For over 15 years, Patrick Oliver has collaborated with my instructional staff in various schools to bring the thrill of reading to children.
Mr. Oliver introduced culturally relevant books and authors to the students of William Woodruff Elementary/Extended Year Education School while I was principal there. The students enrolled in the after-school program not only received in-depth literacy lessons from Mr. Oliver, but also had the opportunity to meet one of the authors of their unit of study.
When reassigned to Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary, I brought Mr. Oliver in to conduct a professional development session with my new staff. The workshop focus dealt with introducing children to the love and excitement of reading. Mr. Oliver introduced various authors and their work, giving a ‘book-talk’ of selected books. The staff came away from the workshop with a list of multi-cultural books and knowledge of new authors of various genre to strike the interest of students.
Mr. Oliver developed “Boys, Breakfast, and Books”, which meets each Wednesday at 7:00 A.M. until the beginning of the school day at 7:45 A.M. The young men involved in the activity not only enjoy the program and are eager to attend, the additional reading practice has improved student’s fluency and comprehension. Mr. Oliver also works with the boys regarding behavior and to have great expectations for themselves. Referrals to my office for discipline infractions were noticeably reduced for the members of the program.
Winthrop Rockefeller Elementary students have also had the opportunity to participate in various other literacy activities, such as meeting Delfeayo Marsalis author of No Cell Phone Day. We were honored to host the National Black Children’s Book Fair, held November 7th and 8th, 2014. Students, parents, staff and members of the community participated in various workshops by authors.
My students continue to benefit from the literacy programs of Mr. Oliver.
I am an advocate for speakloudly.com produced by Mr. Patrick Oliver. I realize the impact it is having on students, especially the ones affiliated with Wallace Community College, in Dothan, Alabama. For example, Mr. Oliver uses literacy to empower our Upward Bound students by allowing them to participate in a Live Remote Production of Literary Talk Radio on the campus.
Furthermore, he hosted and facilitated our Upward Bound residential week in Little Rock, Arkansas, which consisted of 35 high school students. There, he combined STEM initiative with literacy, which led them to write and publish an anthology entitled Dream and Dream More.
In essence, speakloudly.com enables the opportunity to leverage the skill sets for students to compete globally. Because of Patrick’s initiatives, we can reach President Barack Obama’s Educational Agenda to regain American’s leadership in the world with the highest proportion of college graduate by 2020. Without a doubt, I am sure the experience that our Upward Bound students gained from speakloudly.com, will enable them to enroll in college and graduate with their bachelor degrees.
The book fair you organized was amazing! I love being able to bring back books to my classroom that I can introduce to my students. I love learning about new authors and listening to them read from their books. Honestly, I was a bit frustrated too. Frustrated that I haven’t seen any of Derrick Barnes’ third grade books before then! Why haven’t I heard of them? Why aren’t they in the teacher reading catalogs?! How can this be? Once again, the realization is just how much work we still have left to do.
This event (National Black Children’s Book Fair Tour) ignited a new fire for reading for me! What a pleasure to have met a dynamic team of writers and artists whose desire it is to encourage our children to seek their dreams and do it through the motivation and inspiration they receive through the characters they read about. I entered my classroom on Monday with a new passion for getting my boys reading just as much as my girls!!!
“Students at J.A. Fair High School are still talking about their new outlook on books since the kickoff celebration of their 2nd Annual Read 25 Books Campaign. The presentation by Patrick M. Oliver was an indelible mix of hip hop music, great speeches, technology, and a relevant and connective narrative about the significance of literacy in everyone’s life from Master P to Barack Obama. Oliver and guests helped boost student motivation to read, beefed up library circulation, and started an East Lab Read 25 project, where students create inspirational posters to boost student reading. Students have inquired about another assembly presentation by him, asked about a school-wide book club or panel discussion, and are clamoring at the chance to appear on Oliver’s weekly Literary Nation Talk Radio”.
Patrick Oliver, the William Penn School District and the Yeadon Public Library partnered to create an after-school writing program. The project was titled If I Could Change The World, it was designed to provide at-risk children the opportunity to share their experiences. The project gave each child the power of knowing they can and did make a difference. I look forward to having the pleasure of working with Mr. Oliver again.
Mr. Oliver your presentation was informative, reflective of your vast experience and knowledge about books and literacy programs, particularly those for the young adult and teen reader. Your remarks were particularly useful because we are beginning a literacy project focused on articulation skills for a group of young, male students in middle school.
“This was one of the most phenomenal experiences DYS has been able to bring to our students. When the students heard the author shout out to them they screamed to the top of their lungs with excitement and pride. The students ask everyday “what book are we reading next and who is the author?” Thank you Patrick for sharing with us your wonderful talent and resources.
Thank you for coordinating such a wonderful Literacy Night presentation on last Tuesday. You and the other presenters did an outstanding job, and our faculty, parents, and students were certainly enriched by the experience. One of our teachers stated that this was the best Parent Night that she has ever witnessed at McClellan. By the way, we are using your book as our next Principal’s Book of the Month. Mr. Mohammed has ordered 100 copies for our school.