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Category: Interviews

Gary Paulsen: 175 books and still going strong

Gary Paulsen is one of America’s most popular writers for young people. After running away from home at the age of fourteen and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adventure. A youthful summer of rigorous chores on a farm; jobs as an engineer, construction worker, ranch hand, truck driver and sailor; and [...]

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Stacy Ratner: founder of the Chicago literacy venture Open Books

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that operates a bookstore, provides community programs and mobilizes volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond. Founder Stacy Ratner has degrees in law and literature and experience in taking three startup companies from idea through to a combined total of $30 million in committed venture funding. Since [...]

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Carol Fitzgerald: Teens know what to read at teenreads.com

Carol Fitzgerald is co-founder and president of the popular teen-books website Teenreads.com, which offers teens everything from book reviews and author information to contests. Founded in 1997 as part of the Book Report Network, it draws 300,000 visitors per month. Q: How would you describe Teenreads in a nutshell? A: Teenreads.com offers teen readers—and anyone [...]

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Linda M. Gojak on youth and math

Linda M. Gojak is president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, http://www.nctm.org. Q: How would you sum up math knowledge among kids in North America today? A: International studies show that we’re not competitive with the top countries in the world, but you have to be careful when you look at international comparisons, [...]

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Dr. Gerald Wheeler on youth and science

Dr. Wheeler is the interim executive director of the National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org), the world’s largest professional organization representing science educators of all grade levels. He served as the executive director of NSTA for 13 years, retiring from the association in August 2008. Wheeler has also been involved in the creation of 3-2-1 Contact [...]

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Jennifer Larkin: Middle schoolers review and interview authors

Jennifer Larkin is a high-energy teacher at Ellington Middle School in Ellington, Connecticut. She has founded a successful blog through which her students review young-adult fiction and interview authors. Check it out at http://blogs.ellingtonschools.org/larkin/ Q: When did you start up your blog? A: We started the blog in April of 2009. Q: What inspired you? [...]

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Eric Snow: Getting “Top D.O.G.” dads to help out at school

Eric Snow is national director of Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students — www.fathers.com/watchdogs), a program focusing on education and safety in children’s schools by using the positive influence of fathers and father-figures. The volunteers demonstrate by their presence that education is important, and provide extra sets of eyes and ears to enhance school security and reduce [...]

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Yolanda Eddins: Detroit’s Parent Network: From homework kits to a library

Wouldn’t it be nice if every community had an organization that pulled out all the stops to support local parents and education, including youth literacy? Since Detroit is a shining example of a city with just such an entity, we chose this month to interview Yolanda Eddins, Senior Director of Parent Development and Training at [...]

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Bryan G. Nelson: Why schools need more male teachers

Bryan G. Nelson has worked with young children, men, fathers and families since the 1980s. He is founding director of www.MenTeach.org and serves as faculty at Metropolitan State University in Minnesota. He is also a co-facilitator of the World Forum’s Men in Early Childhood Education project. He has received various awards including a fellowship to [...]

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Holly Zwerling: The Fatherhood Reading Squad

Holly Zwerling is founder of the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida, which includes an initiative called the Fatherhood Reading Squad. A marriage and family therapist and clinical social worker, Zwerling has spent thirty years working in parent education and community organization. She has been recognized by the Children’s Trust of Miami for her dedication [...]

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