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Karen Ruben: CLiF’s newest volunteer

May 31, 2012

The Ruben Family: Emma, Peter, Karen, and Meg.

The goal of Inspire Kids is to keep you informed about CLiF’s free literacy programs for low-income, at-risk, and rural children in New Hampshire and Vermont. We also post news and stories about what’s happening in the larger world of children’s literacy.

Now we’ve enlisted our newest volunteer, Karen Ruben, to help us out. Karen is a Burlington mother of three, a former high school Social Studies teacher, and a self described “literacy enthusiast.”

How did Karen end up blogging with CLiF? Here’s her story in her own words.

“As a former teacher, I have seen the long term effects of students entering school with very little experience reading and learning about the larger world through books. As a parent, I am concerned about the impact on schools of trying to accommodate this deficit. For years I have mulled over this problem and thought about how I might contribute to making it better. I thought that the key was to get books into the hands of families who might not have them, and I began to daydream about how this might be done.

“Then, I discovered CLiF and realized that they were already at work on the problem in a much bigger, more organized and professional way than my daydreams could have imagined. So I called Duncan and said, ‘What can I do?’ And here I am, getting my hands back into issues of education and literacy and loving it. I am honored to be working with CLiF and am looking forward to being able to contribute more to the organization.”

We’re very excited that Karen has joined us as a volunteer. Her input as a parent and an educator will be invaluable as we work to keep our readers up to date on what’s happening in children’s literacy across New Hampshire, Vermont, and beyond.

What’s your take on the importance of literacy as a parent or an educator? Do you see it differently than you did before you had children? Please leave a comment and let us know what you think.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. kate permalink
    June 1, 2012 1:37 am

    As good friend of Karen Rubens i am proud to learn of her evolvement in such an important issue for our community. I know that she will prove an invaluable member to this incredibly important cause.

    • June 1, 2012 6:39 pm

      Thanks for your feedback, Kate. Everyone at CLiF feels strongly that Karen is already a great contributor. We look forward to working with her more over the coming months. – Matt Bushlow

  2. Kasha Godleski permalink
    June 1, 2012 6:23 pm

    Gosh, I couldn’t agree more about the importance of reading and how it effects school performance. I volunteer in my daughter’s first grade class and I can tell the difference between the children who have grown up with a book in hand and those who haven’t. My daughter is an above average reader and I attribute that to her exposure to books at a young age. Words are so familiar to her…she can sound out the first syllable and know the word because she is already familiar with it. Not to mention there is nothing better than cozying up with your child at the end of the day and reading a good book.

    • June 1, 2012 6:41 pm

      Kasha: There’s no doubt that it makes a huge difference in children’s lives – and literacy skills – when parents read to them and provide books from the youngest age. As we all know, those two factors are not realities in all children’s lives, so we work hard to make sure as many children as possible in the Twin States can have inspiring experiences with local authors and at least own two of their own brand-new books. We consider it a starting point for each child we serve. Thanks for the feedback! – Matt Bushlow

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