Morpho Literacy

Bilingual Literacy-Based Programming with Amy Olson

Summer Art Camp with (primarily) Congolese Children – elementary, middle, and high school groups September 11, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Morpho Literacy @ 4:45 pm

http://www.fcps.net/news/features/2014-15/refugeesummer

Beaumont’s newcomers program keeps refugees engaged

 Author: Tammy L. Lane • First Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Local librarian Amy Olson leads students through art projects, music, dance, and folk tales. “There is validity in art and just expressing themselves,” she said.

Local librarian Amy Olson leads students through art projects, music, dance, and folk tales. “There is validity in art and just expressing themselves,” she said.

Local librarian Amy Olson leads students through art projects, music, dance, and folk tales. “There is validity in art and just expressing themselves,” she said.In one exercise, the children practiced a particular artist’s style by putting pencil to paper for a continual design, and then filled in with color. “Most of them came from some type of refugee camp or had some kind of trauma. They’ve had no school or it was interrupted as they had to move,” said Dana Adams, Beaumont Middle’s Youth Services Center coordinator. One day in the reading session, the middle schoolers studied plot and characterization. Maria Wertzler from Southern Middle, who teaches life skills, guided the students in making smoothies as she explained the ingredients’ nutritional value.They added honey and other ingredients to personalize their recipe.

A summer program designed for newcomers has brightened the break for about three dozen K-12 students. “Most of them came from some type of refugee camp or had some kind of trauma. They’ve had no school or it was interrupted as they had to move,” said organizer Dana Adams, Beaumont Middle’s Youth Services Center coordinator. “I wanted to build a supportive community so the students could share common experiences.”

Besides Beaumont, the students – who are mostly from the Congo – attend Cardinal Valley and James Lane Allen elementaries, Leestown Middle and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. Adams has set up the 10-day program much like a regular school setting, with the children divided into three age groups. The academic lessons focus on English, reading, math and computer skills; the youngsters also tackle life skills and art. After lunch, the energetic groups play basketball or soccer outdoors. They will also visit the Louisville Zoo on July 1. “There the language barrier doesn’t matter,” Adams noted. “Everyone knows an animal.”

Beaumont was one of several school sites to receive a Newcomer Refugee Grant this summer. Kentucky Refugee Ministries helped Adams plan the program because its staffers know and mentor these students throughout the year. She also recruited several teachers from the participating schools as well as Maria Wertzler from Southern Middle, who teaches life skills. “Even though they don’t (all) speak English, they’re following what the others are doing,” Adams said after the youngsters mastered mini pizzas. “They seem to love it as they kind of follow along.”

On another day, Wertzler guided the students in making tasty smoothies as she explained the ingredients’ nutritional value, such as yogurt being a protein and a dairy. She also covers hygiene, skin care and housekeeping, and occasionally introduces students to such technologies as microwave ovens and blenders. “It gives them new skills they need to function. They’re learning, and they’re excited,” Wertzler said. “They can be independent and now have ‘tools in their toolbox’ to help them in life.”

Meanwhile down the hall, local librarian Amy Olson leads students through art projects, music, dance, and folk tales. She also uses these sessions to encourage cooperation and sharing. In one exercise, the children practiced a particular artist’s style by putting pencil to paper for a continual design, and then filled in with color. “They tried to find a feeling or sentiment inside the lines,” Olson explained. “There is validity in art and just expressing themselves,” she added, recalling how one student previously drew a helicopter with paratrooper. 

At the program’s midpoint, Adams was pleased with the students’ participation and attitudes. “Putting the five schools together helped keep them engaged and active in their academics and alleviate the (summer) learning loss,” she said. The students have also had opportunities to interact and socialize on the bus and during lunchtime. “They’re already building relationships, which is huge.”

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Article about Bilingual BoogieBeats February 8, 2012

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 7:38 pm

Bilingual storyteller enhances preschool’s sing time

 http://www.fcps.net/news/features/2011-12/bilingual-beats

Author: Tammy Lane • First Posted: Thursday, February 02, 2012

Music, motions and movement intrigue children in Jennifer Nagle’s Early Start classes and even more so now that they sing in both English and Spanish.

Thanks to a mini grant from the Blue Grass Community Foundation, a bilingual storyteller expands the preschoolers’ sing time with myriad rhythms and rhymes, patterns and lyrics.

“It’s a fun way for them to develop language and their literacy skills,” said visiting artist Amy Olson, who leads “Bilingual BoogieBeats” at James Lane Allen Elementary.

From “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, she holds the kids’ attention throughout each half-hour session. Her approach weaves in grammar lessons, counting, fresh vocabulary and elements of story sequence using familiar tunes and new songs they quickly memorize.

“It’s all tied in,” said Olson, who brings along a bag of soft puppets, illustrated pop-up books and simple shaker instruments. “I try to do it through an imaginative way so they’re enjoying it.”

Nagle was among 16 teachers in Fayette County Public Schools to receive mini grants this year. Her proposal grew out of a desire for students to develop basic music skills as well as bond with each other since her two classes include preschoolers with disabilities and Hispanic children just learning English.

“I’ve picked up some songs I love that I’ve incorporated into daily story times,” Nagle said. “If I can sing some songs in Spanish, it makes them feel better and feel more comfortable here.”

Olson, who will visit every other week for a while and then weekly in May, agreed that “Bilingual BoogieBeats” can bridge gaps among diverse students.

“They’re able to explore the social aspect of being in the classroom together. It makes them stretch their boundaries as well,” she said. “Kids pick things up very early. The earlier they hear something different than what they’re comfortable with, the more comfortable they are and the more excited. It’s a good way to expose kids to other cultures and other experiences.”

Nagle thinks the musical story time will also help her youngsters learn to focus and pay close attention to instruction.

“Especially at this age, they love music and songs that involve finger play and anything that keeps them active and moving. When their body’s moving, they really think about it and remember it better,” she said.

“You never know what’s going to appeal to certain children,” Nagle added. “Some love to sit down and read; others love the music. I just try to give them as many experiences as I can.”

 

Celebrating Cuentos: Promoting Latino Children’s Literature and Literacy in Classrooms and Libraries January 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Morpho Literacy @ 4:46 pm

The textbook is finally out.  Perhaps some of your public libraries are carrying it – or maybe some should (hint hint).

I was lucky enough to get two chapters published:  “Bilingual Music Programming and Preliteracy” and “Breaking through Cultural Barriers: Using Latin American Folktales in Literacy and Library Programming”.

On the cool side of things, too, is that my brother, Drew Noffsinger, created some drawings for the folktale chapter and my cousin, Dr. Robert Ream, has a chapter in this book as well.

You can read the chapters I wrote by following the links on this blog.

 

Latino Celebrations / Celebraciones Latinos

Filed under: Latino Holidays You Might Want to Plan For..... — Morpho Literacy @ 2:58 am

Day of the Three Kings / Día de los Tres Reyes — January 6th

Carnival / Samana Santa  — the week prior to Easter

Easter / Pascua

Day of the Child / Día de los Niños — April 30th

The Day of the Dead / Día de los Muertos — October 31st – November 2nd

Las Posadas — December 16-24th

Christmas / Navidad – December 25th

 

Bilingual BoogieBeats / BoogieBeats bilingüe January 6, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 2:57 pm

Wiggle like a penguin, drive a fire truck, ride a horse named Joe……Children will use their imagination, dance and play rhythmic instruments while singing songs in English and Spanish.  BoogieBeats has been featured in the KET Art to Heart Program, The Herald Leader, and La Voz.   This is appropriate for children ages 0-4 and Head Start/Early Start programs and works best when parents and/or caregivers are able to attend and participate as well.

(more…)

 

Musical Bilingual Storytime / Tiempo de cuentos con música (bilingüe) January 5, 2011

Filed under: Bilingual Programming for Children — Morpho Literacy @ 10:29 am

Storytimes are taken to a new level….incorporating music with the physical storybook.  These tales and music are performed bilingually; kids will really enjoy this multicultural experience.  If you have specific books you would like to have incorporated into this program that, too, is possible.  This program may be adjusted for any age group and can accommodate larger groups as well. (more…)

 

Confetti Eggs / Cascarones

Filed under: Uncategorized — Morpho Literacy @ 8:31 am

Cascarones are decorated hollowed-out chicken eggs filled with paper confetti.  They are popular fun throughout Latin America and great fun to make and ahem, smash on people’s heads during any festive celebration.