We’re just a few weeks into the new year. There is still time to read Carol’s 2012 End-of-Year Roundup. Click on over, then come on back. We’ll wait for you.
Children’s Literacy & Reading-Related Events
Although not directly related to literacy, next Monday is the Martin Luther King Day of Service. Helping others develop their literacy skills is a service to others. Learn more about opportunities or find a project in your area by going to www.MLKDay.gov
For those of a certain age (50+), another opportunity is to volunteer with Experience Corps. There is a feature on Experience Corps efforts to improve youth literacy in Chicago in the January/February AARP Bulletin. (via @CreatetheGood)
Before you know it, Valentines Day will be here. It is SO much bigger than a box of chocolates! In addition to the announcement of the Cybils winners, it is also International Book Giving Day. The idea is very simple: give a book, leave a book, and/or donate a book. There is lots of info available …
- Visit the International Book Giving Day website to learn more, volunteer, grab some book plates, or download a free pdf poster.
- Get ideas and cute logos from Susan Stephenson, at the Book Chook blog.
- Follow @bookgivingday or #giveabook on Twitter; or like the page on Facebook.
This year LitWorld’s World Read Aloud Day is March 6, 2013. In her post Authors Wanted: A call for Skype volunteers for World Read Aloud Day 2013, author Kate Messner is not only participating she’s organizing authors of traditionally published books who “would like to spend part of the day Skyping with classrooms around the world to share the joy of reading aloud.” Deadline to participate is February 1, 2013. See Kate’s post to get the specifics on who to email and the format to use.
If you’re looking for inspiration on the impact an author visit can have on a child, then check out Jarrett Krosoczka‘s TED talk. His is a powerful personal story. A simple “nice cat” comment from author Jack Gantos started an amazing journey. Zoe Toft has a collection of TED talks with authors and illustrators related to children’s books at Playing By the Book, too! Shout out to Susan Stephenson for the links!
Children’s Literacy Programs and Research
Yesterday Scholastic released the fourth edition of its Kids & Family Reading Report. In this national survey kids ages 6 to 17 and their parents share details about their reading (and eReading) habits and attitudes. As you might expect, stats related to eBooks have gone up significantly. So I was happy to see this among the findings:
Eighty percent of kids who read ebooks still read books for fun primarily in print.
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is offering grants up to $15,000 to family literacy providers in 40 states. Family literacy includes services for adult education, children’s education, parenting classes, and Child-and-Parent Together (PACT) time. Visit the website to learn more. The application deadline is 2/28/2013. (via @NCFLiteracy)
The aforementioned Experience Corps is a year-round literacy program with more than 2,000 volunteers in 19 cities. In Chicago, the emphasis is on the coming school year. AARP Experience Corps‘ goal is to recruit 500 to 600 volunteers to work with teachers in 25 public schools beginning in September. Learn more here.
We are likely on the proverbial front end of the research, analysis, and discussions regarding kids and screens. Day Nurseries (UK) cites an American Academy of Pediatrics study looking at the effects of screens on children between 3 and 18 months of age. Among the findings are “a range of possible long-term implications upon both mental and physical health,” including developmental delays and autism to a loss of creative thinking and problem solving to obesity. The article is well worth a read.
I second Jen’s Tweet saying that Amy’s article about The Reading Race is well worth a read. Amy shares her personal experience of the dilemma between heart and brain on where her son “should” be as a reader. She has a great quote from Jim Trelease, but I love her own thought: “it doesn’t matter when a child learns to read, it matters how much they learn to love reading.”
In case you need a new prediction: Will Smartphones Will Replace Car Keys by 2015? No, that isn’t literacy, but it is interesting to read side-by-side with Lauren Barack’s article in SLJ’s Digital Shift: High School Students Use Cell Phones in Class. According to a University of Haifa study of nearly 600 students at three high schools (grades 9 to 12),
- 95 percent said they regularly sent emails or texts during classroom lessons,
- 94 percent said they browsed file-sharing sites or social media sites like Facebook;
- 93 percent said they listen to music; and
- 91 percent admitted to talking on their phones during class. [emphasis mine]
According to the article, the study’s findings highlight the need to engage kids during class time … with or without technology.
Ironically, just as I finished reading the SLJ article, I saw this tweet by @SocialMed_Ntate “I’ve been waiting to be introduced to an article like this for a long, long time.”
The article is an August 2009 WIRED article by Clive Thompson about how, as a result of access to technology and social media, “young people today write far more than any generation before them.”
Suggestions for Growing Bookworms
What would we do without Susan Stephenson (aka The Book Chook)? She recently sent us a note with a link to Larry Ferlazzo’s post filled with “the best fun videos about books and reading.” I have to say, though, that my favorite was not a video, but the slideshow for A Maze Grows in London. I wouldn’t want to have to reshelve those 250,000 books, though.
Growing Book by Book has a lovely article with 5 Ideas for Organizing Books To Promote Toddler Interaction. It starts with the question How many of us made a resolution to become more organized? Then offers five, very doable ideas for making books accessible for toddlers. My personal fave is the Book Ambulance (pictured left).
Speaking of resolutions, one of mine for the year is to read more nonfiction for middle grade readers. Being a judge for the Cybils Nonfiction Middle Grade/Young Adult category is a help. So is Katie Bircher’s article Nonfiction Apps for Middle Graders in the current edition of Notes from the Horn Book.
While we’re talking nonfiction for kids … earlier this month, Betsy Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) moderated a panel “Ethics and Nonfiction,” which focused on writing juvenile nonfiction that is “both entertaining and enlightening, but … is both factually accurate and enjoyable.”
Photo of panelists (left to right) Meghan McCarthy, Susan Kuklin, Sue Macy, and Deborah Heiligman.
In a recent edition of SLJ’s Extra Helping Tim Wadhan has a wonderful collection of Books to Build Connections with Latino Culture. The list is for readers in Kindergarten through high school and for every book on the list, Tim has activity ideas. The collection is diverse and includes everything from folklore and retelling Homer’s Odyessy within a Latino culture to biographies, poetry, and family stories.
Phew! It’s been a busy month already!
Thanks for your interest in our ongoing efforts to share children’s literacy and reading news and for so generously sharing it on social media.Be sure to stop by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Quietly in the next few days, as I’m sure both Jen and Carol will have some additional items to share.