Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – 25 January

Literacy Reading News RoundupWelcome to the weekly roundup of news, analysis, and ideas for raising readers. This week Jen Robinson is hosting our children’s literacy and reading news round-up. The roundups are brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog. Jen and I collected plenty of content for you about literacy and reading-related events; literacy/reading programs and research; 21st century literacies; and grants, sponsorships and donations.

I will second Jen’s response to the In The Huffington Post article that lays out Stephen Krashen’s concerns about new literacy-related legislation pending in Congress. I especially liked this bit: “If Congress really wanted to help schools develop strong readers, they’d provide funds to strengthen the libraries instead of money for buying skill drill worksheets and standardized tests.” I guess we need to spell these things out for Members of Congress! (pun intended!)

I was also intrigued by the Chicago Tribune article by Deanna Martin about Governor Mitch Daniels’ (Rep-Indiana) plan to end social promotion for third graders. While I understand that the plan may cost up to $49 million, have they not calculated what the long-term economic costs are when kids don’t learn to read? Maybe this can help them:

According to the US Department of Education, a functionally illiterate adult earns 42 percent less than a high school graduate. It is estimated that $5 billion a year in taxes goes to support people receiving public assistance who are unemployable due to illiteracy.

Lest you think I am completely cantankerous this morning … I have this piece of heartening news.

Jason Parsons, a Boone County native and former student body president at West Virginia University, has launched an initiative to improve literacy for children in five counties in Southern West Virginia (Kanawha, Boone, Logan, Lincoln and Mingo). Parsons is asking students and families to gather up their favorite old books from childhood and bring them to school. The school that collects the most books will receive a $5,000 stipend to further literacy education in their school.

Fran Cannon Slayton When the Whistle BlowsI spent my teenage years in Charleston, WV (Kanawha County) as the daughter of a high school principal. If you don’t know this part of the state, think Coal Miner’s Daughter, The Glass Castle (Amazon Link) and When the Whistle Blows (our review).  Bravo Jason!  You can read more in Davin White’s article in the Charleston Gazette.

Today’s Nonfiction Monday round-up is at Playing by the Book. Nonfiction Monday creator Anastasia Suen will be hosting this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Picture Book of the Day.

16 responses to “Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – 25 January

  1. Maybe we need to send that “cost of illiteracy” statistic to Congress, Terry.

    I did like the West Virginia story, though. The big stories are all well and good, but often it’s the small, grass-roots action that gives me hope.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Literacy and Reading Roundup | Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub Blog --
    1. @readingtub @donalynbooks I wish I had written down all the crazy answers, questions, and statements I got from students over the years.

    1. @readingtub @donalynbooks I wish I had written down all the crazy answers, questions, and statements I got from students over the years.

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  4. When will the politics of education ever end? Probably never, but it’s great to see educators getting involved in the action and speaking up!

    I don’t really understand why it’s so hard for many people to see that you can’t teach reading skills until children have had many positive experiences with books and other reading materials. Reading aloud to even the youngest of children on a regular basis provides a strong foundation for the actual teaching of reading. Without it, the skills become meaningless.

    It’s time our society stopped looking for shortcuts and quick fixes. It’s not fair to students, and there will be lasting implications for our country if it’s an obstacle we are not willing or able to overcome.

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