Archive | Community Involvement

gramps-and-kid

50 Percent of Eligible Kids Not Ready for Kindergarten

That news appeared recently here in Louisville, Ky. However, that very percentage has been used this year to describe lack of school-preparedness in children across the United States. My first reaction was one that calls for some actual investigative journalism to answer the question of why Kindergarten classes, by and large, are not ready for half the students […]

toddler-potty-activities-potty-prep-full

The Tiniest, BIG Literacy Lesson

She looked at the card, then at her mother, then at me. I had given my business card to a woman with a small, less than 2-year-old child outside of the hotel where the Literacy Research Association was celebrating its yearly awards for those individuals making lifelong contributions in support of literacy. My business card […]

reconcile

Building Bridges with Rich Language

One of the benefits of wide and frequent reading and the conversation that springs from it is the durable expansion of a strong reading, writing and speaking vocabulary. Children whose writing is simple and inexpressive, or who struggle to verbally share their thoughts, feelings and needs often suffer from a lack of essential language skills. Unaddressed, […]

Large stone with hieroglyphics and two other languages all saying the same things.

Rosetta’s Tech Manual

More than 2,200 years ago, King Ptolemy V of Egypt decreed a holiday in honor of gods most of us have never heard of. He decided to have his pronouncement carved into a stone (which we now call the Rosetta Stone) so no one would forget all of the sacrificing, praying and hoopla that went along with holidays […]

talking-about-books

Talk to be “good”

I recently encountered an article indicating that school-age children rarely talk with their friends about what they are “free” reading, mostly because they don’t have time in their academic day. Wait! Really? That’s huge! This lost conversation represents a lost educational opportunity, seemingly sacrificed on the altar of what apparently passes for instructional efficiency! But […]

choice

Strong Reading Muscle Comes from Practicing Choice…and Good Coaches

Part of rearing lifelong readers is ensuring children grow up eager to fearlessly explore new books. Another part is letting them make poor choices about what they read. A young girl might be eager to engage with a book because the adults in her life are convinced it will be too challenging. A young boy might already have read and enjoyed several […]

Chandpur Government Primary School, Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh

They Gotta Wanna Read

When a learner’s family and community commit to developing full literacy for everyone, there are at least two principles that guide efforts in that development: The community must ensure its literacy learners have ready access to abundant good books to read (“good” meaning relevant to each learner’s life). Those closest to literacy learners must ensure they are […]

starter1

Only 60 percent? Surely, not!

I recently reviewed the latest Scholastic Kids and Family Reading Report (2014) and was struck by the many interesting statistics shared through this well-designed survey about book reading by children and families. For example, 60 percent of the more than 2500 parents surveyed said they received the advice from someone that reading books to children from birth […]

flags

Bilinguals are Like Glue

Currently, there are about 350 languages spoken in homes in the United States of America. Immigrant families in the U.S. speak as many as 200 languages from around the world. Another 150 languages are spoken by Native American families. Many families are “bilingual,” “emergent bilingual” or even “multi-lingual.” Such labels are honored distinctions of accomplishment as the world population continues […]

Itsty

Who REALLY Needs Diverse Books, Anyway?

I came across an article in the Pacific Standard magazine recently that got me thinking about what diversity in children’s books really means. It was authored by Noah Berlatsky, a somewhat controversial writer and cartoon editor. In it he says, “Diverse kids’ literature gives children of color a chance to see themselves as heroes, which is vital. […]