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Laurie Story Vela, M.A.

The Laurie Story
Laurie's Stories began in 1989 as part of Laurie Vela's undergraduate work in Communications at UC Davis. In 1990-91, Laurie's work went into a Master's thesis in Education blending phonics, whole language and English as a second language. Laurie put the FUN in these reading and language fundamentals and they became the foundation for Laurie's Stories.

From 1992 on, Laurie began performing Laurie's Stories nationwide in Family Festivals, school assemblies, literacy programs and public library summer reading programs. It is through these summer reading programs that her themes list grew to be so long. New characters have been born along the way adding an ever expanding richness to the blend of education and entertainment. From inner city schools to suburbia to Native American Indian Reservations, the response to Laurie's Stories has been overwhelmingly postitive.

From 1992-1996, Laurie produced 8 recordings. In 1997, Laurie came out with her whole language phonics program, Leaping Literacy, debuting it at a National Teacher's Conference where it sold very well. In all, more than 5,000 books and tapes have been distributed and about 175,000 have participated in Laurie's live shows. In the fall of 1997, Laurie produced her first t.v. show with the community television station in Santa Cruz, CA who taped and aired 2 shows with a 4 camera shoot in a local elementary school. In 1998, another pilot show was produced in Philadelphia. This time, the audience featured families and parent participation with added computer animation and editing effects. In July 1999, Laurie performed approx. 3 hours of broadcast footage for The FamilyLand Network who taped four 75 minute shows with a live audience of 4-9 year olds. In July 2000, www.lauriesstories.com hit cyberspace. And in July 2001, Laurie taped 12 shows featuring live, interactive family audiences at WHYY, Philadelphia. Thus, the great expansion of Leaping Literacy began. While this footage remained in post-edit, Leaping Literacy debuted its first book titles in July 2002. The 120 Books and 12 audios of Leaping Literacy were completed in early 2003 and all 120 titles became available in eBook format in July, 2003. In May of 2004, the Laurie StorEBooksTM were offered in PDF format and a subscription site launched giving members access to the 120 Leaping Literacy Books and related, interactive word play lessons with the Laurie Story Characters.
In 2005, Laurie Story designed and implemented Child Sing Song Circles for First 5, Amador producing 64 songs on 2 CDs, "Rocka This Song" and "Spring Into Summer" and singing these songs in circles with young ones (0-5) and their caregivers.
In 2005-06, Laurie started the Youth Choir at Spiritual Life Center in Sacramento and in March 2006 released 2 new CDs with 29 more original songs. In late 2006
& 2007, Laurie produced 2 more audio recordings and the website, www.newthoughtfamilies.com In 2008, both websites expanded offering videos, music and online Booktelling. 2008 also brought Laurie's Stories new online membership options to access the vast content of Laurie StorEBooks, interactive word play and songs in mp3s. 2009 offered new opportunities to reshape the Leaping Literacy Library including new branches for Child Sing Song Circles
and our kids publishing corner for Your StorEBooks. Also at this time, Laurie StorE BooksTM went to Power PDFs with the narration embedded in the book. 2009-2011 has brought 2 more music CDs & new applications and variations of Laurie StorEBooksTM ~ including Laurie's BookTelling performances online in LaurieStorETV & a few titles for the Kindle ~ join us at Amazon ! 2012-2015 has Laurie Story re-illustrating lots of titles. We are also publishing from the archives and have 175 Laurie StorEBook titles available with more on the way. In our 15 years online, we have continuously offered free Marvelous Memberships in our Leaping Literacy Library with free monthly Laurie StorEBooks. See what's free!

Educational Benefits
The majority of Laurie's Stories are written for literacy fluency. Using primarily rhyme and alliteration, word play follows word patterns which facilitates decoding and reading for fluency, (creative) writing, spelling and English Language Development for 1st & 2nd language learners. Based on these theories, Laurie developed Physical Phonics for FUNdamentals. Imagination, creativity and fun are also fostered by use of the dramatic, musical and visual arts. Alliteration, Rhyme and Word Play have been shown to lay an important foundation to literacy; one that facilitates fluency in all areas of the Language Arts: Listening, Speaking, Reading & Writing. Teachers will find the standards at play in these materials that speak to even the most reluctant readers.

Mass Market Appeal
The child-centered narrative & illustration of Laurie's Stories appeal to a broad range of ages. Characters like the Color Cloud and Kelly, the Alligator In The Refrigerator invite imagination. The long lists of titles for each character are perfect for Book Clubs and TV/Video. The interactive multi-media mix of family audience and Laurie Story content is innovative and timely. The playfulness of (Mother Goose) rhyme is engaging; from ancient Greeks to current day rappers, the power of rhyme is steadfast and contagious. And the power of rhyme lives on in the glory of Laurie Stories!

Laurie's Stories: a celebration of imagination & reading FUNdamentals!
Because children deserve playtime & literacy lasts a lifetime.

Creative Spirit Families
2013-2015 has us integrating Laurie's Stories and the Leaping Literacy Library with our non-profit Creative Spirit Families:

Leaping Literacy Library Section Branches Leaping Literacy Free Shelf Leaping Literacy Free Shelf Leaping Literacy Free Shelf Creative Family Literacy Forum Leaping Literacy Free Shelf Literacy in the traditional sense is about reading & writing fluency and proficiency. This is where Laurie Story's work began and is still rooted. Yet literacy has expanded to be a term that applies to any subset of knowledge ~ like financial literacy. Here at Creative Spirit Families and through Laurie Story's Leaping Literacy Library section branches ~ linked above ~ , we offer opportunities to explore the FUNdamentals of traditional literacy as well as expand our expressions through creative literacy, heart & spiritual literacy, family literacy & computer literacy. We believe in keeping our imaginations and innovations on 'Cloud 9'!