April 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Help Rebuild Oklahoma Libraries; Lammys, Ezra Jack Keats Minigrants Presented | News Bites

Rebuild Oklahoma Libraries

capstone logoCapstone in helping young victims affected by the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. The publisher will work with the two schools most affected by the disaster, Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary, to distribute books to rebuild their libraries. For every book that customers purchase through Capstone’s website, the publisher will donate one book to the Moore schools. Those who would like to participate should use the promo code “moorerelief” when placing orders online.

And, there’s another way to help. Through its library division, Capstone Rewards members can donate their points to the school libraries. The company will double the total rewards points accumulated and give them to the schools to order new books. Members should log in to their Capstone Rewards account, redeem points, and email the redemption code to communitygiveing@coughlancompanies.com with the subject line “Moore Recovery Donation.”
Additionally, Capstone is donating more than 750 books for the students affected by the disaster to keep for their home libraries. “Providing children with good books to read is important for re-establishing a sense of normalcy and routine. Helping to provide Moore schools and educators with the books and resources they need to rebuild their fundamental role in the community is so important,” noted Ashley Andersen Zantop, Capstone Group Publisher and General Manager. “We hope our customers and friends join us. Capstone is preparing to send books to these schools as soon as they are ready to receive them.”


ezra jack keats foundationThe Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s Minigrant Program has presented 59 awards to teachers and librarians in 29 states. The grants of up to $500 are given to educators in public schools and libraries for specific programs that “foster the love of learning, enhance creative expression, and optimize interaction between educator and students.” Bad River Public Tribal Library in Odanah, Wisconsin, received a grant for a program designed to teach children and young adults about the Ojibwe culture by designing and making their own traditional dance outfits. Creekside Elementary in Boulder, Colorado, will use their funding to have fifth graders work with kindergarten and first grade students to make applehead dolls and create a fictional narrative about each doll.

“Reflecting on the past 25 years of the Ezra Jack Keats Minigrant Program gives us great pride and satisfaction, knowing that we have directly supported so many extraordinary teachers and librarians,” said Deborah Pope, Executive Director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “In an environment where educators have increasingly limited resources, we applaud those who have reached beyond the basic curriculum to create programs that inspire and encourage students in a creative and cooperative context.”

Database Update

world almanac for kids onlineThe World Almanac for Kids Online has been relaunched by Infobase Learning to include a new streamlined interface and new content. The database goes beyond the print edition, featuring online-only content as well as Chelsea House and Facts On File sets and series that support Common Core standards. Search and browse options have been improved and are more kid-friendly. New sections include “Our Planet Earth,” “Space and Astronomy,” “American History,” and “Holidays and Celebrations”—and new material has been added to existing sections. Plans for the future include new information on the human body, plants, and sports. The “Homework Help” section has been revised to include topics such as resources for student reports and research, test prep, reading maps and time lines, and more. There’s also teacher support with new curricular handouts and iPad-friendly videos.

“By providing a trusted, content-rich, age-appropriate source for homework assignments and online research, The World Almanac for Kids Online serves a vital purpose for elementary and middle school students and their parents and teachers,” said Mark McDonnell, the president and CEO of Infobase Learning. “This site’s engaging material and appealing formats go a long way in getting kids excited about learning and coming back for more.”

25th Annual Lambda Awards Announced

aristotle and danteThe winners of the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced on June 3 at a gala ceremony hosted by comedienne Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City. On the heels of BookExpo America, the “Lammys” ceremony celebrated excellence in LGBT literature and 25 years of the groundbreaking literary awards. Ingrid Abrams, a children’s librarian at Brooklyn Public Library presented the award in the LGBT Children’s/Young Adult category to Benjamin Alire Sáenz for his acclaimed Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (S & S). Finalists included other 2012 SLJ Best Books: A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers, (Little, Brown), David Levithan’s Every Day (Knopf), and emily m. danforth’s The Miseducation of Cameron Post, (HarperCollins).

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Phyllis Levy Mandell About Phyllis Levy Mandell

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



  1. Hello,

    I am an Usborne Books & More Educational Consultant, and I’m pleased to share that our publisher of children’s books – Usborne Books & More – the home office has created an “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” to help the families and children affected by the tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. And also, will work with the official donation branch of the school district in Oklahoma, Moore Public Schools Foundation.

    Many Consultants and Leaders have raised funds by holding Cards For A Cause Fundraisers of which all the donations will go towards directly benefiting the students in the elementary schools destroyed in the storm.

    If you would like to participate in a fundraiser to support the Oklahoma Tornado Relief efforts, select Cards for a Cause Fundraisers. Here’s more information: http://cardsforacausefundraisers.com/?R3769

    Best regards,
    Jerneal Gelfman

    Let connect and grow acquainted!

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