Category Archives: Feedback

Who, What, Where, When, Why magazines for literacy?

At MagazineLiteracy.org, we love to celebrate the amazing work being done at the literacy agencies that help us to get the magazines you love into the hands, hearts, and homes of children and families who want to learn and love to read them. Books are vital for reading and literacy, but here are some stories that explain why new and recycled magazines are so special. Here is some compelling feedback from the Sojourner House transitional housing program in Roxbury, Massachusetts:

Katie,

Thank you so much for the service you provide to the children and their parents here at Sojourner House. The families love receiving magazines from you each month. Many of the school-aged children are overwhelmed by books because of their length, as well as the lack of pictures. The magazines that you bring each month provide a way for the children, who otherwise would not read, to be engaged in reading, which is so crucial in their ability to do well in school. They love having colored pictures to go along with what they’re reading. One of the boys at the shelter loves to draw characters from some of the comic books you bring, and he writes stories to go along with his drawings. I am thrilled that his love of reading comics has given him the desire to use his imagination and write his own stories.

The younger children love the magazines as well. The magazines you bring to the shelter, such as High Five, contain short stories that the child and an adult can read together, which encourages parent-child bonding and is so important for a young child’s growth. One of the girls at the shelter loves to do the activities, such as “Hidden Pictures.” She brings a magazine with her when she goes out, which gives her something engaging to do in the car. I’m confident that it’s helping her build skills that will help her once she begins school.

Not only are the magazines you bring us each month beneficial to the children, but the consumer magazines give the parents something to do, which they really appreciate. One of the parents showed me an article she read about healthy eating that she wanted to share with her teenage daughter. The consumer and teen magazines have many great articles that are very relevant to the lives of the guests who live at the shelter.

Once again, thank you for your encouragement of literacy at the shelter. I hope you will continue to bring magazines to various places that are in need of magazines, including our shelter.

Brenda German
Child Advocate
Sojourner House

And from the Boston Family Shelter

Since Katie started dropping off magazines to our shelter the children really enjoy reading the magazines. When Katie stops by the shelter and drops off the magazines I put labels on them with the child’s name on them to make the magazine personalized. Katie – thank you for the labels. All the children love the magazines. Even though some of the children have moved into housing they still come back to the shelter to look for the magazines.

Anthony is a 9 year old third grade boy that resides at the Boston Family Shelter. He was in the shelter for about 2 years. Anthony has been reading below grade level for the past 2 years. He is an excellent reader – he just can not comprehend what he reads.

The first day Anthony received his magazine he said, “Wow!” “Cool!” He began to start reading as soon as he picked the magazine. I was so surprised to see him reading, because he always told me how much he hates to read. About two days later, Anthony told me how he would read his magazine at school during quiet time, and he would let his friends read the magazines also.  Anthony reads to his 3 year old sister Jade more often, and now he is comfortable reading out loud.

The magazines have given Anthony more confidence. Before the magazines Anthony would skip over words instead of sounding them out. Now, when he reads, he sounds out the words. Even though Anthony is going to summer school, his reading grade level for the last term went from a D to a B+. That is a great improvement.

Anthony’s mother is extremely happy to see he is finally starting to read. Sometimes it is still hard to get him to read a book. When Anthony goes to the library, he takes out magazines.

This new beginning is a absolutely amazing for Anthony. We hope Anthony will continue to improve the next school year.  We at the Boston Family Shelter would like to thank Katie and all organizations that donate magazines to our shelter.

And another from the West End House Boys & Girls Club

Hi Katie,

I just wanted to drop you a line & thank you so very much for the continuing donations of great magazines to our Club!

There is tremendous variety, great content & lots of fun for the kids who enjoy them here & I have used them both as the focus of different programs & as supplemental backdrop for general literacy.

Since you began bringing us magazines for different age groups, they can be found on every floor in the building & in every program-area of the Club.

The medium of “magazine is an interesting way of engaging kids in reading and learning. Somehow it’s non-threatening to pick up, with no obligation to finish, & you look cool while browsing & smart if you’re deeply involved in an article. Also easy to share – I’ve repeatedly seen kids call out to their friends to “come check this out!” and soon there is a circle of young people all wanting to see!

Thanks for your dedication to the kids here at the West End House Boys & Girls Club & we all look forward to the next “drop”!

Happiness and Hope for a Boy Learning to Read

A teacher wrote me today about a boy helped by MagazineLiteracy.org. It’s a precious story about the human spirit, and about helping, happiness, and hope that cannot hold a pricetag.

Magazines from our program arrived at this teacher’s school for her students, but she asked the kids to leave them at school until the next day when they could take them home. One of the children pleaded to take the copy home if he promised to bring it back the next day. He just couldn’t put the magazine down. Of course, she said yes! The boy took the magazine home and the next day came and told the teacher about all the things he had read – cover to cover.

I remember my own childhood days spent reading magazines, cover to cover, and how I learned so much, and had so much joy. With your help, our program spreads the same joy to many children. We are feeding children hungry to read so they may have a better life now and later, and so their own children will have a better life.

So thank you for your interest in our program and generous support and for reaching out to others.

Godspeed to you and yours this holiday season.

Parents Praise Project

One of the most important goals of the Magazine Publishers Family Literacy Project is to promote family literacy – to help children and families experience and enjoy reading together. We are so glad to have the opportunity to bring literacy agents and generous sponsors together to help kids and families. Here’s what parents surveyed by one of our community literacy agents have to say…

“My child enjoys the magazine very much. I think it’s wonderful that
they (the sponsors) have provided it for families, and I thank them.”

“My daughter enjoys the articles, so she reads more.”

“We really don’t have a favorite (story/article). They are all good.”

“My son likes to sit down and read the stories over and over again.”

“He shares the magazines with me (the parent) as well as his brothers”

“I feel this is a great resource.”

“The stories are fresh and new. The picture finds are great.”

“Nice magazine with good stories.”

“Thank you, my daughter enjoys the magazine very much.”

“This magazine is very age appropriate. She enjoys the stories very much.”

Spider a Hit at Moraine Meadows Elementary School

Our wonderful teacher/literacy agent at Moraine Meadows Elementary School has provided an inspiring report on how they are using Spider magazine in their classroom. Special thanks to Pretium Partners, Inc. and the Kettering Noon Optimists Club for making these vital reading resources available to their school.

Here’s what she has to say…

…Spider magazine is a big hit with both the kids and the parents! It has been a very successful year of using the magazine. I feel we have reached our goals and objectives by using the magazine.

Thanks for all the work you’ve done to make this happen!

Wanted to let you know that the printable labels to put on the individual magazines are great!! It really personalizes them and gives the kids a great sense of ownership.

When the magazines arrive, we preview them as a class by looking at the table of contents, story titles and discussing what each story may be about. We also predict from story titles and illustrations which stories would be fiction or nonfiction. (all of these stress strategies that good readers use and also what is expected in Ohio’s state standards in language arts) Students may pick a story to read either independently or with a partner. Students then share with others what they picked as their favorite and give a “story advertisement” to the rest of the class to encourage them to read that story.

Some projects we do as a class. Others we read the directions for and
encourage the students to try them at home. Many issues include a game that students might play at indoor recess. Sometimes the magazines are used in small guided reading groups. As a small group, we discuss the different genres found in the magazine. We use
unknown words to practice decoding skills and vocabulary building. Each student finds a word in a particular selection that may be unknown or difficult for them. They then share the word in it’s original sentence and by using context clues, try to figure out the meaning of the unknown word. The magazine is a wonderful teaching resource.

Once we’ve thoroughly explored the magazine at school, the students take it home to enjoy by re-reading, making recipes, playing games or doing projects. This gets the family involved. One class has an extra copy that gets put in the classroom library.

Students frequently go back to those issures to read their favorite
stories. Luckily, our sponsors were able to sponsor a class set of
magazines so every child receives one and no one feels left out. In the future, if a class set is not possible, I might use the magazine with our students who have business tutors that come to school to work with particular students. All the students enjoy having the sense of ownership of the magazine when it arrives. They frequently ask at the beginning of the month if the latest issue has arrived yet.