Reading Round-Up, 21 October

Okay, now we’re back to a “normal” week … at least until tomorrow. We had a teacher workday yesterday, so it was a long weekend. Catherine was very disappointed to learn that the kids got to stay home and the teachers were in school. “Don’t they get days off, too?”

Over the coming weeks, I am probably going to transition this to a bi-weekly post. It’s getting to be that busy time of the year. “Maintaining balance” is one of my goals for the year, so with only two months to go, I better get started.



Now ‘Til 10 November 2008 Class of 2K8 is sponsoring a contest that gives school librarians a chance to win books, gift certificates, or a 2K8 author visit. We read about it at Elizabeth Bird’s Press Release Fun post at A Fuse #8 Production. You can also go to the Class of 2K8 website.

1 November 2008 The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC) is hosting 13th Annual Multicultural Children’s Book Festival. From the website: “bring the entire family to meet your favorite authors, listen to celebrity book readings, and enjoy performances, participatory workshops, illustration demonstrations, and more.” This is a FREE event that starts at Noon and ends at 6 PM.

19 November 2008 City National Bank is now accepting applications from educators for grants to support its Reading is the Way Up program that funds literacy-based projects at elementary, middle and high schools in California, New York, and Nevada. The Literacy Grant Application is available online, and must be submitted by 19 November 2008. You can read more about Reading is the Way Up in Brian Scott’s post for Literacy and Reading News

“Nevermore” after 21 November 2008. On 19 January 2009, Edgar Allen Poe will be 200 years old. To commemorate the event, READ magazine (a Weekly Reader literary publication for middle and high school students) is sponsoring an Edgar Allan Poe Video contest! The deadline for entry is 21 November 2008. You can get all the details in this article on TeacherTube.


Filling the Shelves Jim Davidson of the Log Cabin Democrat (Conway, AR) wrote a neat article about a local book drive. They are collecting gently used children’s book for their annualBookcase for Every Child project. At the first drive in 2005, they collected more than 6,000 books. As the article reminds us “statistics tell us that 61 PERCENT of low-income families in our nation do not have any books at all for their children to read.” You can read the article to get details about creating your own project, or to contact the organizers.

The Buzz from New Orleans The Hornets (NBA pro team) has partnered with Read to Achieve, a nonprofit for literacy. Here’s the skinny, as published on the Hornets website. “In conjunction with Read to Achieve, the Hornets created a life-size Bookmobile bus that travels year-round with over 2,000 children’s books to encourage reading and literacy. During the 2007-08 season, the Bookmobile made 73 total appearances, passing out more than 35,000 books to local children.” Click here to read the article.


A Late Halloween Volunteers are needed to help out with Family Literacy Fun Day, Cambridge City Hall (Cambridge, MA) on 1 November 2008. There are lots of ways to help, and adults are needed to take turns wearing costumes of different children’s book characters. Get more details at the website.

“Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen …” Reach Out and Read Kansas City is seeking volunteers who “love books and have the gift of gab” to represent the organization at Reach Out and Read KC events in the Kansas City metro area. You can creadthe complete announcement at the website.


I will keep the News Section light this week, as Jen Robinson has a lot of great stuff in her Children’s Literacy Round-Up: October 19, so there’s no need to repeat.

Need Glasses? The 2008 Cybils Nominations are in, and now the panelists begin their work of winnowing the collection down to the finalists over the next two months. We have LOTS of reading to do. You can read a category-by-category list in this post over at the Cybils blog. I’m very excited to be part of the Easy Readers Panel. In the next few days I’ll be posting links to books we’ve reviewed (across all categories) over at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub.

Kid Picks Tuesday Today’s carnival at 5 Minutes for Books is a round-up of blog posts about the books we’re reading with kids. Kid Picks is an easy, centralized way to find new books to share with your favorite audience.

Achoo! (Salud) Linda Jacobson had an article in last week’s Education Week about a new study that looked at school absence and student progress. Her article, Absences in Early Grades Tied to Learning Lags presents findings of a new study by the National Center for Children in Poverty (Columbia University). Here’s a stat: “Among poor children, chronic absence in kindergarten predicted the lowest levels of educational achievement at the end of 5th grade.” For more detailed analysis, read Present, Engaged and Accounted For. You can also participate in Chronic Absenteeism in Our Nation’s Schools, a live chat, on 27 October 2008 3 to 4 PM (EDT).

Priceless! Through a Google Alert, I found a new blog. Literacy is Priceless is a blog for Reading Teachers. It offers “reading tips and links to free K-6 literacy resources on the Web.”

New Twist on Old News Yesterday, John Micklos posted Libraries Thrive as Economy Falters at Reading Today Daily (IRA blog). The post summarizes a Boston Globe article about increased library use. Earlier this spring, we covered the same subject in several June 2008 Reading Round-ups.

Have a good week everybody. My condolences to the Red Sox fans…