Archive | Unite for Literacy

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Robots or Readers?

Have you ever had a computer or phone read something for you on the screen? It’s a trick question. No, you haven’t. Nobody else has either. That’s actually a misuse of the word READ. It sure sounds like someone reading, but IT’S NOT READING. It’s robotic output of language-like noise. This reading-like noise might more accurately […]

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The Author in the Mirror

Reading is akin to gathering our thoughts with the help of authors. Books and other forms of written communication can help us speak our minds as well as the minds of the people who authored them. I recall my young children’s response to books that I brought them from a National Council of Teachers of English conference I attended years […]

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A Literal World of Hippo Possibilities

Carrying home from the library a tote full of books for children is a singularly powerful demonstration for small ones how this reading thing is really important. It also can be just another pile of unrelated books about random topics for bedtime wind-down. Given the vast range of book topics for small children that invite […]

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 […]

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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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 […]