Archive | Unite for Literacy

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A New Library on Our Block

There’s a new Little Free Library on a corner down the way from my house.  It  recently was dedicated to the memory of the owner’s mother. “Sara’s Library” also has recently acquired a small bench on which readers are invited to rest as they peruse the library’s offerings. Sara’s family had minimal tools and carpentry […]

picture books

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 […]

Prime Time Reading program at East Bank Regional Library

Humanity in the Library

I am currently involved with a family literacy program.* It meets for six weeks, during which time families and their grade-school children come to a nearby school’s well-stocked library where we  spend two hours together eating healthy food, reading good books and discussing how those books pertain to our very own lives. There is no “teaching” […]

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Literacy Mastery is Social

Sports enthusiasts figure out how to enjoy their beloved pastime with pals—beyond being spectators of sporting events. Pickup games of all types are arranged, with excited players arriving early and then playing as long as the sun is up or the gym is open. They get better and better because by playing hard with their friends and […]

Monster Reader

The Problem With Reading Rewards

This week I happened upon a terrific article in The New York Times about summer reading. It is about rewarding kids for reading. The article’s headline (shown here) caught my attention because my experience is also that rewards for reading rarely have positive outcomes. The article made me reflect upon the important difference between children who can read and child avid readers.  As most healthy library systems do, in my town, Louisville, Kentucky’s fabulous library has a “summer reading” program. It serves as a lure to get […]

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Simply the Best 

I recently read that National Public Radio’s expert panel (with input from 7000 listeners) had judged and selected the members of a collection of what they call the 100 funniest books ever. The books are presented in categories with book covers and nice paragraphs to capture imaginations about what delights are to be found in each one.   I […]

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School Library ≠ Book Warehouse

There seem to be two competing agendas operating in lots of schools with tight budgets. Literacy learning is a top funding priority in our school. The librarian costs too much, so we should just hire a clerk or use the library as a study hall. Pick one. We can’t promote both of these. The research […]

Standards Cover

Libraries – the Ultimate Sources for New Possibilities

I’m not one that is enthralled by time sensitive school test scores if I can get any better gauge of the enduring effects of a school’s literacy program. For example, the circulation figures from a classroom’s library or the whole school library are an excellent indication of the effects that the school is having on children becoming […]

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Long-Ignored Road to Reading Success

Every few months it seems there is news that focuses our attention on the perennially pitiful job schools do in improving reading. The proposed solutions are predictably pitiful as well. Schools that have been doing A should check out B, and schools that have been doing B might want to try C. The options for school-wide […]

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We Need a New Library….!

In April the American Library Association published its annual State of America’s Libraries report. This comprehensive look at trends and issues related to libraries and their full usage is an essential resource for those interested in sustainable and fully accessible libraries for all communities and certainly for all schools. As we approach the start of […]