On a Mission to Read and Research: Writers and Teachers Alike

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About this time last year, ReFoReMo rolled out the red carpet and welcomed over 400 interested picture book writers to join in a research mission: To read and research picture books every day in March. Many met this challenge and others made a hearty effort by creating the habit of reading regularly to study the elements of writing craft.

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I recently read an amazing article written by Donalyn Miller of The Nerdy Book Club. In the article, Donalyn says:

“Children’s reading lives should not depend on their luck in getting a teacher who knows about books or a school with a librarian. All children deserve these opportunities. Every year.”

As a former elementary teacher who did get her hands on all the most recent releases for kids, I really relate to Donalyn’s message. I also felt the pressure from the state to leave my agenda behind and focus on testing. And testing practice. And constant assessment. There was little time left for us to read and learn from stories. Every necessary goal could have started with a picture book and grown into an appropriate lesson.

So, in an effort to reach more educators, I’d like to extend an inclusive invitation to all educators for our second annual ReFoReMo, or Reading for Research Month. While it’s true that our target audience is the picture book writer, aren’t you also trying to teach kids to write? Wouldn’t you benefit from learning about the most recent picture book releases and what they can teach? All it takes is one leader, the teacher, to start a voyage.

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When I think about it, Donalyn’s wise words apply to writers, too. Writers deserve the eye-opening education that a picture book offers. Writers should join together as a community to learn and help one another. Writers should not rely on luck. It takes hard work to learn this craft. In order to do what is needed, we need to get our hands on books, too!

So, let’s journey together! ReFoReMo 2016 Registration opens February 15.

What’s your research goal this year?

 

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