Reading Round-Up, 15 July

Yesterday I decided to extend my birthday celebration and enjoy my transformed kitchen, thanks to all the pink crepe paper my daughter strung on the kitchen cabinets and light! So here’s the round-up. You might want to get your calendar, this edition is front-loaded with lots of events. They should be in (roughly) date order.

Book Giveaway Over at the Power of Books ~ Literacy for Everyone blog, leave a comment for your chance to win a collection of children’s books published by Barefoot books. Hurry! The contest closes July 18, 2008 at midnight (PDT). Win the books for yourselves or your local library.

Book it On July 19, 2008, there is a Write for Charity event at the Salt Lake City main library. Bring 15 pages of your novel or picture book manuscript for this hands-on workshop. The entrance fee is $45 and 100% goes to The Wheelchair Project. Go to Squeetus to learn more.

Save the date: July 21, 2008 Drop by the Huckleberry Bar (Brooklyn, NY) to enjoy a panel discussion with female graphic novelists and cartoonists. The event supports Behind the Book, “a home-grown nonprofit that promotes literacy and strives to cultivate a love of reading for low-income students in New York City public schools.” You can read about the event and Behind the Book in Eleanor’s post at the Creative Times blog

Gimme a slice If you are 16 or under and live in the Puget Sound/Seattle area, you can participate in a reading challenge that will earn you free pizza. Four companies have come together promote children’s literacy with the Book Your Summer reading program. The partners include Papa Murphy’s Seattle franchisees, Borders® bookstores, 103.7 The Mountain FM, and ParentMap Magazine in Seattle. We read the Franchise News Wire press release.

Math and Science – Awesome Sylvan Dell Publishing produces picture books with lessons in math, science, and nature. All of their books come with educational ideas in the back and a teacher’s guide on the website. The company has just announced a resource grant for a one-year site license for schools and school districts (2008-2009 School Year). We read Brian Scott’s summary of the press release at Literacy and Reading News. You can go to Sylvan Dell site for the application.

DC is Bookish September is a busy month in the Nation’s Capital when it comes to children’s literacy and reading.

+ On September 8, 2008, the International Reading Association is hosting an event to celebrate International Literacy Day. The “Reading Across Continents” event will link students in Washington, DC, with students in Nigeria and Ghana through shared reading of two novels. See IRA Plans literacy celebration in Reading Today Daily. Get all the details on the IRA website.

+ The US National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress, will be held Saturday September 27, 2008. Rain or shine. First Lady Laura Bush is hosting the event, which will include 70 authors and illustrators. You can get an abbreviated list of featured authors, illustrators, and poets (poets aren’t authors?) in John Micklos’ post at Reading Today Daily or visit the official National Book Festival website.

Sweet Home Alabama Cathy P. Miller, the Literacy Ambassador (and a member of our Board of Directors) is participating in JumpStart’s Read for the Record campaign. You can donate to her Book Drive … OR … if you are in (or near) Huntsville, AL, on October 2, 2008, you can participate in Read for the Record event by reading to preschool children. Contact Cathy directly at cathypmiller [at] Comcast (dot) net. We wrote about Read for the Record in this Round-up.

Reading is Fundamental SOS. Reading is Fundamental needs $26 million to get books to the more than 4.5 million underserved kids and their families in Fiscal 2009. Click here to get to the RIF site and their campaign page. If you work in government, you know that *Fiscal 2009* begins October 1, 2008! You also know that Congress will be heading home for vacation soon; they will also have a short fall session because of the upcoming elections. We read this post in the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance (NCBLA) blog for this lead.

Picture This In the old school, what we now call graphic novels were comic books. In the new school, they are viewed as a tool that just might keep kids reading. Over at Web Comic List, you can read about the Create a Comic Project. Thanks to a Small Neighborhood Grant they will sponsor Make a Comic Tournament III, a contest where children apply their imagination to creating “sequential art masterpieces.” The contest is a means of promoting creative writing and literacy for underserved children in New Haven, CT.

Let me in! The May 2008 edition of Canadian Psychology has an article “Unlocking the Door: Is parents’ reading to children the key to early literacy development?” by Linda M. Phillips, Stephen P. Norris and Jim Anderson. You can pay $11.95 to read the complete article, or you can read the abstract on PsycNET, the American Psychological Association website.

BOOKMARKS Reading is a universal commodity. No one should have to pay extra to find a great book. So when we find a great site or blog, we are happy to share, Here are some new places we visited this week.

In Need of Books Have you visited Kids Need to Read? PJ Haarsma and Nathan Fillion created the Kids Need to Read Foundation as a way not only to promote reading, but also to draw attention to and garner funds for school and public libraries. What I found particularly cool was the open call for teachers and librarians to state their book needs.

Knock Knock Through the Magic Door  is an online resource and bookseller. Like us, they want to help parents create a pathway toward a lifelong love of reading. “Our primary objective is to make it easy and fast for parents (grandparents, aunts and uncles, godparents, etc. as well as teachers and librarians) to locate books that their children are most likely to enjoy.” Search tools on the site give visitors the chance to search by author, title, subject, or keyword. There are a number of discussion forums and links to other resources. Thanks to Charles for introducing us to this great site via a Kidlit reading list thread.

Down on the Corner Go to the Step-by-Step Reading Corner to find children’s books in more than 30 languages. They are single-language titles, not bilingual books. Here is the scoop (from the Reading Corner homepage): “[This site] creates an international community of authors, illustrators and readers through its publishing network. We are excited to be partners in the process of developing and supporting new children’s literature which originates from the 26 countries where the Step by Step Program is active, thereby making it possible to offer children, teachers and their parents a great variety of stories across many cultures and languages.” Bravissimo! Thanks to Anil at Big Universe for sending this lead!

More Books for Free We found Page by Page Books, a self-described resource for reading classics online for free. You will also find original source material, like the inaugural addresses of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, and others. My Daily Domestic Diigolet.

Bienvenido, GutenTag, as-salaam-o-aleykum Check out the International Children’s Digital Library. Click on the globe and you’ll get a collection of books on that part of the world. When you click on a book, you can select the language you want to read it in (some have just one, others many). You can also hook the site up to a standard computer projector and share the book in a classroom. What a great way to promote reading and help kids become members of the international community. We found this at My Daily Domestic Diigolet.

It is in the Mail To make it simple: Paperspine is to books what Netflix is to movies. You create a list of the books you want to read. They send you the books, you read them (take as long as you want), then return them. If you sign up as a frequent, avid, or family reader, shipping is free. Thanks to Dewey at the Hidden Side of a Leaf for this lead.

TOMGIRLZ R KEWL Macky Mack (of the Tomgirlz book series) has launched a new community service program. Bringing Books to Life for Literacy is an author/character visiting program. The first stop is the Holtz Children’s Hospital (south Florida). We read about this at the Tomgirlz blog.

Write On! Dallas Woodburn is a senior at USC. She also founded Write On, a non-profit for writing and literacy. Through the Write On! website and her blog, Dallas encourages kids to explore and discover literature not only through reading, but writing. Each year, Write On! sponsors a book drive to get books to kids who need them. Given her schedule, the best way to keep up with Write On! is the newsletter. You can sign up on the Write On! website.

Murder: TV lifeline Unplugged In a post called Kill Your TV, the Babysitter lays out the effects of TV on our kids’ intellect and health (not to mention the exposure to violence). Some of the facts we’re all familiar with, but she puts some benchmarks in place by adding the dates various laws went into effect. We found this at the Babysitter Writes blog.

Tell Me a Story Over at the Adventure Author blog Cathrin Howells has a post Learning about 21st Century Storytelling. Even though this is for an academic audience, you can substitute the word “parent” for “teacher” in this quote. “As teachers, we are going to have to bone up on changing views of literacy if we are to keep pace with our children; we are going to have to find out as much as we can about the interplay between word and image as children increasingly create narratives using both, with both modes carrying valid and often sophisticated meaning.”

More Stories to Tell Also check out MLocke’s post about her search to find information about storytelling and its impact on readers on the Storytelling in School Libraries blog. Over on the right side you will also find links to podcasts about the art of storytelling. For a different search, click over to the TWU Library Science Blog for the results of a search on “reluctant reader” in Books in Print.

A Minute of your time Your child’s future is worth that, right? Over at YubaNet, you’ll find this article by the National Center for Family Literacy. The article offers lots of ideas about the things you can do in just 60 seconds to help your child expand their vocabulary and expand reading skills. It probably won’t take you more than two minutes to read the article, either! If you have 15 minutes, then read 15 minutes keeps the brain drain away in the Forest Park Review (IL). We saw this lead in Louise Ash’s post, Reading Today Daily.

Reading: the Play Be sure to take another five minutes to read Trevor Cairney’s two-part series Stimulating Language, Literacy and Learning in Holidays (vacation for those of us in the States). They are both on his Literacy, Families and Learning blog. Here is the link to Part One; here is the link to Part Two. If you want to read more about the importance of playing, check out Don’t teach boys to be like girls by Nicola Pearson in the Guardian online. We found this through Reading Today Daily and Louise Ash’s post Boys will be boys if we let them.

Keep Reading Over at A Year of Reading, Franki has put together a post with links to a list of books for kids who like the Captain Underpants series. You will find her article and the list at the Choice Literacy site. She makes a point that is always worth mentioning: to get a kid to love reading, find out what the kid loves to read.

Game On! A 10-week project at Charles Darwin University (Australia) is designed to test Abracadabra software and its effectiveness in teaching basic literacy skills to 4- to 8-year-olds. Abracadabra, developed in Canada, looks like a game, but it is built around very specific educational goals. We first read about it in Reading Today Daily. You can also go directly to the Australian online. In last week’s Round-up we had a blurb (The Reading Game) about a $1 million Verizon grant to the American Library Association for a similar study.

New Report The National Center for Learning Disabilities has just released this new report, Challenging Change: How Schools and Districts are Improving Performance of Special Education Students. The study looks at two schools and three school districts in California, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Texas. We found the article in John Micklos’ article for Reading Today Daily.

Let’s hope I did better with the typos this week!

One response to “Reading Round-Up, 15 July

  1. digital story telling

    To see really exciting new multimedia literacy try out Inanimate Alice. And its a free online resource!
    More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
    And better still for schools there is a piece of software now available that allows learners to create their own stories. Valuable for all forms of literacy and this is being sold as a perpetual site licence for schools at £99 !

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