We are thrilled to have Olivia Fingold on the team for the 2021-2022 school year! Olivia joins us from Duke University’s North Carolina LiteracyCorps program, a statewide consortium of AmeriCorps members working to build the capacity and impact of community and campus-based literacy programs.
Get to know Olivia in our quick Q&A with her below:
What is your favorite children’s book?
My favorite children's book is "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle. I have very early memories of this book and its vivid imagery and also love that it has maintained its icon status to this day.
Where is your favorite place to read?
I love to read outside when the sun is shining and the weather is clear. On days like this I feel like I can be transported anywhere between the pages of a book.
What’s the last thing you read, book or otherwise?
The last book I read was "The Overstory" by Richard Powers, a narrative story told by five individuals that all revolve around trees and their significance in life.
If you could have one author, dead or alive, over for dinner, who would it be?
I would love to have Anissa Gray over for dinner; she wrote "The Caring and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls," a book that has had a massive impact on me over the past year.
Who inspired your love of reading?
My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Pahl inspired my love of reading by providing read aloud time every day for our class. During the read aloud, one student was chosen to be a note taker and write down words or phrases that stood out from the text for the class to discuss afterwards. I cherished this time and looked forward to it every day.
What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
My favorite book-to-movie series is Harry Potter. My older sister used to read one chapter out loud to me every night before we went to bed and I remember the thrill of waiting in line for a copy with her and packing into a movie theater to watch it the moment the movies were released.
When is the last time you read to someone else?
I went to the lake with a friend and their mom and brought a book along about a month ago. I hadn't started reading it yet and started discussing it with both of them when I offered to read it aloud. I only read a couple chapters but was instantly reminded of the power of sharing stories and coming together over a text.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would it be titled?
My autobiography would be titled “Carpet Tales”, and would contain an anthology of old journal entries from second grade up until now. Most are short, hysterical to look back on, and almost all written while sitting on the ground.
What is your favorite genre to read?
I love reading character-driven fiction with strong narration. These kinds of books give me the same feeling I get while watching a great movie where I feel fully immersed in the characters' lives.
What is one of your favorite things to do in Asheville/favorite aspect of Asheville?
I love that Asheville sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains where there is endless beauty and opportunity to be outside.
Here at R2S, we are celebrating our students in Asheville City and Buncombe County returning to school and have come up with a few tips and tricks for a fun and successful school year!
1. Stay up to date on how to keep your student safe.
Both Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools websites provide important resources and updates to keep up with frequently changing information. Strong Schools NC created a public health toolkit for K-12 students with everything you need to know for this upcoming school year related to local COVID-19 protocols.
2. Celebrate that reading can happen anywhere.
Encourage your student to bring a book along whenever you leave the house. Reading is a fantastic way to fill time between errands, during a wait, or when they are tired of running around at the park. This helps your student use all the information they’ve been getting at school while simultaneously giving you an easy structured activity.
*Pro tip: Don't have a book handy? Try one of these free reading apps for kids on your smartphone or tablet.
3. Celebrate autumn with seasonal reads for kids.
With a slew of new books arriving this fall, there are so many options for our learners to choose from. Brightly suggests these newly released reads for the fall season, and if you want to read an autumn classic with your student, check out these recommendations from We Are Teachers.
4. Create a reading nook.
One of the most special parts about learning to read is feeling comfy, cozy, and relaxed in the space where you do it. When we make space for students to create their own world of reading, we allow them to embrace reading as a fun and magical time! A comfortable chair or cozy corner is all you need to create the perfect space for a reading nook. Our go-to items include a good source of light, a warm blanket, a pillow, and books!
5. Hold space for communication about returning to school and all the feelings that come along with it.
We know this past year has been exceptionally challenging for our students and want to make sure that they feel heard and have their feelings validated about being back in space that might be completely new to them. This is a good time to revisit books that are comforting and familiar or to explore a book that talks about what it's like to be back in school again.
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Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local, independent nonprofit on a mission to help close the