Tag Archives: culture

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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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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 […]

SUPERPOWER

One Language or Two? More is Better.

Regularly, I read journals and other publications written for literacy professionals like me. I subscribe to several, and with the blossoming of online publishing archives, along with my university’s library, I have access to the world. Because part of my work is to collect translations and narrations of books for beginning readers in the Unite […]

Avid

The Best and Worst of Reading

The month of December is a terrific time to review “bests” and “worsts.” It takes time and some discipline to systematically and thoughtfully step back from the business of the holidays and remember what in life is worth holding onto or letting go of. It is a nice way to bring closure to another year. As I’ve […]

Navajo Reservation Sign

How to Become Proficient in English…or Not

A few years back I spent time in Navajo schools, working for various teachers, coaching them on literacy instruction and inserting as much support as I could for their ongoing professional growth. One visit coincided with the annual English Proficiency Test administered to students. Hearing that, my first response was, “Wait! These kids were raised speaking English. […]

African American Family Eating Meal At Home Together

The Cost of Free Books

I’m currently working with the Kentucky Humanities Prime Time Project in a school in my home town. The fabulous librarian coordinates this project which has invited 40 of the school’s Hispanic families (parents AND kids) to enjoy a light meal, some picture-book read-aloud time and participate in demonstrations of humanities-based conversations about the books once a week. Humanities conversations focus […]

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What’s Your Family Culture?

Culture is everything in creating family connection. Members of most cultures share values and commonly admired lifestyles to which others in the same culture aspire. In multi-cultural settings like the United States of America or Canada where hundreds of languages and cultures create a shared community, it is difficult to assess a single value placed on […]

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How lap time contributes to social-emotional growth

For children, especially very young children, lap-time literacy experiences can offer powerful and usually positive contributions to their social-emotional development. Conversely, the language and informational richness of books don’t benefit a child much unless books are opened, explored, read and discussed with a caregiver. Such sharing forms a critical basis for positioning books to contribute to […]

A young cowboy steps up onto the steel panels around the permiter of the corral on the Melin Ranch near Pray, Montana.

Who’s Responsible for Literacy?

Last week, the New York Times reported that a federal judge “dismissed a class-action lawsuit brought by students at troubled schools in Detroit and found that ‘access to literacy’ is not a constitutional right…” My organization and I easily qualify as pro-universal literacy. So, should we be happy or distressed by this legal determination that […]

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Let’s Talk About YOU!

The best thing that parents can do to support their children for success in school isn’t helping them with their science project or in figuring out fractions. Those are, of course, terrific ways to convey to children the value of school success. However, these content-rich activities are most educational when the conversation that goes along with them […]