Archive | Early Literacy

Library 7

Book Passages

Very young children can’t be avid readers in the fullest sense of the term. They can be excited by books and about the closeness they feel when loved ones read with them. If they have had lots of experience with good books they can certainly be admirers of books and be drawn to open them […]

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New Americans Offer Much to the World

Unite for Literacy recruits bilingual volunteers to support early literacy around the world. We seek out fluent native speakers of world languages, including English, to translate and narrate our books from English into other mother tongues. In turn, Unite for Literacy offers those book narrations for free to families around the world. This partnership has many rewards. […]

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The Daddy Rule

Though there is much to learn about tending to a new baby, I believe there is one hard-and-fast RULE a new dad needs to have learned by the day his little girl is born: Joyfully read with and constantly talk to her…every day… about everything…from her birth day forward. This directive is the only one […]

Child Reading In The Dark

ImPRESSive Books

When taking into consideration all of the inventions since long before the modern era, our progress in communication, transportation, medicine and government all pale in comparison to the impact of the movable-type printing press that has given us mass-produced books. Allowing us to share ideas and sentiments across the globe, and to communicate our culture and […]

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Take It Apart, Then Put It Back Together 

Today, Stefan Åge Hardonk Nielsen, an English teacher at Vonsild School near Kolding, Denmark, is leading his young students in translating simple English picture books into their native Danish language. These U.S.A. focused books were originally published in English for “new readers” of any age, but are deemed appropriate content for all children ages birth though early primary. Mr. Nielsen’s students […]

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Your “Mother” Language

This week the United Nations invites us to celebrate International Mother Language Day. I’m guessing most of us are unaware of this invitation, especially those of us in the U.S., where celebrating our mother language is a bit like fish celebrating water. Why celebrate something that seems omnipresent? Indeed, those of us who hail from the good ole […]

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Choose Talk

Doing life with little ones can either enrich their development or thwart it. Consider these two scenarios: Bundle up baby and get her into the car seat. Off to the Post office. Back out of the car seat. Standing in line, chattering with her about the line and clerks and stamp photos on the wall. […]

Adorable little boy, sitting in a book store, looking at books

Show and Tell

I’m originally from Missouri, the Show Me! state. I bring this up today because of my observation of how many parents and teachers, dedicated to helping children learn something, don’t really show their children how, why, when and where, to do things—from riding a bicycle to reading books. They may explain things, tell things and expect […]

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Listening to Littles as They Learn to BE

Given the primacy of language in children’s development, one of the historically common ideas that we should all immediately scrub from our thoughts is… Children should be seen, but not heard. Perhaps “HOGWASH!” is the best response to such self-serving silliness. The premise that children should remain quiet until spoken to by parents and other adults […]

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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 […]