Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – 1 November Edition

Literacy Reading News Roundup

The early November children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book PageScrub-a-Dub-Tub, and Rasco from RIF is now available at Jen Robinson’s Book Page. Over the past couple of weeks Jen Robinson, Carol Rasco, and I have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events; literacy and reading programs and research; and suggestions for growing bookworms.

Now that we’ve warmed up with Halloween reading, we’re ready for Family Literacy Month.  I love this description

“November is National Family Literacy Month, a period when people and organizations throughout the U.S. spend special time focusing on the development, or the expansion, of reading skills among children and adults alike. Thanks to an innovative new online venture, any family with access to a computer can now join in the ongoing nationwide effort to create a more literate America.” ~ Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center

Many communities will be hosting events for National Family Literacy Day (today). Dawn Little is going to be celebrating all month long at the Literacy Toolbox.  Last year, she had a wonderful post about ways families can promote literacy; this year she is going to offer ideas and personal stories about family literacy all month long. [Transparency alert: I am one of the guests.]

I’m sure it is mere serendipity, but today’s Washington Post has an article about teens and reading for pleasure. Donna St. George draws on two studies … and some time spent in the Twinbrook Library in Rockville … to illustrate that teens are indeed reading.  Another great quote:

Even with all the distractions, even with all the technology, there are books that break through.” ~ Deborah Taylor Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore)

This is an interesting contrast with a recent study by the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers that concludes that the books high school students pick are contributing to a decline in adult reading skills. The debate goes on …

Via RSS Owl: In her post Learning Language is Interactive, Babette Reeves, the Passionate Librarian,  shares some thoughts on the power of conversation as a building block for reading.  Did you know “The brain is so hardwired to learn language that it will actively protest when it is not able to participate in the activities that enable it”? I didn’t. Worst case scenario: if the lack of response continues  humans learn to quit trying. This is a nice complement to Jen’s piece about the Reading Association of South Africa’s recent conference

In her opening, Jen shares a secret to her process for finding newsy items: a twitter list. It is a subset of people/organizations she follows that talk specifically about reading and literacy. Like Jen, I have a Twitter list for literacy stuff . I don’t have a phone that gets email, so I use HootSuite to read them. While we’re on the subject … if you’re looking for an effective way to manage your blog and news feeds, I am having some success with RSS Owl (, a free news feeder/reader. I actually send my Feed-rinsed Google Reader feeds there because RSS Owl lets me parse and sort them by content (read: keywords).

To close on a high note … I second Jen’s recommendation to read Aaron Mead’s interview with our own Carol Rasco.  For me, personally, it was enlightening and very illustrative of how the journey to becoming a literacy passionista can unfold. Bravo Carol!

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