Archive | Community Involvement

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 […]

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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. […]

alarm clock

The Big Alarm Clock for Little Ones

Have you seen the new cute little alarm clocks for babies, toddlers and preschoolers? No. No you haven’t. I hope you never will. If not interrupted by a full diaper or falling out of bed, small children will wake up when they are finished with their sleeping. They know when they are ready. Upon waking children immediately […]

Stroller Talk Time

Break the silence…for a child’s sake

I work from home. I spend my days accompanied mostly by snores from two large dogs and a periodic walk-by purr from a very small cat. It’s peaceful and quiet here. Today I’m thinking it’s too quiet. The exercisers who go by my window are typically alone, as are the young parents pushing strollers. Walkers and […]

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Starters or Stoppers? That is the Question.

At its best, literacy starts conversations that can bring people closer together in understanding and connectedness. Literacy falls short of that promise when what passes for sharing books actually interrupts or stops such conversation. Ideally, literacy, like conversation, is a means for offering others information, feelings and experiences. Authors carefully craft what they wish to […]

Charlotte NC by Brian Young

Early Literacy: What’s Your Role?

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with the folks at Read Charlotte in North Carolina. This is a city-/county-wide effort to connect public, private and civic sectors of that region in addressing the troubling challenge that 60 percent of their children exit 3rd grade without the reading abilities associated with joyful success in school. […]