For children to become fully literate, we must provide them with books in which they see themselves.
As a child in Iowa, there were no racial minorities in my neighborhood and the values and family practices discussed in the school books were utterly White American. That didn’t mean that I was the middle of anything.
These days there are so many ways for us to dismiss a religious, political, racial or economic individual or group as not fitting, in one way or another, and thus not seen as any kind of asset to our lives. All my life, I’ve heard that children can be so cruel and petty to each other. […]
Like so many others during this stay-at-home period, I have spent an unusual amount of time watching television, especially news or current events programming. It helps me stay up to date on how my life, which feels completely out of my control, is likely to change or when it might ever return to some semblance […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
When the kids graduate high school or just leave formal schooling, what is the most important resource that they will leverage to continue learning about…well, anything? Beyond their peers who also are searching for answers, what is the first go-to resource for young adults to begin the lifelong journey of shaping their very own, wonderful and […]