Children’s Literacy and Reading News – Mid-October

Literacy Reading News RoundupWe hope you enjoyed a beautiful autumn weekend … maybe even a long one!

The mid-October children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog, and Rasco from RIF is now available at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub. Over the past couple of weeks Jen Robinson and I have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events; literacy and reading programs and research; 21st century literacies; and grants, sponsorships & donations. Carol Rasco from RIF will have some reflection for October and a look forward at the end of the month.

I’m sure that before I could finish saying  “New Yo…” y’all would know what piece of *news* I’m about to mention. There is nothing new that I can add to the conversation, but I would encourage you to read Carol Rasco’s post from Sunday, where she offers her perspective from the front lines. Ever the optimist, she reminds us that the glass is not nearly empty, and also asks teachers for their wisdom:

When you have suspicions about a child being pushed perhaps too hard at home, home requirements being stricter as to amount of reading, types of books, etc. than in your classroom or the parent discusses it directly with you – how do you handle the situation, particularly for the early elementary aged students?


In the October edition of Tools for Reading and Literacy, I shared a video about a European Union project to encourage reading and learning a new language. Over the weekend, I learned that the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress is participating in the month-long 2010 Kids Euro Festival. The festival is also a month long kid-centric event to event that celebrate European arts and culture. From the Extra Helping Newslette ((School Library Journal) article where I found it: “This free festival is put on with the cooperation of the 27 Washington-based European Union embassies and is organized by the French-American Cultural Foundation in collaboration with more than 25 cultural institutions in the Washington, DC area. Events and activities are geared toward children ages 2-12 and include mimes, storytellers, dancers, puppeteers, movies, workshops, and over 200 performances and activities.” Read Chelsey Philpot’s full article here.

Literacy Programs and Research

In this Boston Globe article by Riddhi Shah, there is a GREAT picture of a group of people watching a television in a slum area of India. They are watching music videos featuring some of their favorite Bollywood celebrities … and following along with the onscreen subtitles sponsored by Indian national television. The project, started nine years ago, has had some incredible results: “newspaper reading in the village has gone up by more than 50 percent in the last decade. Research also shows that the village’s women, who can now read bus schedules themselves, are more mobile, and more children are opting to stay in school.”

In August I caught up on some professional reading, starting with American Libraries (I wanna be a librarian when I grow up). It’s just taken me a while to get caught up with the margin notes.Some things you’ve likely already spotted in the Roundup of New (to me) Resources. I have to say, though, this one is one of my favorites: QR Codes (aka quick response codes). I’m sure you’ve seen some promotion where you can use your camera-enabled phone to read the code and it will show you great information. Well, the Contra Costa County (California) library has a grant to put QR Codes on popular books. Hold up your phone, and voila! you get a list of read-alikes for that title. “QR Codes on books could also take patrons to online book review pages or a list of other books cataloged under the same subject headings.” I haven’t gotten all geeky since the iPad (*sigh*), but isn’t that just cool?

While we’re still all cool and digital and stuff, check out Books and Literacy in the Digitial Age by Ralph Raab (American Libraries, August 2010). The subtitle is “Can we grow technophiles who are bibliophiles?” Good question. I liked this thought: “By focusing chidren’s enthusiasm for online exploration and expression on powerful educational tools, parents and teachers can promote literacy alongside technology. ” I could fill up the entire roundup with vignettes from this article, so please do read it. Mr. Raab has some fascinating thoughts about the downside of digital writing, too.

Scholastic’s “2010 Kids & Family Reading Report” has some interesting findings about kids and reading in a digital age. The company surveyed 1,045 children between the ages of 6 and 17, along with their parents, on their opinions and behavior when reading books for fun in our digital world. The secret may be eReaders. By letting kids read fun ebooks, they get their ‘screen’ fix and may just read a little longer! (via School Library Journal’s Extra Helping, 5 October 2010)

Over at Readers are Made on the Lap of a Parent, Mo has a nice series going with tips for helping resistant/struggling/reluctant readers. So far, she has talked about connecting kids with books on subjects that interest them, how to make sure you’re not adding to their anxiety about reading, and simple, everyday things you can read with your child to make it fun.

Unwrapping Literacy

What is hybrid learning? Well, it is different things to different school districts. In Schools Blend Virtual and Face-to-Face Teaching (Education Week), Katie Ash explores several models for students from kindergarten through high school. Edutopia created this 10-minute video about online learning in 2005. The motivations and opportunities for learners are myriad … some I hadn’t even thought of.

Happy Tuesday, y’all. I was out yesterday enjoying a family day, so I missed Nonfiction Monday. Luckily, I can head over Anastasia Suen’s Picture Book of the Day to read it today.

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