Explore Literacy

Greetings Adventurers & Parents!!

I am honored to have my dear friend and sister in Christ Ms. Janica Tempero as my guest blogger for the month of January.  The topic this month is literacy.  Literacy means you have the ability to read and write proficiently.  Ms. Tempero is passionate about helping our youth achieve excellence will overcoming obstacles with reading and writing.  Her story is a testament to what you can accomplish even when you have people saying you can’t do it.   Currently, she is a 4th grade teacher at Cedar Park School in Selma, Alabama.

Subject:  Literacy

I like BooksFirst, I want to begin by telling my own personal journey with learning.  My experience with word knowledge, spelling, pronunciation, enunciation, and sentence structure dates back to my elementary school years. For 12 plus years, I experienced much ridicule and teasing from my peers and teachers about my weaknesses in literacy. This caused me to allow my struggle with literacy to define me as one who was not capable and not good enough, even up until my senior year of high school. I gave up on myself and turned to disruptive class behavior to escape any interaction with literacy. Consequently, by my senior year, I was still struggling to write complete sentences. Thus, I know very well the importance of the many facets of literacy because for a long period of time I struggled by choosing to live without this very important life tool.  Without literacy, I struggled to fill out applications, to succeed in any of my classes, to perform well on college entrance exams, and to even properly communicate on the professional level via conversations and emails. Nevertheless, my transition to college in 2011 opened a new and challenging door of opportunity for me to explore literacy in a way that would highlight and eliminate my literacy weaknesses.

As I progressed through the Elementary Education program at AUM, I was granted a second chance to strengthen my literacy skills, while simultaneously learning how to nurture the literacy skills of future young students. Now, more than ever, I can say that I have intimately encountered the importance of literacy as it pertains to word knowledge, spelling, pronunciation, enunciation, and sentence structure. Word knowledge has three levels which are unknown, acquainted and established. The unknown level of word knowledge occurs when the students have no idea of a word’s meaning. Acquainted is the next level, and it is when a child understands the basic meaning of a word after some thought. At the established level, students’ meanings of words become easier, faster, and very supportive. Spelling is the process or activity of writing or naming the letters of a word. Pronunciation is the act of saying a word by sounding out its consonants and vowels. Enunciation is the way a word is said.  For example, some people say in Alabama “I’m going to the sto”, but they mean to say, “ I’m going to the store.” Thus, enunciation is important because it helps to understand what is being said. Finally, sentence structure is the way a sentence is grammatically arranged, which mostly deals with proper use of punctuations.

As one can conclude, mastery of literacy is a lifelong effort, as there are so many words and so many of life’s situations that require it. All of the aforementioned facets of literacy (word knowledge, spelling, pronunciation and enunciation and sentence structure) set the foundation for survival in the real world. Every learner, no matter what capacity of learning they may find themselves in (street, school, church, work, etc) needs a strong literacy background to sustain themselves in this 21st century. Why is this? Good literacy leads to good communication, and good communication promotes progress, understanding and clarity in every situation.


Janica TemperoGuest Author Bio:

Janica Tempero is a native of Vredenburgh, AL where she enjoys spreading the love of Christ. She is a recent graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery, where she majored in Elementary Education. She is currently a fourth grade teacher at Cedar Park School in Selma, Alabama.


You Have Purpose and Vision

Greetings Parents & Adventurers!

I am honored to have Ms. Sheronda Barksdale “The Vision Specialist” as my guest blogger for the month of September.  In this month, I want to focus on educating you on the importance of recognizing your purpose, writing and pursuing your vision. Sheronda is the author of The ABC’s of Living Your Vision: A Motivational Book for Children Ages 5-13.

Subject:  You Have Purpose and Vision

The ABC's of Living Your Vision: A Motivational Book for Children Ages 5-13 by Sheronda L. BarksdaleWhat is your purpose? Are you an excellent painter, dancer, or singer? Do you like helping others? Would you like to travel to space? Do you know what your purpose is in life?

Your purpose is what you were designed to do in life. You were born with a purpose. Some people know what their purpose is, while others do not, and that’s it okay. If you want to discover your purpose, consider the thing you love to do the most. What brings you the most joy? What are you really good at doing? What would you do every single day if you were allowed to? These questions should begin to lead you towards your purpose.

I can remember my mother and my teachers telling me I liked to talk…. A LOT! I would always get in trouble at school because I would finish my assignments before everyone, then I would talk to my friends. They couldn’t even finish their assignments because I talked so much! After I got in trouble for hindering my classmates from doing their work, I started completing my assignments, then help them complete theirs so they could talk to me sooner! My mom and teachers figured I would be a lawyer or have some career that required me to talk. It didn’t surprise them at all when I discovered my purpose was to be a professional motivational speaker.

Not only am I a professional speaker, I am The Vision Specialist. I specialize in empowering your vision for your life. Your purpose and your vision go hand-in-hand. Once you discover your purpose, you can begin to see your vision come to life! Your purpose is the key within you that is going to open doors to take you into your vision!

What is your vision for your life? What do you see in your future? Do you want to travel the world, own a mansion, or drive a really expensive car? Your vision is what you see when you use your imagination. Riding on cruise boats, sky diving, or climbing the tallest mountain ranges can all be a part of your vision. Becoming the Most Valuable Player in the NBA or receiving an Academy Award can truly be a part of your vision.

Understanding your purpose, then creating your vision, gives you direction and momentum. Direction and momentum are, indeed, necessary to see everything you desire manifest in your life. When obstacles come you need to have direction so you will not get off course. Momentum will keep you from completely stopping when obstacles head your way.

For example, Jason is an excellent drum player. Playing the drums came naturally for him, and he began to play in bands at the age of 10. Jason feels his purpose is to be the best drummer ever. His vision is to grow up and play for famous singers during music tours, so he creates a vision board that has pictures of drums, bands, and international travel destinations on it. Jason practices playing on his drum set daily so he can become better and better. He even met a famous drummer in his city that mentors him and teaches him skills he didn’t know before. Soon, Jason tries out for a band audition to be the lead snare drummer. Unfortunately, he misses the position by two points. He has encountered an obstacle.

Because Jason already knew his vision for his life, he had direction and momentum. He was very disappointed that he did not make the band. Yet, he continued in the direction of becoming a professional snare drummer, despite this obstacle. Yes, he was sad, but he wasn’t going to let this stop him. He had momentum! Jason eventually becomes the lead drummer for a very popular Pop artist.

You are never too young to develop your vision for your life! One way to do this is create a vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of what you want to see in your future. It’s similar to a collage. You can have your parents help you create a vision board. First, you gather pictures that best represent your vision for your life. Then, you glue them to a poster board, and hang it somewhere you can see it daily. You can even create a digital vision board through Photogrid, Power Point, or other photo apps. This way you can save it as your screen saver on every electronic device you own. The idea is to look at your vision board daily so you can remain motivated to work towards your vision for your life.

Now is the time to begin to discover and develop your purpose to see your vision come to life. Want to be a veterinarian? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Want to be an astronaut? Begin to study the stars and their meaning. Want to be famous basketball player? Practice playing basketball every day. It’s never too early to discover your purpose and live your vision for your life. It just requires your effort.

If you would like to begin to discover your purpose and live your vision, you should read my very first children’s book, The ABC’s of Living Your Vision. The ABC’s of Living Your Vision is a motivational book for children ages 5-13. This book encourages children to begin considering their future by using their imagination and creating a vision for their life. This book discusses doing well in school, keeping a line of communication open with parents, having a positive attitude, and more! The ABC’s of Living Your Vision empowers our youth with the necessary tools to having a bright future.

It is an amazing idea to envision great things for your life! Discover your purpose, develop your skills, find a mentor, do whatever is going to support your greatest desires, and live your vision!

Author Bio:

Sheronda L. Barksdale The Vision SpecialistSheronda L. Barksdale The Vision Specialist

Sheronda L. Barksdale is The Vision Specialist™. She is the co-founder of Unlimited Love and Life Coaching, LLC., where they are taking a holistic approach to breaking the barriers of love and life. She is also a Life Empowerment Coach, Author, and Professional Speaker, as well as the co-host of the Blog Talk Radio Show, Love Unlimited: Relationship Coaching with Kim and Sheronda.

Sheronda specializes in, stress management, time management, relationship coaching, motivation, and spiritual and personal growth. She has two associate degrees, one in Business Administration and the other in Sociology. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling and Human Services.

Sheronda is certified as a Life Coach through the Where Miracles Happen life coach training program by Dr. Carolyn Porter. After being strengthened through many traumatic life experiences, from homelessness, to her 1-year-old suffering a traumatic brain injury, Sheronda uses her strengths to encourage others to be empowered by their pain.  Her mission in life is to empower individuals to establish their vision for their life, eliminate any mindsets that may hinder their growth, and learn the necessary skills to lead a focused and passion-driven life.




The Effects Bullying has on Kids and Learning

Greetings Parents & Adventurers:

I hope you enjoyed your summer break.  I know I did.  School is beginning across the nation.  I have been fortunate to connect with some wonderful authors, who write on various topics that deal with kids.  One major issue kids face while in school is bullying.  I want us to discuss that topic more.Believing in Me Book by LaDorris Thomsas

So, I would like to introduce to you Ms. LaDorris Thomas, author of “Believing in Me, & Don’t Be a Bully Be a Blessing”

In this month’s blog, Ms. Thomas will speak on the topic of The Effects Bullying has on Kids and Learning


My Story:

I would like to share a bit of my story.   At the age of six years, I began to be bullied by various individuals.  I had my first Continue reading “The Effects Bullying has on Kids and Learning”


Greetings Parents & Adventurers!

I know you are excited that summer vacation has started.  No matter what it’s my job to keep in you informed with tips on how to make the next school year a success.

I am honored once again to have Ms. Ida Gartrell as my guest blogger for the month of July.   She is a lifelong educator who taught kindergarten for 30 plus years.  Currently, she is a Georgia Milestone Mentor in the Dekalb County School System.  She is passionate about kids and their education. Today, Ms. Gartrell speaks on the topic called Challenges in the Classroom.  In addition to the challenges, Ms. Gartrell makes recommendations on how to improve the classroom environment.


Classroom ChallengesChallenges in the Classroom

The biggest challenges in the classroom today are listed below:

Continue reading “Challenges”

How can the use of poetry help our kids overcome stuttering?

Greetings Parents & Adventurers!

I want to start the month off right be sharing valuable information to help our kids in the learning the process.  Due to various reasons every child has a unique way of learning. For the month of June, I wanted to discuss stuttering, a disability that affects how kids talk.

Question: How can the use of poetry help our kids overcome stuttering? Well, I am glad that I got a response from an outstanding Poet.  I am honored to have Lidy Wilks as my guest blogger for the month of June.  Lidy is the author of Can You Catch My Flow, which is a poetry chapter book.

Here is Lidy’s response to the question

There is no clear factor to what causes stuttering in individuals. In fact, researchers are still studying the causes. For which they found a combination of attributes. Stuttering can be a result of abnormal speech motor control. Or passed down from family members or the result of medical trauma or injury. And maybe even emotional trauma.

As much as there has been studies on for this speech disfluency. There also has been many treatments provided for it. There are anti-stammering devices and medication. As well as speech therapy, learning to accept your stutter. And talking about it in support groups. Yet, there is one form of therapy that I like to promote. And that is writing poetry.

Most individuals who stutter will feel embarrassment and guilt about it. Thinking badly of themselves and or refrain from speaking. But writing poetry can help take away all those negative emotions. Poetry is a way of speech, a portal of communication made possible with pen and paper. It opens up a pathway of words. Allowing the writer to communicate with others. Sharing without fear of embarrassment and with confidence, what they hold within their minds.  In their hearts and souls.

Poetry is a form of literature that gives voice to the joys and the pain of an individual. It is a form of therapy that heals through the power of words. So even stuttering will no longer rob you of you of speech. So pick up a pen, write a poem and set your voice free.

Lidy WilksLidy’s Bio

Ever since she was young, Lidy Wilks was often found completely submerged in the worlds of Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew. She later went on to earn a Bachelor degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, from Franklin Pierce University. Where she spent the next four years knee deep in fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction workshops.


Lidy is the author of Can You Catch My Flow? a poetry chapbook  and is a member of Write by the Rails. She currently resides in Virginia with her husband and two children. And an anime, book and manga library, she’s looking to expand, one day adding an Asian drama DVD collection. Lidy continues her pursuit in writing more poetry collections and fantasy novels. All the while eating milk chocolate and sipping a glass Cabernet. Or Riesling wine.


Be sure to Follow Lidy on Social Media and Check out her Blog

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog

Can You Catch My Flow by Lidy Wilks

About The Book:

Debut poetry chapbook Can You Catch My Flow? Captures the everyday ordinary events of the human condition in poetic snapshots. No matter the walks of life, the reader is sure to find themselves within the lines.


Lidy’s poetry reveals an understanding that deep meaning can be felt in the details. Her poetry portrays a range of topics from the pressures to conform to societal expectations, friendship, monarch butterflies, partying, insomnia, and the quest for peace…just to name a few. Enjoy!- Shelah L. Maul

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | eCreate Store


Improving Your Child’s Education

Improving Your Child’s Education

Greetings Parents & Adventurers!

I am honored to have Ms. Ida Gartrell as my guest blogger for the month of April.   She is a lifelong educator who taught kindergarten for 30 plus years.  Currently, she is a Georgia Milestone Mentor in the Dekalb County School System.  She is passionate about kids and their education. Today, Ms. Gartrell speaks on the topic called Improving Your Child’s Education.

Topic: Improving Your Child’s Education

Question: What should a child know or learn before entering school?

News Flash:  Parents!  You are the Continue reading “Improving Your Child’s Education”

It’s March Madness Time!!

It’s March Madness Time!!

To: My Adventurers and Parents
It’s March Madness Time!!

As you may know, March Madness to the race to the championship in college basketball. So, I thought why not have a little for reading and learning. Preparation is key to all successes. Think about this all the players on the various teams work hard behind the scenes before they enter the basketball court.

So, Amilya Rose and I want to challenge you readers. Let’s prepare behind the scenes in our homes for the challenge on the court (our schools). For this month, we have a two part challenge for you. First, we want you to pick out a book that you never read before. Read it more than once. Write down your thoughts.

Second part of the challenge, share the book with a friend. That way we get as many kids involved and inspired to read more.
Let the Madness begin!!

Read with your Child image courtesy of freeditgitalphotos.net by Ambro

Motivation Is Key To Encouraging Our Children To Read

Greetings Parents & Adventurers!!

Motivation is key to encouraging our children to read. Below are some tips to jump start your child’s desires to want to read…

Peak your child’s interest by finding out what types of stories they like to read…mysteries, adventures, books about animals, etc… Going to the library and a bookstore like a Barnes & Noble is very key to helping the child choose. Libraries and bookstores offer a variety of literary works.  Make the trip fun for the kids by adding a lunch or play time at the park.

Let your child read to you…. Allow your child to read to you helps them learn how to pronounce and enunciate their words.  Helps with memorizing when kids read aloud.  Pick a special time for the reading ..for example reading before bedtime.

Continue reading “Motivation Is Key To Encouraging Our Children To Read”

Read A Book and Go Far!

I like BooksHello Adventurers!

2016 is going to be a GREAT YEAR! I want all my Adventurers to start the year off right. You only have a few more months in school and I want you to finish on top.  One of the best ways to achieve anything is picking up a book daily and reading.  So for the next month, I challenge you to go to your school or local library and pick out a book from your favorite author…

  Read it

  Write down your thoughts

Share it with Others!!

Have an Adventurous Day!!