We don't solicit testimonials from our members, but we still get lots of mail. Here is just a sampling of responses to Choice Literacy's web resources:
I absolutely LOVE your website! I have been receiving the free newsletter for several months and frequently visited your website. I thought that level of access would be enough. Recently, I decided to become a member and boy, am I glad I did! Of all the Internet resources I use, this is THE premiere website for educators who focus their efforts on literacy! Thank you so much for being there!
Michelle (Literacy Specialist from Rochester, New York)
Just a note to say how much I am enjoying both my membership to the Choice Literacy site and also my free subscription to the Big Fresh newsletter. This is my first year out of the classroom in a literacy coach role and I have found your resources extremely helpful... even in my 17th year of teaching! I look forward to your newsletter every Saturday morning. It has become a diningroom table ritual.... my husband on one side of the table with breakfast, coffee, & the newspaper and me enjoying breakfast on the other side with my laptop open. I know it's not everyone's ideal image of "together time" with a spouse, but we love it!
Thanks also for the periodic little gifts. It's a warm reminder that I have subscribed to a "people-oriented" organization, not just some cold cyberspace. Keep up the fantastic work!
Sandra (Literacy Coach in Ontario, Canada)
I just had to take a moment to write and let you know how much I look forward to receiving this email every week. I teach at an American School in Morocco, so receiving the myriad and wonderful resources you send each week is irreplaceable for sparking professional reflection and conversation with colleagues. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the time, thought and effort that goes into preparing this for all of us. Know that it fosters collaboration and builds professional community in far corners of the world.
Cynthia (Teacher in Morocco)
I am constantly amazed at the insight I find in the Big Fresh every week. As odd as this sounds, it is like you are walking beside me, sharing my happy and sad and insane moments in this job of learning. I reference you in conversations every day in both my personal and professional life. I keep rambling on about how great Choice Literacy is to anyone who will listen. Your thinking, humor and honesty are what I look forward to every Monday morning in my e-mail box. After weeks like last week, I think no one else must know how this work must be. Then I took a early peek at the Big Fresh and you know how life is for me and not only offer rapport language, but also the beginning of an action plan. A thousand thanks!
Amy (Elementary Teacher in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota)
I just can't tell you how delighted I am with your work. When you say "fresh," these resources truly are. I have rarely encountered such thoughtful approaches to every concern from A-Z, and the creativity, enthusiasm, and expertise you and your colleagues bring to the task are unparalleled. I think the major service organizations in literacy education might have had this at one time, before they became so incorporated. And I have found some useful private contributions from individuals, but they have lacked the resources to achieve the scope of artifacts practitioners need. On a different note, I would like to share that I presented some Big Fresh ideas at a recent professional development session in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, and they were a HUGE hit! We were working on editing and revision, and I shared "It's in the Bag." We had the video you so kindly supplied, and I was able to assemble the bag without even having to make a trip to the store! This experience represents what makes Choice Literacy special and especially useful to practitioners of all types! I am enjoying teaching others about your work, and I will begin all three literacy courses I teach this January by introducing candidates to your work.
Carmen (Literacy Professor from Niagara Falls, New York)
I recently signed up for a subscription to Choice Literacy. I love your website. I am the ESL specialist San Antonio and am in charge of the ELLs at the high school level. Although the majority of ELL students are Spanish speakers, we are receiving significant numbers of unschooled refugee children from Burma (Myanmar) and those with interrupted schooling coming from Iraq. We are looking for materials that are age appropriate, but meet the needs of these special students. Your website is invaluable to us.
Nancy (ESL Specialist from San Antonio, Texas)
I was just telling my husband how nice it is to actually hear from real people whenever I have a question for someone at Choice Literacy..and so promptly, too! It is rare in this day and age to not be connected to something automated that attempts to lead you somewhere and actually takes you nowhere. My thanks to you.
Laura (1st Grade Teacher from Rhode Island)
It is almost our midyear point -- my first as a literacy coach in my home district. Over this Christmas break I have spent more than a few hours -- as well as a few reams of paper and an ink cartridge or two, surfing through Choice Literacy. Although some of the resources are yet to be discovered; some I am not quite ready to take on, some I have read and reread numerous times, I want to thank you for this wonderful site. You have made this new journey easier for me in many ways. The support you offer is priceless! Thank you for everything!
Denise (Literacy Coach from Long Island, New York)
I work as a Literacy Coordinator in Taipei, Taiwan. It is my first year in this position and it is also the school's first year with such a position, so it is a process of growth and learning for all of us. Your website is an invaluable resource for me as I make my way through the school year. I look forward to getting your newsletter from Choice Literacy every week. I love your introductions and find myself following every link you post (and usually several more!) every week. Thank you so much for the work that you do.
Carrie (Literacy Coordinator in Taipei, Taiwan)
Just thought I would tell you that every Saturday morning I truly enjoy reading your weekly newsletter while sipping my cup of coffee. Simple pleasures! I will become a member this summer so I can view all the videos and articles. Thank you for all your important work.
Doreen (Kindergarten Teacher from Rhode Island)
Thank you!!! I'm a former Reading Recovery teacher back in the first grade classroom - Your website provides practical, insightful, and motivating information that keeps this "almost close to retirement" teacher enthusiastically trying to meet the needs of all my children. Changing my room arrangement alone was a huge boast to my children and me. THANK YOU!
Alana (1st Grade Teacher from Eureka, California)
I just wanted to let you know that I love your site and am enjoying my new membership. In fact, I've recommended your site to several other people. Keep up the good work. I'm so happy I found you!
Mary (1st Grade Teacher from Columbus, Ohio)
I cannot even begin to express to you how much I love Choice Literacy and your articles! FABULOUS! I recommend Choice Literacy to everyone and LOVE LOVE LOVE all the wonderful offerings your site and weekly emails offer. The articles are fantastic, as well as the book lists, forms, video clips, etc. It is so great that you have so many "big names" in literacy. Thanks so much for your time and effort! And for your wonderful messages each week -- always love reading those!
Jessica (Literacy Coach from Middleton, Wisconsin)
I have enjoyed your site for several years and now in my new role, am always telling teachers about it. One article that I particularly liked and passed onto my new teachers this fall was the one about taking the time to slow down (I don't remember the author off the top of my head). Many of them remarked that reading the article really helped them feel like they had permission to not rush into groupings.Thank you for providing a wealth of resources of teachers! Thanks so much.
Kristine (Curriculum Coordinator from Granville, Ohio)
I want to let you know how valuable Choice Literacy is to me as a teacher, first-year reading coach, professional development leader, and kidwatcher. There are times I've opened the weekly email and found an article on something I was just pondering...like teaching vocabulary in context, or leveled books: should they be the steady diet of readers? The videos are especially important to me since I am a visual learner. Thank you for all you do to stimulate reflection, thought, and problem solving.
Toni (Literacy Coach from Marysville, Washington)
Thank you so much for Choice Literacy! Your site is one of the best things out there. I am a research junkie. I had to chuckle as I opened your thank you card. I had just been thinking how I wanted to send you an e-mail to let you know how much I enjoy your site and there you were...in my mailbox! I am a writing coach in a K-5 building. Your information is invaluable. Again, thanks and keep up the great work.
Colleen (Writing Coach in Camas, Washington)
I am a reading specialist in the state of Missouri. I work regionally with nine schools and 13 reading coaches. I use many of your articles in my work, and I am encouraging my reading coaches to subscribe to your site. Thanks for all your work.
Julie (Literacy Coach Coordinator in Kirksville, Missouri)
I was very surprised to receive a handwritten thank you for joining your website. Very nice. I have enjoyed your website very much. It is full of pertinent information and resources and not a lot of fluff. Keep up the good work.
Barbara (Elementary Teacher in Normal, Illinois)
Just a message of thanks! I have taught for 13 years and have thousands of books. I never had a way to organize for the students to know the genre, where to return a book to, etc. After subscribing to this site, my students and I have created the most organized library I have had in 13 years. My children love it, I love it, and many people come to tour my library in my classroom. Thank you again!
Phyllis (Elementary Teacher from Massachusetts)
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy the Choice Literacy website and the weekly newsletters. I tell everyone I know about it. One of my friends liked it so much she went to a conference and purchased a subscription to the website. It's fun to share the news about the latest and greatest things in literacy. Thank you for sharing everything you do. I run into so many people who are afraid to share their ideas. Choice Literacy brings out the good in people.
Kami (Literacy Coach from Indiana)
I was so delighted to receive your gift and note today in the mail. You certainly didn't have to send me a card. I get so much out of each week's articles. I love Choice Literacy!! I will tell you every Saturday I get out of bed, get my cup of tea, and before I do anything else I open up Choice Literacy to see what you are going to be talking about and what is the discussion for the day. I really count on your site to help my personal professional development. I love how weekly emails energize me and renews my thinking about how I teach weekly. I can't say enough about how great this site is.
Charlain (1st Grade Teacher from Denver, Colorado)
I want to let you know that I use the Choice Literacy site all the time and continue to rave about it to everyone. This is my second year as a district literacy specialist and often find myself alone in my beliefs about what is best for kids. Thanks for everything you provide on the site.
Lauren (Literacy Specialist from New York)
I would just like to say that I appreciate your Big Fresh newsletters very much. They are so literate, and so apt. Thank you.
Mira (2nd Grade Teacher from New York City)
I want to thank you and your staff for providing teachers and literacy leaders with your wonderful website! It was my good fortune to open sample issues of the "Big Fresh." You have provided me, and the teachers I work with, so many very practical ideas, solutions and new strategies. I consider purchasing a subscription to Choice Literacy as one of my smarter moves this past school year. Thank you again for your wonderful service.
Bette (Curriculum Coordinator in Burlington, Massachusetts)
I have been teaching for 28 years and I always find something new to think about in my teaching from your newsletter and website. I consider it my most valuable resource. I especially appreciate any video clips you might have which accompany your articles. Using my visual and auditory senses to see the words come to life of course are invaluable and whenever I receive "The Big Fresh" I drop everything and pore through the articles. Congratulations once again and please keep them coming!
Marlyn (3rd Grade Teacher from Evanston, Illinois)
I just wanted to thank you for this newsletter and website. It has proved to be invaluable to to our staff and me. It would be impossible for me to document how many times I reference your site or return to it for advice. Warmest regards and heartfelt thanks.
Barbara (Literacy Coach Coordinator in Charlotte, North Carolina)
Your website is a WONDERFUL resource. I am singing its praises to my teachers (I'm a literacy coach) and students (adjunct college instructor). This is really one of the very best contributions to our professional community to come along in years!
Connie (Literacy Coach and Professor from Chicago, Illinois)
Just a quick "note" to let you know how much I enjoy receiving your "choice" e-mails. Your gems of truth (which is what I call your e-mails) carry a message that surpasses literacy. They are wonderful motivators for almost all endeavors and are a great reminder to us that we are all part of a global learning community. Thank you.
Belinda (Principal from Vista, California)
I am a first-year teacher, beginning my first day on Tuesday. I have been eating up your Big Fresh newsletter for a few months now and am so thankful I found your site. I just finished listening to your interview with Debbie Miller, whom I strongly admire, and feel encouraged. Thank you for the work you do.
Dani (Elementary Teacher from Kansas)
What a great site! I found your site by chance one day and was so excited to find a site specific to the needs of a literacy coach! I joined recently and I have been watching every video and reading every article. I have already started to redesign my classroom and am implementing many of your recommendations and ideas! I am looking forward to sharing your ideas with my colleagues and I look forward to learning more.
Susan (Literacy Coach from Detroit, Michigan)
I have been an educator for 25 years. This year I went from the classroom to Title I Reading/Literacy Coach. My curriculum director brought me a subscription to your site. This is the first education "club" I can ever remember getting gifts from throughout the year. And what wonderful gifts!!!! I am reading yesterday's gift Seasons every spare minute I can find. Thank YOU so much for your guidance and inspiration!!!!
Theresa (Literacy Coach in Logan, Ohio)