Saturday, May 28, 2011

It's Almost Here!

We are exactly one week away from check-in day for Miss Alabama. I want to apologize for not posting books last week, with Graduating from Troy, watching Hunter Pickle Graduate from high school, finishing my Miss Alabama scrapbook, and being on a strict dance-eat-workout-news-eat-job hunt-eat schedule, my literacy blog has been something I have missed. But here I am! To make up for it, I will not only be posting some books, I will give you some insight to how I have been preparing for Miss Alabama. 

First off, I have been devoting a lot of my time and efforts into creating a healthier lifestyle for myself. Eating more cleanly, working out daily, and finding what makes me happy has helped me feel strong, energized, and prepared to face the world. Bonus- It's a pop-up! Pop-ups make me happy!
Charlie and Lola's I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato
by: Lauren Child
Summary: Lola is a very fussy eater. Carrots are for rabbits and peas are "too small and too green." One day, after rattling off her long list of despised foods, she ends with the vehement pronouncement, "And I absolutely will never not ever eat a tomato." Not convinced, Lola's older sister Charlie has an idea. She tells Lola that the orange things on the table are not carrots, but "orange twiglets from Jupiter" and peas are in fact "green drops from Greenland." Mashed potatoes, when pitched as "cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji" suddenly seem appealing to Lola. And in the end, might she even eat a tomato? Ages 4-8

I have also been watching a lot of news programs, because as a contestant in the Miss America Organization, it is my job to be well-versed on current events, and to have an opinion on them. I am going to offer a magazine instead of an actual book for my next selection, because I have found that this magazine is perfect for children. It presents current events in a way that they can understand, and truthfully, I've used it to understand Health Care! It helped!

Time for Kids
News Magazine
Summary: This magazine offers a variety of topics from political issues to the Royal wedding, all in a writing style that is best suited for specific grades. Here is one online article on ten Powerful Women that TFK offered in its March 11, 2011 issue.,27972,2057513,00.html

I am very excited about the Talent portion of the Miss Alabama pageant. I will be performing a jazz dance to "Cinema Italiano" and have been practicing my tail off. This dance really is a testament to the hard work I put into this process, because it is the single hardest dance I have ever performed. I enjoy every minute of that difficult 90 seconds though, let me tell you!

Ivy and Bean Doomed to Dance 

by: Sophie Blackall
Summary: Part of a series of books, this book makes me feel like I am back in ballet...wishing I could be on stage instead of practicing pliés. Ivy and Bean return to their mischievous ways as they beg their parents for ballet lessons. They get what they want, but class isn't exactly what they expected. Instead of the "kicking" and sword they saw in a picture of the ballet Giselle, they are disappointed to be learning positions, pliés, and how to be butterflies. When they are cast as squids in their first recital, they come up with several ideas for how to get out of performing without breaking their promise not to drop out of class.

By the way, my favorite ballet is The Firebird. When I was a little girl I was given a book full of famous ballets and of all of them, I loved The Firebird the most. The story was enchanting and the pictures of the beautiful dancer who portrayed to firebird made me want to be a dancer so badly. 

Lastly, as I prepare for Miss Alabama, I remember the most important thing- that being Miss Alabama is a privilege, an honor, and an opportunity. It is also just one way to succeed in life. So to prepare myself mentally, I have constantly reminded myself that I am the only person who decides my ultimate successes. Believe in yourself and you really can do anything. Here is a book I found that can offer your child some guidance, leading them to accept that who they are is great.

Too Perfect
by: Trudy Ludwick
Summary: Maisie works hard in school, but no matter how hard she tries, she only gets B’s and C’s.  Despite the fact that her mother constantly reassures her, “Maisie, you are perfect just the way you are,” Maisie really wishes that she could be like Kayla.  Kayla always gets straight A’s, she’s a star on the soccer team, and her hair is perfect and straight (unlike Maisie’s, which is red and frizzy).  However, when Maisie and Kayla have to work together as partners on a project, Maisie begins to realize that there are disadvantages to being “too perfect.” Ages 4-8

Hope to see you all at my send off party on Thursday June 2nd, at Chelsea High School at 7pm.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If Bieber Isn't Your Cup of Tea....Here's Heisman Trophy Winner Mark Ingram!

University of Alabama football players -- including Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram -- are encouraging students to fight illiteracy in Alabama through a television public service announcement to be aired as a part of the 2010 Literacy is the Edge campaign.
The public service announcements will run through 2011and are aimed at raising awareness of illiteracy while helping recruit tutors for adults and children in west Alabama, and assistants for English as a second language programs.
"As students at the University of Alabama we are afforded the opportunity to get an amazing education," Alabama running back Mark Ingram said in a university news release. “The chance to become a tutor and help someone from our state learn to read is a great way to give back to a state that has done so much for me and my teammates."
Also taking part in the literacy program are quarterback Greg McElroy and linebacker Dont’a Hightower.
LITE's president, Lauren Musselman,  said the program wanted to choose spokespersons with a strong impact. “Most people in West Alabama love UA football players, so what better way to reach out to the citizens of Tuscaloosa than through their home team, the Crimson Tide,” Musselman said.
McElroy said it's his goal to help make illiteracy irrelevant in the state of Alabama. “One person who can’t read is one too many. Every student at the University of Alabama should do what they can to help eliminate illiteracy in Alabama," McElroy said.
One in every 4 Alabamians is functionally illiterate — more than 1 million people. LITE officials say illiteracy can contribute to poverty, crime, unemployment, high school dropout rates and teen pregnancy.

Bieber Loves to Read, You Should Too!

It seems like everyone has Bieber-fever lately, and to satiate all of your needs, both literary and Bieber-rific, here is a "Bedtime" story read by the one and only, Justin Bieber.This is provided by the National Education Association. ENJOY!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graduation, Moving On!

This Friday I will take my first steps as a College Graduate. I am very excited about this part of my life, and am eager to know what will happen next. 

I had the great opportunity to speak at Chelsea High School's Senior Luncheon this past week, and to all of you that I met, Congratulations! I really enjoyed my time with you. 

Here are some of the best words spoken to me about this time in my life come from a book, one of the oldest books in print, The Bible!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11

These words offer me great comfort and relief about what my next move will be. I am very fortunate to have many opportunities available to me after graduation. Whether I am chosen to be Miss Alabama, if I choose to enter the workforce as a news journalist, or if I return to school to further my education, I can know that God's plan is the ultimate plan, and I will find solace. I wanted to offer all of you some literature that can help you with your next step, be it graduation, or a continuation of your everyday life; we all deserve a spiritual lift now and then. 

The Bible

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.- Deuteronomy 31:6

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened." Take Courage.-1 Peter 3:14

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever. -Psalm 28:7-9

Only One You
by: Linda Kranz
SummaryThere's only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place. Adri's mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son. Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world. 

I Knew You Could!
by: Craig Dorfman
Summary: I Knew You Could!: A Book For All The Stops In Your Life by Craig Dorfman is an enthusiastically recommended picture book based on the beloved classic children's story "The Little Engine That Could." Singsong rhyming verse combined with inviting illustrations by Cristina Ong of a happy and plucky blue engine encourage readers of all ages about the importance of believing in oneself.
Personal Note: In reading this book, though it is for "Children" I teared up! The message is incredible, and I greatly recommend it to all of you who know a graduate. 

Curious George Curious You: You're On Your Way!
by: H.A.Rey
Summary: No matter your age, you just can't help but love Curious George! 
With CURIOUS YOU: ON YOUR WAY!, author H. A. Rey takes the life and times of Curious George and applies it to the very important event of graduation. Whether it's graduating from preschool to a elementary school, from high school to college, or possibly even a graduation from childhood into adulthood, this is one book that you'll always be able to take along with you. 
As we learn along with Curious George, there will always be new things to see and do, new heights to reach, new dreams to aspire to. Sometimes things might seem scary, and sometimes we won't know which direction to take. Whatever we do, though, and wherever we go, our family and friends will always be there to cheer us on. 
This is the perfect gift for everyone in your life -- toddler, teen, or adult. 

Good Luck to everyone in their future endeavors! I applaud you all for your hard work.