A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

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Inspiring Kids of All Ages—One Book at a Time—#GetCaughtReading


“The love of reading is a lynchpin for successful learning—for success in life. Kids learn to read best when adults take time to share their passion for books with them.” ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author.

One of the best ways to inspire kids to love to read is by reading aloud to them and talking with them about the books you share. We can all make a difference in the lives of the children around us when we #GetCaughtReading with the kids!

Benefits of Reading Aloud to Children of all ages

  • Expands vocabulary as they hear new words in context
  • Provides contextual examples for grammar and sentence structure that everyday conversation does not offer
  • Strengthens reading comprehension
  • Increases a child’s attention span
  • Teaches life skills associated with story themes and characters
  • Fosters family/generational/community communication.

Research has shown that children who come to school with a large vocabulary achieve more in school than those that have little familiarity with a wide range of words. Children are great listeners and imitators—they pay attention to what they hear. Reading aloud and discussing books with children is crucial to successful learning. Before children are reading on their own, a crucial part of their learning is based on imitating what they hear and observe.

Children are able to listen and comprehend content read to them two years above their actual reading level. Reading comprehension doesn’t catch up to a child’s listening comprehension level until eighth grade. When listening to adults read stories above their current reading level, a child’s vocabulary increases. This also provides an opportunity for listeners hear complete and complex sentence structure that is not offered in everyday conversation.

Children of all ages love to be read to by adults who are excited about books and reading. In fact, avid adult readers are walking, talking advertisements for books as they share their love of the written word with listeners. And, children enjoy talking about books with adults as much as the adults enjoy talking with them. When readers and listeners discuss characters and themes, their lives are enriched and family/generational communication skills are strengthened. A child’s story comprehension skills increase significantly as well. Reading aloud to children creates a win-win experience for everyone.

Where are the children?

In the U.S. alone there are about 15 million children living in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold—many of these children do not have books in their homes or adults who are available to read to them.

Where are these children? We’ll find them in homes, schools and libraries in villages, towns and cities in our own communities and across the globe. Local libraries and elementary schools are pleased to hear from those of us who are looking for the opportunity to share our love of reading with those who need it most—children of all ages, from all walks of life. Together we can change the world—one reader, one book, one book talk—one child or group of children at a time.

“So it is with children who learn to read fluently and well: They begin to take flight into whole new worlds as effortlessly as young birds take to the sky.” ~William James

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies—an endangered species (and for milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book (Ages 5-11); The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math, science and writing (Ages 6-12); and PURE TRASH (Ages 10-Adult), the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP (Ages 12-Adult)—coming-of-age story and family drama set in 1950s and 60s New England.

 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Thank You Mama (Poem) by Bette A. Stevens


Thank You, Mama

Poem by Bette A. Stevens

Thank you dearest Mama
For the lane you’ve led me down
The light you shone before me
Still helps me traverse on
Climbing formidable summits
Or facing storming skies
I know that you’re still with me
Watching through the Father’s eyes
I can always feel the sunshine
As  your smile lights the way
Love truly unconditional
I’m thankful every day

Mama left us, bound for her heavenly home, in April of 2008.  Mama’s strength of character, poise and wit—and her unconditional love— live on within all those whose lives she touched.

Thank you, dearest Mama…

Love,

Bette

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Write a Spring Haiku & Get the Kids Writing Too!


Celebrate National Poetry Month!

Countdown Commences (Spring Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens

Happy April and Happy National Poetry Month. Snow pack is still in meltdown stage here at the farmstead in Central Maine, but spring blooms will soon be appearing. Johnny-jump-ups (like the ones I photographed on the poster) are sure to be among the first blooms of the season. They’re one of those hardy native plants that bloom in abundance and pop up everywhere from early spring until the first hard freeze the next fall—hence the title and last line of the poem. This photo of last year’s blooms inspired me to write countdown Commences,  a spring haiku (Japanese-inspired, non-rhyming three-line: 5-7-5 syllable poem).

Countdown Commences

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Enchanting blossoms
Springtide emerging from earth
Countdown commences

I love designing  posters to go with my poems and often use photos I have taken. As a former teacher (now retired) in grades four through eight, I know that kids of all ages love writing poetry and they enjoy illustrating their poems too. It’s simple and it’s so much fun to tell a story in the three short lines of Haiku. Of course, you can write as many stanzas as you wish. Give it a try! 

Grab the kids, take out your pens, head into the great outdoors and get inspired!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

(Haiku: m)

haiku

noun hai·ku \ˈhī-(ˌ)kü\

  1. :  an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively; also :  a poem in this form usually having a seasonal reference — compare tanka

 

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry

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Easter Blessings (+Music) and “Faith,” a Poem by Bette A. Stevens


Easter Blessings (Poster, p\Poem & Scripture

Faith

Take all of your worries and all of your fears
Cast them upon Jesus who’s waiting, He cares
He came down from glory to save you and me
His brothers and sisters who yearn to be free

He proved with his life that His calling is true
We trust that He cares about all we go through
His love it surpasses, His blessings abound
His faithfulness throughout creation resounds

In Scriptures we find Him, His words and His deeds
Imploring each brother and sister, He pleads
Surrender your worries and all of your fears
I’m here to walk with you in laughter, in tears

We’ll dance through the triumphs and trials together
Good plans will prevail, no matter the weather
God’s love is as sure as the sun, stars and moon
Eternity’s waiting, there’s plenty of room

~Bette A. Stevens

John 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Blessings and love at Easter and always!

~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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Celebrating the amazingly talented author and illustrator, Bette A. Stevens! ✨ @BetteAStevens #RRBC


What a lovely surprise to find today… Thank you, author Natalie Ducey! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Natalie Ducey

Today, I’m delighted to celebrate the amazingly talented author and illustrator, Bette A. Stevens. If you haven’t already connected with Bette, I really encourage you to do so. She is a gifted writer and most generous soul. ♥

Bette’s book Pure Trash has been selected as one of three Books of the Month with Rave Reviews Book Club. I was thrilled to know this gem was selected. It’s an absolute joy to read and certainly worthy of this recognition.

Cheers to you, Bette!

Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy…

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Top 3 Books For Writers


Featured Image -- 8009Don’t miss any of these. King’s and White’s are top go-to’s on my shelf and I’ve just ordered Lammott’s Bird by Bird today. Happy reading and writing every day… ~Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The Uncensored Writer

Last week I gave you a list of free resources you can use as a writer. Mostly resources that help you be a better writer, rather than resources with practical application (like a word processor). This week I’ve decided to combine the usefulness of last week’s post with the value of books.

Here are my top 3 books for writers:

On Writing – Stephen King

I don’t know of any book as good as Stephen King’s On Writing for the aspiring novelist. Honestly, I feel like this is the best book written on the subject. Stephen King is not only a phenomenal wordsmith, but he is also an amazing storyteller.

In, On Writing, Stephen King takes us on a journey through his life. Half the book is like a memoir, the other, is like a manual. In the first half, you get to see what circumstances and events led to…

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Winter Tale (HAiKU) by Bette A. Stevens


There’s nothing quite like the sky at twilight to fill the soul with awe—even at the close of a bitter winter day. Photo taken at the farmstead in Central Maine in mid-winter inspired this writer to pen a winter tale. What’s inspiring you today? ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author 

Winter Tale

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Periwinkle sky
Sings a winter lullaby
Twilight paints its tale

Discover more about how to write haiku and other poetry:

Find out more about author Bette A. Stevens and her books at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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