning over the summer. A few of you are already sending packets, writing letters, taping reading, sharing books online through the library (Hoopla) or simply sending books to the student. Thank you. Remember all contact must be under the supervision of a teacher or parent/guardian both for the safety of the student and you. One of our volunteers recently reached out with her success.
About 8 weeks ago my fourth grade student, SS wrote a letter to her idol, Billie Eilish over a period of two tutoring sessions. She had made up a Q&A game and hoped that Billie would like it well enough to send her free tickets to a concert. We found an address on-line and after correcting the draft sent it off. I warned her that I wasn’t sure about the address and said maybe, maybe, we’d get a response.
Yesterday an envelope came to me addressed to SS, and I made contact with her teacher via email who wrote to SS’s mother. The family lives just a mile away, so I arranged a time to bring her the envelope, which we opened together (at an appropriate distance, of course). No tickets, but a nice photo and hand-written message.
I am attaching a photo/video (with written guardian approval) of a happy “client” opening the envelope. It was super to see SS and I reminded her how important it is to read every day!
Thank you for your support, your words of encouragement, for staying with the team, and for laughing with me!
Stay safe, be well, and happy reading.
The Monday Vlog is a wonderful way to start a week. I spent the weekend packing up books, games, art supplies, etc. that I have been using with my two kids and it made me so sad. Your (Vicki) keeping us together through a forum that is left to us to maintain community lifts my spirits with the possibility of reconnecting with a part of my life that is a primary source of happiness. I have been finding books being read on YouTube and sending them to Paizley and William–my Monday Vlog–and, sometimes, actually hear back on what they liked,… Read more »
I loved your video, Vicki. Next time you need to give us a tour of your house too. : ) How cute to see SS open the letter from Bilie Elish (spelling?) What a great idea for a literacy activity! I sure miss the kids so I especially enjoyed her sweet and happy smile.
Vicki, You are a giving tree!!!
Hi, I enjoyed your Monday vlog, Vicki. It’s always nice to see your smiling face! I want to share a a different viewpoint about the book you shared with us: The Giving Tree. I love this book and have for years. Last year I shared it with some friends and their reactions surprised me. They told me the book was very sexist. They pointed out that the tree was a girl. It was the tree, the girl, who always gave and the boy who always received. The boy gave nothing in return. They asked if that was the message I… Read more »
Wow Laurel, isn’t it interesting that I never thought of it in terms of feminism/sexism. I always focused on the giving spirit. So now, I too will have to go into my daughter’s collection of books and reread. Another volunteer I communicated with thought of the tree as an “object.” I will quote her here without use of her name as she too gave me a reason to think more about the book. “The Giving Tree is disturbing in that it focuses on the tree as an”object” there for humans. I wish there was some indication of the recipients responsibility… Read more »
It is too bad the Shel Sliverstein is not alive to join our conversation. Maybe he could explain why he made the tree a girl. I think that the other volunteer was right as well. The tree is very giving but the boy seems to be oblivious to the sacrifice being made to him. We need to acknowledge sacrifices/kindnesses offered. Teaching children to say “thank you” is important.
When I read last week’s vlog I thought wouldn’t it be great if Vicki could read us a story—maybe The Giving Tree. What a great surprise to see the 1973 movie. Thank you, Vicki! I still would like you to choose a book and read to us please.
Isabel, please know that I am giving it serious thought… Everyone, I am open to suggestions and we can take a vote!
I enjoyed the 4/20 talk & that was a good story of the little girl writing to her idol.
Nice video of the blooming flower s. Have a great week.
I am excited. I just finished my first tutoring session via Zoom. I made contact with my student through her parents. I gave her a paperback and got a copy of the same book on my Kindle. We are reading it together over Zoom. It is fun and satisfying. Thanks for your encouraging Vlog that opened my eyes to the possibility of continuing contact this way. Can we log the Zoom tutoring hours for Oasis to get credit with its sponsoring organizations?
John – how exciting! Thank you for the update and of course you can submit your Zoom tutoring hours. All volunteer hours are greatly appreciated. Hopefully, your experience will be encouraging for/to others. Happy reading to you both!