Author Archive: Ivan James

Monday Challenge to ALL Job Seekers

One of the things I hear the most from job seekers is how difficult it is to quantify results from their past work experience. Everyone agrees that doing so is helpful, if not critical, to the job search. However, most find it difficult to show a measurement for something they have done in the past. They didn’t keep track of the numbers, or they can’t remember them now, or they “were just doing their job” and don’t really know what measurable impact their impact had on the end result. Or, and this is really most often the case, they are confused and scared as to how to do this important work.

If you are one of the people who has had trouble quantifying results, then I’d like to invite you to join me in this week’s challenge – “One CAR Statement per day.” Writing one a day will help you get past the fear and confusion to take a giant leap forward in your career search.

You can use these on your resume, in your networking, as part of an interview, and in negotiating for a higher salary! It’s simple. I’ll start.

CONDITION: In the fall of 2001 five denominations were planning their joint summer camp curriculum for the next summer.

ACTIVITY: They brought a group of us together to brainstorm themes and activities based on a topic that would be used nationwide by more than 200 camp programs. I was assigned to write the curriculum for the older children (grades 4-6). I had to research both the topic and the learning styles/needs of this age group.

RESULT: I wrote a curriculum and it was well received. I turned in my curriculum on time. One Camp Director even said that it was the best in the series (in her opinion). Curriculum titled: “Under God’s Roof: Daily Discoveries for Older Children”, Summer Camp Curriculum, published by the Cooperative Publication Association, March 2002.

STATEMENT: Researched topic and learning needs and wrote a curriculum that was used by over 200 summer camp programs nationwide in 2002.

Riker Hill Elementary School Weather

At Riker Hill we believe it is only through cooperation of parents and the school that children reach their full potential. Accordingly, we invite parents to become full partners in the educational process. Opportunities for involvement abound: the Principal’s Roundtable meets monthly with a rotating membership; the HSA sponsors numerous activities that redound to the benefit of children; the School Leadership Team welcomes parental participation. Even if you remain at home, you play a vital role each day: encouraging your children to share successes and areas of frustration, asking what they learned during the day, providing assistance with homework if necessary. For its part, the Riker Hill faculty is fully committed to providing quality curriculum and instruction. We believe in the importance of communication, recognizing that it is a two-way street and that we have an obligation to facilitate access and the sharing of information and concerns. Working together we can enable children to succeed academically and socially as they progress from grade to grade on the path to middle school.


In this activity, children recall items in sequence, from A to Z, as they play a game — especially appropriate for going places. Your family probably knows at least one version of the game Grandmother’s Trunk.

In the original game, one player starts by saying typically, In Grandmother’s trunk I found an afghan. The next player repeats what the first player has said, then adds a second item beginning with B: In Grandmother’s trunk I found an afghan and a bowtie. The third player repeats what the second player has said and adds a third item beginning with C: In Grandmother’s trunk I found an afghan, a bowtie, and a coat. The game continues as the players take turns repeating the sequence of items from memory before adding another item beginning with the next letter of the alphabet. If a player omits an item, he or she drops out of the game.

The game ends when there is only one player left or all the remaining players have correctly unpacked Grandmother’s trunk (or your familys suitcase) from A to Z. Your family may decide to assist one another so that all players remain in the game till the end. You can change the lead-in to reflect your family’s current activity or destination. For example, if you’re going camping, begin “We’re going on a camping trip and we’re taking along…” If you’re heading out to the supermarket, begin “We’re going to the supermarket and we’re going to buy…” You may want to add yet more alphabetical elements, as in this version which challenges vocabulary as well as memory: “I love my love with an A.” “I went to Alaska and bought her an alabaster apple.”



Introducing Read for Success, an evidence-based program designed to improve reading proficiency and combat summer learning loss – a contributing factor to the achievement gap.

Tested over two years among 33,000 students from 16 states as part of an Innovative Approaches to Literacy grant from the U.S. Department of Education, RIF’s reading program helped reverse the trend of summer learning loss for more than half the participating students in the study. In addition, 57% of students saw gains in reading proficiency when tested from spring to fall. 

Read for Success is centered around motivating children to read by providing access to high-quality classroom book collections, summer books for students to choose and own, enriching STEAM-themed (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) classroom activities, professional development for teachers and parent engagement.

For 50 years, RIF has proven that getting good books into the hands of children to read and own makes a huge difference in reading outcomes. Good books, in addition to classroom enrichment activities and teacher support, improves outcomes even more.

Read for Success is ideal for school systems, classrooms and community organizations looking to improve reading proficiency across a broad spectrum of students. It’s a road map to promote systemic change in communities and help children become better readers.