Reading News and Children’s Literacy Roundup – mid-April 2012

Welcome to the mid-April edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Family Bookshelf, and Rasco from RIF.

We are delighted to celebrate reading ideas and highlight  literacy-related events on the horizon. We also have some news about literacy and reading programs and research, and a couple of suggestions for growing bookworms. Thanks for tuning in!

Note: Republished because it seemed to become invisible on the blog.

Literacy & Reading-Related Events

We love inspiring stories, and this post by Shauna Carey at the Room to Read blog is just wonderful. Shaoliya, a village in India, has been home to a Room to Read school library since 2008. But it wasn’t getting much use until Sita Kimari, a long-time resident with a fifth grade education, started visiting. Sita explains that she kept coming back for the illustrations in the books, and that over time the librarian helped her overcome her fear of reading. Now, she hosts a reading club and discussion group for women each evening. [Image credit: Room to Read blog post]

¡Grandes noticias! If El Día de los niños/El Día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day is coming! April 30, to be exact. From an email we received: “This year marks the 16th anniversary of the family literacy initiative founded by author Pat Mora and now housed at the Association of Library Service to Children, a division of ALA. If you are unfamiliar with Día, here are some resources you’ll find helpful.

Literacy Programs and Research

In a recent issue of The Big Fresh (@ChoiceLiteracy newsletter), Franki Sibberson shared her reflections and ideas for end-of-year literacy gifts in the classroom. As you’ll see in the post, she has experiences for rising Kindergartners through fifth graders.

Here’s an item with crossover to the Literacy Tools & Resources Roundup: The Australian Children’s Literature Digital Resources (CLDR) project. Our thanks to Susan Stephenson of the Book Chook for scooping this project, which “incorporates primary texts published from white settlement to 1945, including children’s and young adult fiction, poetry, short stories, and picture books.”

Suggestions for Growing Bookworms

With so many activities and commitments competing for time, attracting elementary school-age readers to the library on a regular basis can be a difficult task.

Have you heard that before? Maybe said it yourself? Well, Lisa Taylor (who blogs at Shelf Employed) has an idea that just might help you capture that elusive elementary reader. Her article for the ALSC Blog shares the challenges and successes of creating The Geronimo Stilton Club, an after school program for elementary students. She even offers to share all of her materials if you want to replicate the idea for your school!

Or maybe you’ve been preparing for the zombie apocalypse? If you missed the recent “Zombie Do’s and Dont’s” at the at the Bridgeport Public Library, there is still time to attend the other sessions of the zombie preparedness program. This quote will warm the heart of zombie wanna-be’s everywhere:

‘It’s rewarding that adults have voiced they’re interested in attending,’ he says. ‘But we have had to explain, this is just for the teens.’

You can read Lauren Barack’s full article Library Lures Teens with Zombie Survival Training in SLJ’s Extra Helping. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Speaking of Extra Helpings, I was excited to have the opportunity to catch up with YA author Dom Testa. Dom found the Reading Tub in 2005, when he was self-publishing his Galahad science fiction series [now being published by Tor]. What stood out in the interview is Dom’s project The Big Brain Club. “The Big Brain Club is lots of things — online community, in-school program partner, resource center, agent of change. But most of all, we are the messengers who allow young people to understand that Smart is Cool.” You can read the full interview at the SLJ website.

Sara Ralph’s post Top 10 Ways to Raise a Member of the Nerdy Book Club is a great place to get you starte don the “Smart is Cool” track, too. I had a hard time picking my favorite among the ten. For the moment I’m going with “model being a reading nerd,” probably because I find it the easiest … how ’bout you?

Unwrapping Literacy

Carol sent me the image of this tub made of books because she thought I’d like it. You bet I did! But what I loved even more was the name of the Tumblr blog where she found it Check it out: [Literature is My Utopia, a quote from Helen Keller!]

Can you imagine how much fun you could have with a tub like this in your school library? Heck, in a public library I bet you’d get adults to pay for some “ahhh” time reading in that tub!

That’s all for today. Carol will be back at the end of April with more children’s literacy and reading news. And, of course, we’ll be sharing literacy links on Twitter in the meantime @RascofromRIF, @readingtub, and @JensBookPage.

Thanks for reading, and for caring about children’s literacy! Be sure to stop by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Rasco from RIF in the next few days, as I’m sure they’ll add some wonderful nuggets, as well.