Celebrating the Life of Frances “Murph” Crawford

KSRA has lost a dear friend and long-time KSRA leader. Frances “Murph” Crawford passed away on December 10, 2011. Murph was a long-time Regional Director who contributed to KSRA in many, many ways. She was also a past president and decades-long member of the Delaware Valley Reading Association Advisory Board. Her legacy will live on in the lives she touched and mentoring she did of many still involved in KSRA.

Frances Nelle “Murph” Crawford

FRANCES CRAWFORD Frances Nelle “Murph” Crawford age 79, a resident of the Rydal Park Retirement Community and Hallowood Acres, East Stroudsburg and formerly of Baederwood died peacefully, surrounded by her family and friends, on December 10, 2011. Born on June 13, 1932 in Lansdale, PA, she was the daughter of the late James O. Crawford and the late Frances “Susie” Gose Crawford. She earned her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education from Penn State University and later earned her Masters degree in Reading from Temple University. She began her career as an elementary school teacher in Dormont, PA. In 1956, she moved to Abington and began teaching second grade at Highland Elementary School. She retired, in 1996, as Chairman of the Reading Department at Abington Junior High School. Know to all as Murph, her infectious laugh, extroverted personality and commitment and dedication to family, friends and her chosen field of reading, made her a respected leader, caring listener, devoted friend and mentor to all her know her. As a committed volunteer, she made many contributions to the Abington Civic Club, Abington Presbyterian Church as an Elder, Deacon and Chair of the Older Adult Committee. She was a member of the International Reading Association, held offices in the Keystone State Reading Association and the Delaware Valley Reading Association, where a conference was named in her honor. She was the loving sister of Janet A. Crawford of Pittsburgh, PA, and James O. Crawford of Virginia Beach, VA and was the devoted aunt of James Crawford and Casey Morris of Glenside and Patrick Kent Morris of Pittsburgh and the proud great-aunt of Emma Lily, Chloe Anne and Charlie Nelle Morris. Memorial service will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, December 16, 2011 at Abington Presbyterian Church, 1082 Old York Road, Abington, where friends will be received from noon until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Delaware Valley Reading Association, c/o Kelly Doyle, 84 E. Rose Tree Road, Media, PA 19063 (Reference-Murph Crawford Reading Conference) Arrangements were by Baron Rowland Funeral Home in Abington.

Make Plans Now for 2012 Conference

Read and Shine!

45th Annual KSRA Conference

Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, PA

October 27-30, 2012

KSRA is heading west for its 45th annual conference. In all of its fall splendor, Seven Springs Mountain Resort will be aglow with special speakers, authors, exhibitors, teachers, and guests! The remodeled facilities are warm and inviting, and there’s always great food at Seven Springs!

The new program format, beginning on Saturday afternoon and concluding on Tuesday, is designed to accommodate various schedules. The conference committee is planning a shining conference. There is always so much to learn and we all need to feel good about our accomplishments. Our goal is for students as well as teachers to love reading and become lifelong readers: to read and shine!

Please plan to join us. It will be a fabulous time to read and shine.

President’s Update

Educators are an interesting bunch. As the summer ends, I find myself like many other educators looking forward to the start of school. What will the school year bring? How can I make sure that I am giving my students everything they need academically and emotionally? What will my students bring to the learning environment?

It’s easy to become frustrated with the current climate of education, but this year I give you a story and a challenge.

When I was a young parent, we had limited funds for Christmas gifts. I remember crying for days because I knew that I couldn’t get my girls all of the “stuff” that other kids would get. Sure, they knew how much I loved them; I told them every day and showed them every day, just not with “stuff.” On Christmas morning, an interesting thing happened – my children loved their gifts! They didn’t care if their dollhouse people looked like giants in the secondhand dollhouse. In fact, they made more elaborate stories and creative ways to make what I thought would be a sad Christmas, one of the best Christmases we have had together. Although we had limited finances for that Christmas holiday, we made the best of a bad situation. And as it turned out, it was better than I ever expected.

My challenge to you is to remember that although we may not have enough supplies, our students are counting on us to have the best school year ever. We need to be creative in our teaching and develop plans to ensure that all students can be successful.  We need to make the best of a bad situation. Our students need to see every day how much we care for them. I believe it was Lorraine Monroe, and I am guessing numerous others who said, “Kids care about how much you care before they care about how much you know.”

Education isn’t too different from holidays – sometimes you have a lot, and sometimes you don’t feel as though you have enough; but if you care and you show your students that you care, it will be better than you ever expected.

I look forward to a wonderful year with you. May your school year be filled with success!


Call for Manuscripts – PA Reads

Pennsylvania Reads:  Journal of the Keystone State Reading Association is a refereed journal whose purpose is to provide a forum for literacy educators to share their expertise.  Authors are encouraged to submit articles that focus on current classroom practices, research, or information that will help to improve the literacy achievement of students.  Short pieces, such as teaching tips, poetry, reviews of research, and book reviews are welcome. Read more