Special Project Recipients
LLF Michigan Sponsors Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health Dental Project
In celebration of National Reading Month, the Northern Michigan University Center for Rural Health and students currently enrolled in the pre-dental academic track at Northern Michigan University, joined forces to read and engage students in an effort to increase awareness about proper oral hygiene. The project was sponsored by the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan with support from Dr. Carla Skaates (Superior Dental Care), the Upper Peninsula Health Plan (UPHP) and the Delta Dental Foundation.
The project targeted second and third grade students at K.I. Sawyer Elementary in Gwinn, MI, Aspen Ridge Elementary in Ishpeming, MI, and Mather Elementary School in Munising, MI. Approximately 350 elementary students were served by the project. Northern Michigan University pre-dental students received training ahead of time to learn the proper way to read and engage with a young audience. Two to three NMU students visited second and third grade classrooms, read the book Curious George Visits the Dentist, engaged students in oral health trivia and demonstrated proper brushing and flossing techniques. All elementary students received a copy of the book to take home and read. Each book acknowledging the NMU Center for Rural Health, the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan, Superior Dental Care and UPHP. When the QR code is scanned, the reader is connected to a video of the book being read by NMU pre-dental student Anja Erickson. This allows a child to have someone read the book with them. Additionally, thanks to the Delta Dental Foundation, elementary students received an oral health kit consisting of a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a timer and a toothbrush cover.
LLF Michigan Offered Special Funding to Beginning Teachers
Beginning teachers, teaching 5 years or less, received an opportunity to apply for funding to attend the Michigan Reading Association Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, MI on March 17-20, 2023. Funds were made available through LLF Michigan and MEEMIC Insurance Company.
The funding covers reimbursement up to $500 for conference registration, hotel accommodations, and MRA membership. LLF Michigan was pleased to offer five applicants this funding opportunity to broaden their literacy teaching techniques.
Each applicant wrote a 300 word or less essay on how they would implement what they learned at the conference. Multiple Grant readers unanimously chose the top five applicants from the many deserving applications received.
As part of the funding requirements each awardee wrote a summary of their experience. It was clear, as we read each summary, that the conference teachings will have a great impact on the educators students not only this year, but for years to come.
Nicole W. wrote “Having the opportunity to attend the MRA Conference has been an absolute game changer.”
June L. wrote “Thank you for supporting this phenomenal event! You acknowledged the need for all educators to access important events and professional development opportunities ….”
Emmalene S. shared “She attended several seminars at the conference that provided new insights, tips, and strategies to bring back to her classroom.”
Erica K. shared “Attending the MRA conference has provided her with valuable insight into the meaning of literacy, non-conventional ways to promote it within my classroom, as well as sharpening my English language arts skills overall as an educator.”
Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan extended Giving Tuesday to area libraries
LLF Michigan used your generosity to extend Giving Tuesday to a number of Marquette County area rural libraries by donating a special new release hardcover children’s book, “The First Notes: The Story of Do, Re, Mi” written by award-winning actress, singer, and author, Julie Andrews, and daughter, author, Emma Walton Hamilton. The book tells the story of how music was first written so others could learn and share.
Reading, writing, speaking, listening, and thinking are all key components of both literacy & music, which helps us to communicate effectively and to make sense of the world around us.
LLF Michigan chose to donate the First Notes book to five public libraries and five rural libraries in Marquette and Alger Counties.
- Peter White Public Library
- Negaunee Public Library
- Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library
- Forsyth Township Public Library
- Munising School Public Library
- Powell Township School Library
- Superior Central School Library
- AuTrain Onota Public Schools Library
- Burt Township School Library
- Wells Township School Library
Below are a few photos from our library visits. Picture from top left to bottom right are Forsyth Township Public Library, Ishpeming Carnegie Public Library, Peter White Public Library, Negaunee Public Library and Munising School Public Library.
NMU Center for Rural Health Essay Contest.
In celebration of this year’s National Rural Health Day, recognized on November 17th, the NMU Center for Rural Health and the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan partnered to extend an opportunity to all high school seniors who attend school in the UP. High School seniors who are either college or university bound in Fall 2023 and intend to pursue a healthcare career are invited to participate in the essay contest. The essay question: Identify two ways that college and university students can contribute to efforts in any of the five key areas of social determinants of health. (https://nmu.edu/ruralhealth/essay-contest)
SCWBI Your Story Represented Project
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has been awarded Special Project funds to support their Your Story Represented project. This award assists with funding for their first in a series of free presentations to children. Each child will be given a book and an artist notebook. The SCWBI is an organization for children’s book creators. Their mission is to support the creation of an abundance of quality children books so that young people everywhere have the books they need and deserve. They are committed to breaking down barriers and opening doors for everyone with a story to tell. (https://scbwi.org)
Special Correspondence Project / Bertha’s Buddies
Bertha’s Buddies is a special correspondence project sponsored by the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan. The intent is to bring joy into the lives of adults who may not receive an abundance of personal mail during the year.
This project, launched by the Board in February 2021, was initiated in memory of Bertha Wiseman, mother of the LLF Michigan founder. Bertha loved to send cards to those who were often alone and she enjoyed receiving cards as well.
The initial caring correspondence included an individual valentine tucked into a personally-addressed note card to each recipient for Valentine’s Day and a Snoopy St. Patrick’s Day sticker tucked into a card a month later to celebrate that special day. Cards were sent to celebrate July 4th and Thanksgiving. A total of 120 cards were mailed during 2021 including two mailings to Marquette County law enforcement agencies twice during the year. Each card notes the person recommending the recipient to receive a card.
In 2022, one hundred twenty-one cards were sent – 37 cards for Valentine’s Day, 32 cards in the spring, and 52 cards for fall / Veterans Day.
Recipients have called and written to express their gratitude. Comments include:
“You cared about me as a person – wow!”, “I loved getting the Valentine like I did as a kid.”, “This was so special I had to tell you how much it meant to my Dad.”, “It brought sunshine into my life – I love these cards.”
- LLF Michigan can be contacted by using the contact us option on the about page.
- Please include suggested recipients’ names, addresses, and the person recommending the potential recipient.
- A telephone number for the recommending person must be included. The phone number is for LLF Michigan’s use only and will not be shared.
- The recommending person will be noted on the card to inform the recipient that we are not soliciting donations or using list serves.
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – AuTrain-Onota Public Schools
(First Program Sponsored by LLF Michigan As an Affiliate)
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides a child through his/her 5th birthday with an age-appropriate book in the mail monthly. These are high-quality books that are chosen by experts in the education and writing field and are based on the child’s age. The children served by the AuTrain-Onota Public Schools enrolled in the DPIL will receive their first book in the June 2020 mailing.
According to Bryan Tyner, District Administrator, “AuTrain-Onota Public School administrators and school board members are excited about our new partnership with the Literacy Legacy Fund of Michigan and The Dolly Parton Foundation! Together we will help promote early literacy in our rural community…”
LLF Michigan is the “local champion” and affiliate supporting the book and mailing costs monthly.
Pictured below, on the right, are Bryan Tyner, District Administrator, Nancy Seminoff, LLF Michigan Board Chair, Phyllis Aurich, Secretary and local children at the February kickoff at AuTrain-Onota Public Schools. The first photo shows a mother registering her children.
Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) Special Project
LLF Michigan provided a Special Project Award to the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter (UPAWS) Marquette to assist with inintiating the Reading Buddies “Read to Your Shelter Pet Program” as part of their developing “Kids’ Clubs.” This program pairs children with pets and books. Reading to the pets fosters socialization for the pet while increasing the child’s reading skills. UPAWS objectives through this program include promoting youth involvement at UPAWS and improving the quality of life and behavior of adoptable animals.
UPAWS first received grant funding to implement a pilot program in early 2019 for the Read to Your Shelter Pet Program. LLF Michigan presented additional funding at the August 29th Ice Cream Social & Community Event to assist with the program in 2019 & 2020. Due to unforeseen circumstances and the 2020 pandemic implementation of the Read to Your Shelter Pet Program has been delayed and is now moving to a virtual experience.
Read to Your Shelter Pet Ice Cream Social
Thank you all attendees, volunteers and sponsors Econo Foods and Globe Printing. In addition to receiving ice cream, participants viewed a movie, colored items at Maddie’s Tail Wag activity station, visited the Little Free Library and received Read to Your Shelter Pet program information. Each child took home a free book. Pictured below are the books gifted to each child and LLF Michigan’s presentation check.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hosts a Storybook Hike program
LLF Michigan is teaming up with Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to host a Storybook Hike program with children’s author Lori Taylor at Munising Falls on July 26, 2018 at 2 pm. The park’s Education Specialist, Melissa O’Donnell, coordinated the visit that was attended by the Munising day camp participants and visitors to the falls.
Join in the fun for a Story Hike Adventure!
To see more of Lori Taylor’s work, books and learn more about Lori please visit her website.
LLF Michigan announces their first Legacy Grant
After grant funding U. P. Children’s Museum for two years of successful Third Thursday Literacy Nights LLF Michigan awarded its first Legacy Grant to the U.P. Children’s Museum through 2018.
Lori Taylor Artist-in-residence Program
Artist-in-residence programs exist to invite artists and all manner of creative people for a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations. In 2015 LLF Michigan entered into an Artist-in-residence program with Lori Taylor. Lori is a “pond stomping, trail stumbling artist, author, and illustrator in hiking boots. I rehabilitate kids and release them into the wild outdoors by encouraging them to read, write, and draw in nature to find their story. (direct quote from Lori’s website)” While “in-residence” Lori created a wonderful, artist pop-up book for LLF Michigan, which was inspired by her Artist-in-Residence rustic surroundings, then later displayed and sold at the Michigan Reading Annual Conference in 2016. During the residency program Lori Taylor shared her experience with the public through demonstrations or talks. Pictured below are Lori with her book presenting at NMU and the book she created for us.