February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

News Bites: Apply for ALSC Día Mini-Grants by February 1


Día grants: The February 1 deadline to apply for twelve $5,000 mini-grants to help libraries incorporate Día into their programs is fast approaching. The mini-grants, part of the Association for Library Service to Children’s (ALSC) Everyone Reads @ your library grant, are funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and are intended to help libraries start a Día Family Book Club Program. These awards will be given ‘to libraries that demonstrate a need to better address the diverse backgrounds within their communities.” In addition, ALSC will be able to use funds from these grants to create a Día Family Book Club Toolkit that libraries can easily access. Be sure to check out requirements and complete the application soon.

Día is “a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures.”

Author Lauren Oliver

You Have to Be in It…

YA writing contest: HarperCollins and Figment are sponsoring a young adult writing contest, and bestselling author Lauren Oliver (“Delirium” series) will be the judge. The contest’s theme is “Write a story in which love is dangerous,” and it’s open to 13 to 21 year olds. To enter, aspiring authors must visit www.figment.com (“a community where you can share your writing, connect with other people who love to read, and discover new stories and authors”) and register for free. They should post an original story of no more than 1,500 words by clicking “Publish Now.”

Entries will be judged based on quality, creativity, and relevance to the theme. All stories must be submitted by March 3, and one grand prize winner will be selected by May 1. The winner will receive airfare for two to New York and two nights in a hotel, a day at HarperCollins, have the piece published on Teen.com: a “teen and tween website and source for celebrity and entertainment news, freebies and giveaways, exclusive video interviews, red carpet style, TV recaps, movie reviews, new music, and funny viral videos,” and be offered a one-year unpaid columnist position with Teen.com.

Tech Award: If you are a media specialist in a primary or secondary school and have teamed up with a teacher to plan and execute a great collaborative project involving technology, you have until February 28 to apply for the SIGMS (Special Interest Group for Media Specialists) Tech Innovation Award. SIGMS is the special interest group for school library media specialists within ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education). Make sure to check out the rules and the nomination form. Entrants must describe the collaborative technology innovation project, explain how the administration supported the project’s objectives, describe how the project could be expanded or improved in the future, and provide data collected on the impact of the project. Winners will receive complimentary registration and a traveling stipend to ISTE’s annual conference, $1,000 for the school media center, a $300 professional library, and more.

Nature writing contest: Big Universe is sponsoring a Nature Writing Contest for K–8 students in schools that subscribe to the company’s ebook reading, writing, and sharing platform. The focus of the contest is on the Common Core Literacy Writing and Literacy Language Standards. According to Big Universe, its “literacy website provides a ready-made library of cross-disciplinary informational and literary leveled texts from today’s best publishers with tools for self-publishing, sharing, assessment, and account management.” One of the aspects of the platform is an online writing and publishing tool—and that’s what students must use to enter the contest. Kids must create a book of no more than 200 words that includes some aspect of nature using the authoring tool on the company’s WRITE section. Entries are published to the teacher’s account for review and submission. All entries must be submitted by February 28 and will be accepted in three age groups: grades K–2, 3–5, and 6–8. A winner for each bracket will be announced on March 15, and their books will be published on the Big Universe website.

Sweepstakes tech package: The CDW-G and Discovery Education’s 2013 Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes is open to employees of accredited public, private, and parochial schools. Between now and May 3, participants can enter once every day to win some great technology for their schools: an Epson projector, a Xerox multifunction printer, or a Sony Notebook computer—or one of two grand prizes consisting of 20 notebooks or tablets, an interactive white board, three wireless access points, a notebook cart, a document camera, student response systems, and a printer from CDW-G as well as a $5,000 digital media grant from Discovery Education. The grand prize winners will be randomly drawn by May 9 from all eligible entries made during the entire term of the contest. Be sure to check out all the rules and go to the Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes page and click on the Enter to Win button. Educators can find out more about the sweepstakes by following Win a Wireless Lab on Pinterest, @WinWirelessLab on Twitter, or Facebook.

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

Phyllis Mandell was Managing Editor/Multimedia Review Editor for SLJ.