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Tony Sebastiano tonys at educationconnection.org
Tue May 1 15:22:34 EDT 2007

Anyone know how to reach Kylene Beers? She has been working with the
"struggling reader" for some time and is a superb presenter. Thanks

Tony Sebastiano


355 Goshen Road, P.O. Box 909

Litchfield, CT 06759-0909

Phone: (860) 567-0863 x 122

Fax: (860) 567-3381

www.educationconnection.org <http://www.educationconnection.org>


From: technology-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov]
On Behalf Of Mary Jo Meade
Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 1:30 PM
To: The Technology and Literacy Discussion List

Hi Maureen...

I have considered offering excerpts from related books, fiction and
nonfiction, with readings packages This would allow students to "test
drive" additional materials on the same subject. Among the project's
collaborators is a group of teen librarians, who will suggest materials
for further reading. An excerpt from "Out of the Dust" by Karen Hesse
would be great with a readings package on the Dust Bowl, etc.


On Tuesday, May 1, 2007, at 09:30 AM, maureen hoyt wrote:

I think this is a great project!

The CNN site




andthis leveled reading


aresome sites to look at.

Have you considered some fiction/drama/poetry too?

Maureen Hoyt



602-252-6721ext 223

fax: 602-252-2952



-----Original Message-----

From: technology-bounces at nifl.gov
[mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf OfMary Jo Meade

Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 10:09 AM

To: technology at nifl.gov


Hi all...

I am working on a project that will serve struggling adolescent
and adult readers and English Language Learners. Alternative Lens
(working title) will be a digital library containing engaging, visually
lush, content-driven, nonfiction readings packages, each presented at
three or more reading levels and, likely, in Spanish.

I would greatly value the group's input - questions, comments,
suggestions, Valium!!!

(I will put more details about Alternative Lens in a second


PREMISE: Because the most compelling websites, books and
magazines are written for proficient readers, struggling readers are
denied access to the deepest, most fascinating and thought-provoking
stories - precisely the kind of material that can sustain student
motivation to read and learn despite previous failures.

APPROACH: Through collaboration and special agreements,
Alternative Lens will harvest education/outreach materials from
tax-funded and nonprofit entities worldwide and translate the "best of
the best" into themed readings packages on all subjects. Through
journalistic storytelling, thousands of magazine-style, nonfiction
articles will build engagement in older struggling readers while
reinforcing classroom learning and vocabulary. On-demand vocabulary help
will include not only simple word definitions, but also images,
animations and interactives that help cement comprehension.

The goal is to provide this nonprofit library free of charge to
everyone everywhere.



I have been a journalist for 30 years, working as a reporter,
copyeditor, magazine art director, and newspaper graphics editor/art
director. I have spent the last 10 of those years blending journalism
and education, creating learning materials on history, science and the
environment for children and the general public.

In early 2005, I stumbled upon the story of the Kentucky Pack
Horse Librarians ( www.kdla.ky.gov/resources/kypackhorselib.htm ), women
who, riding horses or mules, traveled up rocky creekbeds and muddy
trails in the mountains of rural Kentucky to deliver reading materials
to remote homes and schools. The creative spark for Alternative Lens
came from that Depression-era W.P.A. project. The Web offers a nearly
unlimited supply of great learning materials, but those materials of
greatest interest to adolescents and adults are generally crafted for
proficient readers who have acquired age-appropriate knowledge bases.
Alternative Lens was conceived to blend the skills of journalists and
educators in order to create a deeply engaging learning environment for
the underserved population of older struggling readers.

In the summer of 2005, I was hired as part of a TQE grant at the
University of Colorado/Colorado Springs to develop a pilot science
reader program for middle school English language learners, and most
recently I worked for the English Language Acquisition Unit at Colorado
Department of Education, where we worked to find funding for Alternative
Lens. There is an Institute of Education Sciences grant pending, but I
am continuing to search for startup funding and a permanent home for the
project. I own Limber Pine Learning, a tiny one-person business, but I
will become a cog in the nonprofit Alternative Lens project when it


Mary Jo Meade

Limber Pine Learning / Alternative Lens

2301 Stepping Stones Way

Colorado Springs, CO 80904

719 / 632-3978

limber.pine at earthlink.net

AltLens target constituencies:

* Older struggling readers, middle school through adult

* Low-income language, racial and ethnic minorities

* English language learners

* Older special ed. students

* Disabled adolescents and adults

* Struggling readers in vo-tech programs

* Students in migrant-, family- and workplace-literacy programs

* Students in post-secondary remedial reading/writing programs

* Incarcerated adolescents and adults

Access points:

Alternative Lens will use the Internet for general distribution,
but all readings packages will be available as downloadable pdf files
for classroom use. Select content also will be delivered via CD-ROM and
newsprint readers for constituents without Internet access. AltLens will
rely on the power of printed material in hands, as well as the Internet.

Harvesting existing material for an underserved population:

Most of the resources needed to build the foundation of the
Alternative Lens project already exist, and more harvestable materials
are being created every day. Federal, state, county and municipal taxes
pay for research and discovery, museums and archives, and public
education/outreach materials that serve up text, images, animations,
video, sound, maps, timelines, interactives, step-by-step diagrams, and
an almost boundless supply of primary-source materials, much of it on
the Internet. Partnerships with other developed nations and
education-driven nonprofits worldwide will provide additional
harvestable education/outreach materials.

A partial list of current collaborators:

* National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico

* Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse, Dr. Nancy Shanklin

* National Park Service (national and regional offices)

* U.S. Geological Survey

* National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration / Boulder Labs

* Denver Art Museum

* Colorado Division of Wildlife

* Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy

* University of Colorado/Colorado Springs' College of
Engineering and Applied Science

From a letter of support for Alternative Lens:

"Your work will be of great interest and assistance to literacy
coaches and teachers as they work to help students develop reading
skills that will apply across all content areas. Access to content
resources that are written for students' various reading levels and of
high interest are important to students' continued literacy development
and success. Your ideas for this intervention are both exciting and
excellently conceived."

Dr. Nancy Shanklin / Director

Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse - www.literacycoachingonline.org

University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

School of Education and Human Development

The Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse is joint project of the
International Reading Association - www.reading.org - and the National
Council of the Teachers of English - www.literacycoachingonline.org


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