If Not For Franki

Thank you Ruth Ayres for creating this button for our posts.
I was so happy when I received an email from Mary Lee Hahn a few weeks ago asking for stories to celebrate Franki on her birthday.  Like so many others who are posting today on #ifnotforfranki, I am so very thankful for the encouragement I received from Franki several years ago.

I remember the day distinctly.  Carl Anderson was doing a demonstration lesson in my classroom as part of the Literacy Connection that Friday in April.  It was only my second year of teaching first grade after being in 4th for most of my 18 years of experience.  I was nervous about having so many teachers watching my classroom and hoping my kids would do a good job.  I knew Franki was one of the officers of the Literacy Connection, but I didn't know her personally. I was kind of like her groupie.  I had read all of her books and always loved her articles on Choice Literacy.  I'd been reading A Year of Reading (check out this link to read other #ifnotforfranki posts), the blog she and Mary Lee started. It was at that time in my life that I began thinking I'd like to do some professional writing.

The first grade hallway, lined with book filled tables, was jam  packed with teachers perusing the latest professional and classroom titles.  I was looking for some new books to add to my classroom library when Franki stopped to tell me what a nice job my kids had done while Carl was in my classroom.  I thanked her and then did something totally out of the ordinary.  You see, I'm very much an introvert and don't do well at making small talk with people I don't know very well.  Instead of going on my way, I stopped and told her how much I enjoyed reading her blog and her articles on Choice Literacy.  I really went out on a limb next when I told her I was thinking I would like to write for Choice Literacy.

It was then that Franki encouraged me to start a blog. She said that was an easy way to get my feet wet in writing for a larger audience and to find my voice in the professional world.   Writing blog posts would help me decide on some topics to propose to Brenda Power for Choice Literacy articles.  Her kindness and encouragement was what I needed to take those first steps.

Within the next month, I began Raising Readers and Writers and by the following fall, I had contacted Brenda Power and proposed my first article.  Franki offered to proofread my writing for me and gave me some good advice.  I am forever grateful to Franki for what she has done for me.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Franki.  You are an inspiration to me.  I have made it my goal to do for others what you have done for me...encourage, advise, and help others realize their dreams.  I hope you have a wonderful day today!


  1. I'm enjoying hearing how everyone knows Franki and the stories they share with her. Thanks for sharing your Franki story.


  2. This is a great story. So very Franki.

  3. Julie, I hear myself in your post…so wanting, so scared…Am I, should I, could I? How wonderful you had the words of encouragement you needed to push you forward. How nice we can all benefit from your bravery and Franki's support!


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