Archive | Lifelong Learning

Magical books

And the Best Gifts Ever are…

In many countries around the globe, it’s the gift giving time of year when our attentions drift toward how we can delight our loved ones with a thoughtful gift. I know this will come as a surprise, but my favorite gifts are books because they are a gift you can open again and again. Books also make […]

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When Science and Literacy Collide

This last week I attended the Literacy Research Association conference, the largest literacy research-focused conference held each year in the U.S. The program was packed with hundreds of presentations, poster sessions, round table discussions, and special interest groups directed by the luminaries and newcomers in the varied fields associated with reading and writing. I share […]

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“Be Kind” and Other Words That Matter

One recent morning my wife and I drove to an appointment in Eminence, Ky., just outside of Louisville. It was a gorgeous start to a new day with the east ablaze with “sky blue pink” (as my wife calls it) behind a single bank of fluffy clouds. As we wound through the countryside we passed a […]

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Permission Granted: Become a Hoarder

Do you know a hoarder? There was a television series sometime back called “Hoarders: Buried Alive” that explored the people who can’t bring themselves to give or throw unneeded things away. We have a dear friend that is a hoarder. Walt is a person who buys and sells things at flea markets around town. However, […]

Get Buff. Read.

Some children don’t learn to love books and reading in school. Estimates are as high as 25 percent of children grow up as non-readers. It’s not that they can’t read’ they just don’t. Superintendents might swear their youngsters have gone through “good” schools. However, if the kids from good schools don’t love books and reading, how can […]

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Family-Focused Learning Support

This week the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) held their 30th annual convention here in Louisville, Ky. NCFL is an organization that focuses on multi-generational learning for promoting literacy, mathematics and much more, since it expanded its areas of service after rebranding from the original National Center for Family Literacy. NCFL has projects operating in nearly 40 states […]

Magical books

What’s Your Pick Up Line?

  Whatcha reading? Conversation between strangers builds bridges. In these troubled times, initiating an interchange focused on a neutral or shared interest can quickly create a positive tone, too seldom enjoyed in the past few years. How’s your book? There are simple book-focused questions that can easily open a conversation between two strangers. The open sharing […]

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Deeply Shared Books Create Community

I’ve mentioned before that I’m involved with a family literacy program called Prime Time* that meets in a lovely elementary school’s library once a week for six weeks. I take the role of discussant and my partner, an accomplished storyteller, initiates each book-inspired discussion with a fully dramatic read-aloud, peppered with sound effects, emotional fluency and […]

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Personal Treasures That Can’t Be Beat

Most people have some personal treasures from the past. Perhaps a piece of jewelry from a grandparent, a stuffed animal or love letters. At this time of year, I think about my ancient baseball glove which I’ve had since I was a boy with dreams of making the big league. But what about books? Ask anybody—no, ask any […]

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The Taste for Reading Comes and Goes

Reading for me is like hanging round the dessert table at a big buffet. Searching, sampling, selecting, and of course, periodically gorging to satisfy my powerful sweet tooth. Similarly, my book and reading choices are often guided by self-questions like: Where to begin? When I have I read enough? Am I ready to walk away […]