Author Archives: Samantha McGinnis

author image
Reading at the library/First Book.
Focus on First Book, For Educators, Impact Stories

Kids Are Behind on This Key Indicator of Success

What if your dreams were out of reach before you could even dream them? For 80% of fourth graders who do not read proficiently, this could be the case. A child’s ability to read in fourth grade is a key indicator to their future success. From their academic achievement… Read More
For Educators

Activities to Spark Conversation Between Adults and Children

Books are great tools for sparking conversation between adults and children. They can inspire conversation and activities around a diverse range of topics, including feelings, imagination and different family structures. These conversations can help you share lessons with students and can deepen bonds between family members. Use the books and… Read More
Impact Stories

An Educator’s Campaign to Revitalize Her Library

When Vanessa Cadena entered the library at Bret Harte Middle School this school year, she knew she had a big job ahead of her. It was Vanessa’s first year at the school and the library had not been updated in almost twenty years. Full of damaged and outdated… Read More
Our Bookshelf

Our Five Favorite Poetry Books

We’ve selected our favorite poetry books for you to share with your readers of meter and rhyme. From clever poetry favorites and nursery rhymes, to craftily created illustrations and novels in verse, you’ll find poetry for all ages to inspire even the most reluctant future-poets. If you work with children… Read More
For Educators

Teaching Much More Than Basic Concepts

The hundreds of parents in First Five Permian Basin’s Parents as Teachers program are learning to be their child’s first teacher. They’re excited for the challenge. Topics like counting, shapes and colors are at the top of the list of concepts to teach their kids. “Our parents may ask… Read More
For Educators

Free Food to Fuel Your Students’ Learning

Working at a Title I school you learn pretty quickly that if basic needs aren’t met, students aren’t able to move past those needs. No one can learn when they’re hungry. When students are hungry they’re distracted and sleepy. It’s amazing to watch a… Read More
Impact Stories

How One Shy Girl Found Friends Through Books

We recently met Victoria Hammond, a Program Coordinator at Linwood YMCA in Kansas City. She told us about Leigh, a particularly shy girl in her afterschool program who found confidence and friends through reading. Victoria noticed that she played alone and didn’t have the self-esteem to introduce herself to the… Read More
Impact Stories, Our Bookshelf

One Story to Engage ELL Families: The Wednesday Surprise

Last week, we featured Roxana Barillas, Director of Hispanic Engagement at First Book. She shared her thoughts on the ways educators can connect with ELL families. This week, Roxana shares one book from  Build Strong Families With Stories that can help in engaging ELL families in their child’s… Read More
For Educators

Ways Educators Can Connect With ELL Families

Today’s guest blogger is Roxana Barillas, Director of Hispanic Engagement at First Book. When I came to the U.S. from El Salvador at age 12, I had no knowledge of English and jumped right into a new school. My mom worked multiple jobs to support my four siblings and me,… Read More