Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – Early August 2011

Where has the time gone? I was looking for an easy way to get this post started and the last Roundup post I found to replicate from my archives was May! Holy, cow! On with the show …

Jen Robinson is hosting the mid-August edition of the children’s literacy and reading news round-up at Jen Robinson’s Book Page. As you know, Jen, Carol Rasco of  Rasco from RIF, and I create a twice-monthly post collecting new, exciting, and thought-provoking items from around the web. Over the past couple of weeks Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events, programs, and research.

If you haven’t stopped by Jen’s yet, do grab your favorite beverage while you browse. The mid-August literacy and reading news round-up is jam-packed with great stuff.  Here were a few things that really caught my attention …

I LOVED the good news about the recent census. “Today’s parents—especially low-income parents—are more involved with their young children than they were a decade ago, in ways that research has shown could boost children’s academic careers down the road.” [via Education Week article by Sarah Sparks] As Jen says, we all hope for 100%, but it is a step in the right direction! Check out these stats …

  • Parents overwhelmingly reported that they not only want, but expect, their children to graduate from high school and college. While fewer than half of low-income parents in 1998 expected their children to graduate from college, 54 percent of that group expected their children to earn a college degree in 2009.
  • Among children in poverty, 45 percent of 1- and 2-year-olds and 40 percent of children ages 3 to 5 had parents who read to them at least seven times a week in 2009; by contrast, in 1998, among families in poverty, only 37 percent of the toddlers and 34 percent of the preschoolers read with their families as often. The proportion of low-income children being read to by their families increased faster than for their wealthier peers.
In light of the pervasiveness of screens in our lives – and the need to read what’s on them, it will be interesting to see how these results in another few years. As Jen tells us, the folks at Reading Rockets are looking at those questions in a series of videos about Educational Media: Screen Time and Literacy. Speaking of screen time … I thought I had bookmarked a reference to a study about kids, screen time, and bed. This isn’t THE source I was thinking of, but this article presents the study’s key finding: watching [insert screen type here] one hour before bedtime results in interrupted sleep.
With a first line that says “It’s never too early to read to your baby – even if they can’t understand a single syllable.” I knew this was a must read.  In an article for the Herald Sun (Australia), Elissa Doherty interviews Dr. Sharon Goldfeld, a scientific advisory board member on literacy for the Raising Children Network (RCN) and a pediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Dr. Goldfeld offers information familiar to many of us, but what separated the article for me was how Ms. Doherty included an interview with a Mom (Mum) whose child isn’t cooperative … but who keeps reading anyway!
I’ll close with a victory for libraries! In Charleston, WV, Kanawha County Chief Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr. over-ruled himself and has ordered the Board of Education to continue to make $235,150 in monthly payments to the Kanawha (pronounced can-aw) County Public Library … at least while the parties await an appeal in the state Supreme Court. In July, Judge Zakaib had ruled in favor of the School Board, which is seeking “injunctive relief.” In real terms, that meant a $2.8 million cut to the library system. That’s nearly 40% of the System’s budget.




7 responses to “Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup – Early August 2011

  1. I wonder how much the idea of being unable to afford all the distracting tech gadgets (Wii, televisions, iPhones, iPads, etc) that take kids away from reading plays into those numbers. I imagine there is an impact there.
    Michelle recently posted…Winner of Fury GiveawayMy Profile

    1. That is a great point, Michelle. It would be interesting to see if they want to spend more time in school where those tools and entertainment are being provided for them.

      One of the big broo-ha-has here last year was that the elementary-aged kids play Wii in gym on Fridays. Lots of schools also seem to be “handing out” tablets for more senior students. These are fascinating times.

  2. This is good news! I have witnessed this when some young people beg me for a copy of my book after I’ve done a reading. I have had older teens begin reading the book aloud to their friends when they visit my table at events.
    I have had young parents ask me how to do more than read a book to a toddler, etc. Promote Literacy! Keep a Mind Lit!
    Karen E. Dabney recently posted…Education Leaders on Teaching Black Males to AchieveMy Profile

  3. Terry, I’ve just been reading the Wash Rag, back to school edition. You told us about the calendar, which i think is a great idea. And I think it’s literacy too! Not literature, no, but part of functional literacy to be able to “read” a calendar, and use it effectively.
    Susan Stephenson recently posted…What’s So Good About Reading?My Profile

    1. Thanks Susan … I hadn’t thought of it in terms of reading a calendar/schedule. Brilliant as always, m’dear!

      I’m debating on whether or not to publish that one in a couple weeks. The calendar came in handy today when C came home with her first assignment. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.

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