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What is a Culture of Literacy and Why is it Important?

The essential resource for children to become literate is a culture* rich in reading and writing. Children reared in such a culture will naturally grow to become lifelong readers and writers. Those who grow up in a culture devoid of reading and writing may be taught to read and write on demand, yet are not likely […]

Kids n Books

Celebrate and Engage in Learning from Cradle through Retirement

We are happily in the midst of the Week of the Young Child™, established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC invited us to join them April 8–12, 2019 for their yearly celebration of five fun-filled, themed days for families and educators of the youngest learners. This event is an annual celebration to spotlight early […]

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A Successful Future Through Literacy

Last week, I commented upon the power of relaxed, humanities-focused* conversation around good books and the impact of that conversation on children’s developing literacy. In this case, literacy includes all modes of engagement throughout life in clear and joyful mastery of print communication. The result of coming of age in families and schools with cultures […]

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Talking to Becoming Fully Human

I’m happily involved in a few elementary schools with a project supported by Kentucky Humanities called Prime Time Family Reading Time. It’s an effort to alter the nature of what is considered a good dinner-table conversation or travel-time discussion that include everyone on the proverbial (or perhaps literal) bus. The objective of Prime Time is to […]

Globe on Open Book

Support Reading. It’s Right.

Last September the International Literacy Association (ILA is the largest professional literacy educator organization in the world) released the Children’s Rights to Read, a set of 10 rights associated with ensuring all children around the globe learn to read books and grow to be joyful readers throughout their lives. This is not the first time that a “bill of rights” […]

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Reading test scores are in! (Sigh.)

Instead of using “reading” books, the recommendation is to fill classrooms with books rich in age-appropriate subject matter (e.g., science, mathematics, the social studies and humanities, the arts, etc.). The argument is that using books of random content designed for merely improving students’ reading test levels until 3rd grade haven’t worked for schools or children. The […]

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Letters, not just Letters

A few days ago I encountered an article in the New York Times about American citizens writing letters to random detainees along the southern border of our country. This effort gives the authors of the letters an outlet for the guilt and frustration they feel about not being able to do anything for the incarcerated individuals and […]

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Spoiled-Rotten Readers

Given how selective I am about what I read, I guess you can say I’m a spoiled-rotten reader…and I love it. It suits my needs. But I don’t believe I’m alone in this fickle reading life. A lot of my friends travel from one enthusiastic opening of a book to another, unhindered by the memory […]

What’s a Parent to Do…for School Success?

I spend a lot of time suggesting ways to support preschool children to guarantee that they will have joyful school lives and do well when they enter formal schooling. I offer below what families do that help assure children will enjoy school success from the time they enter kindergarten. If one wanted to make sure children are […]

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Cultural Clash or Embrace?

This Friday, Jan. 25, is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, a book-reading and book-discussing celebration intended to contribute to children’s understandings of their own cultures and the appreciation of others’ cultures. Perhaps you heard about this special day in the media. It is more likely, however, that you read or saw video of an incident in Washington, D.C., involving some high […]