Archive for the ‘ Literacy ’ Category

Recently, I have visited two wonderful elementary After School Programs (ASP) in Dania Beach, with my Reading, Writing and Geography Program. If you’re not familiar with ASP, this Florida grant-based, non-profit organization provides excellent on-site After School Programs in Broward, Miami-Dade, Collier and Orange Counties to more than 10,000 children.

Dania Beach Elementary


Rainforest beetles are so colorful and fascinating!


Leafcutter ants are among the world’s most fascinating creatures!


The magic of watercolor pencils always inspires the children.

Collins Elementary


Learning about the many ways real life experiences inspire fiction writing


No one can resist the rainbow of colors in my watercolor pencil collection.


All children love giant maps, and geography learning is so important!

I wish to thank Janeka Fleurejuste for inviting me to visit these schools and site Directors Renee Lewis and Betty Pierre as well as the staff members who so graciously welcomed me and assisted me with setting up.

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37 Days Left

There are 37 days left of my Lilly Badilly Literacy Project. Let’s make it happen!

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Our IndieGogo campaign is up to 220 free books for kids! Thank you for your generous support! Please like our Facebook page.

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We’ve raised over $1,000 on the IndieGogo campaign! Also, my article was posted about the Lilly Badilly Literacy Project on Wandering Educators. You can read it here.

If you want to learn more about literacy rates in your state and county, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website.


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I was invited to attend my 4th Liberty park Elementary Literacy Night event last week on my birthday! Yahoo! How I adore that school! Who wouldn’t? It is a beautiful place with the most spectacular library, friendly teachers and staff and the BEST elementary music program in South Florida. I can’t say enough about how lucky the students are who attend Liberty Park Elementary. They are loved and educated in a way that every child in the world deserves to be.


How welcoming is that?!?! Ms. Oliva made that sign for me!

I send a giant thank you to the most friendly Principal, Joseph Schneider, who actually observed part of my presentation, something few principals do! Also I want to thank music teacher, Judy Christodulides, who goes out of her way to make sure my presentation goes smoothly and does her absolute best to promote my book. Her music room is bar far the best I’ve ever seen in any elementary school – public or private. And she teaches music with such enthusiasm, that it is really extraordinary. And last but not least, I thank reading teacher and Literacy Night coordinator, Michaelina Oliva, for inviting me to the school year after year and making me feel like a celebrity!

Check out this gorgeous display of books in the library

Mrs. Christodulides poster in the music room encouraging kids to try harder

Two really smart brothers who knew a lot of the answers to my rain forest questions

Some Lilly Badilly groupies and helpers!

Music teacher Judy Christodulides, a big Lilly Badilly fan

Lilly and Michaelina Oliva

Birthday celebration when I got home from the author visit. Yes I ate almost the whole cake!

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Smart Poodle Publishing strives to promote children’s literacy programs and young talent. So you may remember that in October, 2009, we interviewed inspiring young writer/entrepreneur, Dallas Woodburn. Her organization, Write On! For Literacy has helped more than 3,000 kids with self-expression through literacy and publishing programs They have visited 65 classrooms and have distributed close to 12,000 donated books to underprivileged children through their Holiday Book Drive.

Write On! Books Publishing Company, founded in 2010 as an offshoot to Write On! For Literacy, just announced the release of its debut anthology. Dancing with the Pen features stories, poems, and essays by more than 60 young writers in middle school and high school from across the United States and even abroad: Singapore, Canada, and New Zealand. How exciting that must be for young students to see their works published!


Dallas explained, “Dancing with the Pen is a book for young writers, young readers, and the young at heart. Even if you are not normally a big reader, this book is still for you. Maybe you’ll recognize yourself in these pages. Maybe you’ll even be inspired to pick up a pen, step out on the dance floor, and go for a whirl yourself!”

Dallas Woodburn, anthology editor, is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories. She has written more than 80 articles and essays for national publications including Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Creative Writing and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Fiction Writing at Purdue University.


Dallas Woodburn during the Write On! Holiday Book Drive

Copies of Dancing With The Pen are available at for $24.95, which includes shipping and handling. Discounted bulk orders are also available. For every copy purchased, a new book will be donated to Write On’s Holiday Book Drive to benefit disadvantaged youth.

Best of luck with the book, Dallas. I can’t wait to read it myself. Your talents and motivation are sure to inspire countless kids and adults alike. The world needs more people like you!

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