Archive | Community Involvement

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The Primacy of “Mother Language”

This week the world celebrates International Mother Tongue Day. February 21st is the date designated in 1999 by the United Nations to recognize the primacy of the home language in everyone’s culture. That language in turn is the most comprehensive path to the full understanding of a people and their values. The commitment of this […]

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The Magic of Letters

Letters are magic. No, not alphabet letters. I mean  “snail mail.” Handcrafted letters are slow motion conversations across space and time that share emotions, events and ideas using paper and print. They have the gravity to split time into “before the letter arrived” and “after the letter arrived.” They provide us with an invisible asynchronous connection with other people. The first time a […]

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What Sacrifice is Too Great? What Investment is Too Small?

To sacrifice is to give up forever something we would prefer to keep. Sacrifices are made to obtain something of  value, a personally irreplaceable loss of time, opportunity or possessions, given up usually for others. All families make sacrifices to get what they want for their children. After all, what sacrifice is too great to make […]

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Why Do We Teach Reading Anyway?

The best way to improve children’s reading is to arrange it so that kids are frequently reading what they want to read, at least according to Stephen Krashen who’s a vocal proponent and prolific researcher of this theory. In his recent book*, Krashen asserts that for both developing and fully mature readers, the best book […]


The Bumpy Road to Reading

Try Again, Fail Again, Fail Better – Samuel Beckett A failure is an event – It is not a person. – Zig Ziglar Some simple things are learned in a flash, like not touching fire. It only takes one mistake to learn the associated lesson, and it’s the same lesson for everyone. Most valuable lessons however, yielding […]

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Wet Books–Take Two. What YOU Can Do.

In last week’s blog I had mentioned that … …the American Library Association (ALA) and its state and local affiliates are additional places to which to turn for guidance on helping damaged libraries as they struggle back to something near prominence in the role they play in people’s lives. In response, Karen Muller, ALA’s director of library and knowledge […]

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Wet Books: A Burden for us ALL to Carry

When I was first a professor I was in a cubicle in the basement of a 200-year-old building of an even older university. Charming, right? In my second year, the university began to build a new library next door. For weeks there were pulses of concentric waves in my water glass, caused by the pounding of […]

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It REALLY Matters

Reading. Each week I write for parents, teachers and teacher educators about the very basics of reading. I address the ultimate reason why as a culture we should spend so much time, energy, and money on it. Sadly, the ultimate goal I refer to is rarely uttered in school board meetings. It is seldom discussed by teachers, and […]


Lifelong Library

It’s time we stop worrying about yearly achievement scores and start worrying about our children’s futures in fuller ways. Achievement defined by the popular Common Core State Standards (CCSS) is “to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life,…”* …and life? Hmmm. […]