Thursday, April 26, 2012 No comments
"Germs and disease don't need passports." Former First Lady and Vaccination Advocate, Rosaylnn Carter
"All mothers, no matter where they live, share a common bond." Anne Geddes, photographer and artist
These two women support Shot@Life and so do I! But who else? Andrew Young, human rights advocate and walking history book! Who else? my colleague Emily, my friend Shelly, my husband, my neighbors. Who else? my husband's coworkers, a stranger at East Cobb Park, and thousands more....

Today we celebrated the launch of the United Nation's Foundation SHOT@LIFE campaign at the Georgia Aquarium. This is global vaccination week and Shot@Life is worth celebrating!

How did I spend my day?
 Celebrating being part of the Shot@Life toolkit!
Sharing Pinky Power with friends from RESULTS and children from the Atlanta area!
Why Pinky Power? Children in countries like Mozambique receive a painted pinky after they are vaccinated. 
Learn more at Shot@Life

Support the world's children. 

Small Moments

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 No comments
In first grade, we teach a whole unit on writing about small moments. We read one of my all time favorite books, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. (You can listen to it online for FREE at StoryLine. Click pic to go straight there!) Moms- you want this book! 
The story is about a little boy who spends time at a nursing home. He finds that one of his favorite friends, Miss Nancy, has lost her memory. He sets out on a journey to find out what memories are and bring them back to her. I cry every time. Why? Because memories come rushing back to me. Memories of my brother.....laughing, jamming to rock music, playing kickball with us. Memories of my sister.....hugging me tight, helping me getting ready, calling just because. Memories are warm, they are sad, they make you laugh, they are long ago and they are precious, just like the story says. Memories of the day my little guy was born, the day he said mommy, the face he makes when he puckers up. Memories are as precious as gold. 

Every child deserves a shot at making memories. 

Come learn more at Shot@Life. Join the movement! Sign the pledge! Global vaccinations save lives and allow families around the world to make more memories!

Join us on Twitter this Thursday from 9-12 as we make a few memories of our own! @Lyssareads #vaccineswork

In Pictures...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 No comments
Shot@Life Champion smiling and thankful for this beautiful day with friends!
April 14th~Shot@Life Playdates

Learn more.... (and gift card giveaway!)
Photo Sign up (Thanks Erin Sonderman Photography!)
Personalized thank you pops
Shot@Life cookies
He loved seeing his friends and making new ones!
Daddy did, too!
Shot at family trips, sports, and playdates! This allstar is one of my favorite people on the planet!
T tells the world he wants children to have a Shot@LETTERS! 
Our youngest supporter! (Isn't he yumalicious!)
I love, love, love Shelly! This mom and wonderwoman wants children to have a shot at a worry free childhood!
Good one!

Visit Shot@Life today!


Playdate-that is my little sister's least favorite word in the universe. She says it is yuppie, irritating, and way overused. She may be right. If you agree with my sweet T, please pretend for a moment that you LOVE playdates and walk this walk with me....

When N and I visited India, we loved it!  We visited big cities and rural areas. The entire country is full of beauty and history, culture and pride. The other side of that world of wonder is poverty. It can't be ignored. The living conditions in some areas, the begging on the streets, and medical care. Oh the medical care...we, unfortunately, experienced rural medical care firsthand. N survived. I guess that is all that matters. Two years later though, I can still picture those children, sitting outside McDonald's (yep-India has McDonald's) begging for rupees. I can see the little boy, probably 7 years old begging me nonstop to purchase his wares. He was skin and bones, literally. If he can't afford food, he can't afford vaccinations.

The United Nations Foundation has a new campaign....Shot@Life. The campaign is a movement. A movement to protect children worldwide by providing life saving vaccines where they are needed most. India is one of those places.

A child dies every 20 seconds

Pneumonia and diarrhea are the two biggest killers of children under five, and account for more than one-third of childhood deaths worldwide.

This year, 1.7 million children will die from diseases that have all but disappeared in the U.S. Why? Because one in five children around the world do not have access to the life-saving immunizations needed to survive.

One in five children lacks access to the life-saving immunizations that help keep children in the U.S. healthy. Without vaccines, children have no protection against many deadly diseases.

Seventy-five percent of unvaccinated children live in just 10 countries. For children in India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, China, Uganda, Chad and Kenya, access to vaccines mean the difference between life and death, a healthy life or a lifetime of struggle.  

It’s simple; vaccines save lives.

To spread the word and share the love, I held a playdate. Because I want children around the world to have a shot at playdates. 
I invited friends with children, friends with pets, friends with hearts, to join me at the park to learn more and PLAY! Each family made a $20 (or more!) donation to Shot@Life. Why $20? $20 vaccinates a child for LIFE! My friends at Erin Sonderman Photography volunteered to photograph the event and share the pictures (at no cost) to the families. They are awesome and as you can see, their work is amazing! 
We raised almost $500 through online donations and in person donations. We are saving 25 children. We are giving children a shot at life! Click here to make your donation! Click here to visit Shot@Life!  Click here to visit Erin Sonderman Photography! Click here to, well, I don't have any more clicks. :)

What do you want to give a child a shot at? Seriously, leave a comment..............


Free Guided Reading Books A-E

Monday, April 9, 2012 1 comment
Wow! I have stumbled upon an awesome resource and I must share! Our friends at Burkins & Yaris share books (levels A-E) for small group reading--for free! There are five online now. 

These are perfect to use on an iPad! You click the arrow on either side to turn pages. The text is very K-1 friendly and the pictures are AMAZING! (click pic to visit site)
For fear of sounding like an infomercial....WAIT! There's more!
The books are printable, too! Aaaah! These super geniuses even thought about teachers and paper issues and made four pages on one! Love, love, love! 

Here is what Think Books has to say about the books and the freeness...
"Each Think Book is available free as a flipbook. The flipbooks do not require flash and work on tablets, iPads, Kindles, etc. Below the flipbooks, you will find a PDF/booklet version for each title, which we invite you to print, copy, and share widely!
The Think Books Project seeks 1) to help people fall in love with great  picture books,  2) to lift the level of illustration in books for very-beginning readers, 3) to increase the thinking opportunities of very-beginning readers by connecting their texts to great picture books,  and 4) to encourage teachers and parents to read picture books aloud to children A LOT." 

Sounds like we will get along just fine Think Books! Check them out and pass it along!

Let me know what you think! 

My Granny Reads

Friday, April 6, 2012 2 comments
My Granny will be 93 later this year. She is one of the smartest women I know. She is funny in the most serious way (that's where I get it) and full of life. Until recently, she traveled more than I do, went out to eat at least once a week, and reads like nobody's business. She loves the newspaper and watching the news. 
We walked to her house tonight and interrupted her....reading. My Granny reads. In looking back, she always has. I remember waking up at her house (to the smell of grits, eggs, homemade pancakes, waffles, bacon and sausage-yes both) and seeing her sitting in the kitchen reading her Bible or church literature. 
I remember her solving word puzzles and reading the paper, Christian romance novels (yes there is such a thing,) and magazines. 
She is smart. She wouldn't tell you that, but she is. I chatted with her tonight about her reading life. 

 What is your favorite book? The Bible.
When did you learn to read? In school, but I didn't have all the books. See you had to buy the books and we didn't have money for such as that. This one girl did but she didn't know anything. Her pa was a German and did all of her work. My teacher learned that one day when she put an arithmetic problem on the board. She went up there and couldn't do nothin. I remember that. I still don't pronounce all the words right but I enjoy it.
Did you like school? Oh yeah. We all did. My pa built what we called the bus. It had a burlap shade. We pulled it down in the winter and in the spring we rolled it up. It was full of people. It took about an hour or maybe an hour and half to get to school. My teachers taught all the grades. 
Did you have books at home when you were little? No and we couldn't see no way. We had a fireplace and kerosene lamps. You couldn't see good. 
Did you have a lot of homework? Yeah, more than your Daddy did when he was in school. We had all his books though. I had one problem that was so hard. My pa couldn't do it, Sister couldn't do it. I sat there and worked at it until I did it. They kept a asking me how I did that. I just did. It was division, a long one too.
Did Dad pitch a fit about doing homework or reading? No. He just did it.
What are you reading now? A book about the old days. I just don't want to stop it (said with an almost guilty little smile!) I'm on chapter 29. It's about the way things used to be you know. 
My Granny reads every day. 
My Dad is a reader, too. He is a big fan of the Bathroom Readers.
My Mom is a reader. She loves novels and magazines. 
My sister T is a voracious reader. She loves mysteries and drama. 
My niece A is a reader. She is "reading chapter books Aunt Wewa!"
I am a reader. Kid lit is my first choice (not chapter books!)
T will be a reader one day, too.
My Granny loves us so much. I love her more. More to come...

Visit the Aquarium, Support a Cause!

Thursday, April 5, 2012 No comments
Are you in Atlanta? Do you like the Aquarium? Do you like learning about children around the world? Yes? Well, I have the event for you!!

Shot@Life Launch Party!
April 26th
Free admission
Snacks, games, and lots of photos

Bring the kids! Woo hoo! 

Join me, moms, dads, children, teachers, doctors, business leaders, and dolphins to learn more about the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Campaign!

Several of you will already be attending the playdate with Turner and I on the 14th, but this is the BIG LAUNCH! Can you believe it is right here in the ATL? So exciting! 
Click here to RSVP by April 17th! I hope to see you there! 

Visit, too!

Can't make it, but want to help? Click here to donate! Any amount will help! $20 vaccinates a child for life! 

Questions? Let me know! 

Pigeon Lovin'

Wednesday, April 4, 2012 2 comments
I declared my love of the Pigeon years ago. I love reading Mo Willems' Pigeon books (and Piggie and Elephant AND Knuffle Bunny, too!) to my first graders with rave reviews time after time after time. I even wrote a little post about it here. I love sharing the books with colleagues, too. I love spreading the Pigeon love! 
But now my Pigeon love has been taken to a whole new level. My little guy is a Pigeon guy!!! I mean, I hoped this day would come, but so soon? I wasn't ready! 
All is right in the world. I'm serious. The dark clouds have cleared, the skies are blue, my kid is going to be funny, he is going to be a reader, a lover of words and stories, an artist, a dreamer, a bird watcher, well-you get the idea!

Have you picked up the latest Pigeon book? Ours should be here tomorrow! Duckling Gets a Cookie (don't let that title fool ya!) If you want to be super cool, pick it up at a local bookstore! We love Little Shop of Stories

Does/did your little one have a favorite book? 


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