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I recently found out about We Give Books and want to introduce you to this splendid literacy program.
Who Is Behind It?
We Give Books was created by the Penguin Group and the Pearson Foundation. Together, we support literacy through programs that engage entire communities through literacy and awareness programs like Booktime and Jumpstart's Read for the Record. We hope that We Give Books proves to be a way that young children, together with their parents or caregivers, can come to understand the power of reading—and of giving—as much as we do.Penguin Group is one of the world's premier global consumer trade book publishers, with key market positions in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Canada, India, China, New Zealand and Ireland. The Penguin Group (http://www.penguin.com) is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.Pearson Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Pearson plc. A 501(c) (3) nonprofit operating foundation, the Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe.
We are dedicated to delivering award-winning books empowering you to read and share beautiful stories with children in your life. With age-appropriate content for young readers, our goal is to create memories that will last a lifetime.Books are right at the heart of this program — books for reading and books for giving!All of the books available for online reading are children's picture books appropriate for children through age ten. There is a mix of fiction and nonfiction, a range of authors, and an equal balance between read-alouds and books for independent readers. We'll be adding news books every month, together with special seasonal offerings.The We Give Books team works upfront with each non-profit literacy partner to identify the kinds of children's books that best fit their program needs. Some of the same great books you can read online will be donated to our charity partners through your reading efforts. We also donate others they request specifically for the young people they serve.
Jumpstart is a national organization which promotes childhood education. They are combining forces with Penguin and the Pearson Foundation all next week and finishing with a record reading day on October 4. The effort helps to reach millions of preschool children "to encourage them to read."
Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad is this year's Read For the Record book. Millions of copies of the book will be made available. Click on the link above and you can find out more information as well as download activities and a parent brochure. And to find out more about the Pearson Foundation and access to free books, click on the links above.
When parents and teachers work together to create fun and inviting reading opportunities for children, the children will reap the rewards. Here are two interesting articles concerning young readers. In the first, a group of California educators has teamed up with parents to study the issue of family literacy--how to build it. The teachers have expanded their meetings to include parents from across the area. They hope to use the parent's input to make the literacy plan more comprehensive. Bravo to all of them!
The second article I read this week concerning parents actively supporting their child's literary goals concerns a young six-year-old from Staten Island. Isabella Policarpo read over 400 books to earn a trip to Yankee Stadium. She'll be part of a group of eager readers who will go on the field and see their names on the big screen. Isabella's parents helped her check out most of the books from the New York Public library. While they read many of them to her, amazing Isabella did most of the reading herself. Now she reads to her six-month-old sister--just as she was read to by her parents. A little time and effort toward making reading a daily habit in a child's life can go a long way in fostering a strong reader.
Team up with a child(ren) in your life and together you can reach the greatest of literary goals!
First, I met Mrs. Parham's 2nd grade class at Conway Elementary School where I shared DOGGIE DAY CAMP with the students. They enjoyed playing "Bubba Says" with me and discovering some verb and adverb adventures of their own.
Next, I spent the whole day with the incredible students at Christ Community Lutheran School. I was amazed at all the creative projects the students and their teachers had made for me in preparation for my visit. They highlighted each of my books with poems and stories and inventive dioramas--Kitty Kerplunking Visits Doggie Day Camp! Why didn't I think of that? There was a video as well!
First Grade teacher, Ann Schmidt who helped organize my visit, had this to say: Just to let you know about your influence on my classroom. There are 4 of them that have started creating their own books. They've shared their stories and now the rest of the class is all fired up about writing their own too. This is something that first graders should be doing, but this class has just realized how fun it can be, thanks to you.
For me, it's great to write for children, but even better to help inspire them to do their own writing. Like I always say, Ready, Set, WRITE!!!
Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life.is a global literacy campaign launched as part of Scholastic's 90th anniversary celebration that underscores the importance of reading to better prepare children who will need strong literacy skills to survive and succeed in the 21st century. Scholastic is asking EVERYONE, our partners, publishers, educators, business leaders, nonprofits, parents, caregivers and students -- to work together to bring reading and deeper understanding to all children around the globe. TheReading Bill of Rights, the foundation of the campaign, includes eight "beliefs" that affirm every child's right to read and what that means in the 21st century... from access to books and great stories to the ability to analyze, interpret and understand information in the digital age.
Here is what we believe about reading in the second decade of the 21st century. We call this The Reading Bill of Rights:
THE NEW YORK TIMES printed a controversial article recently about the decline of picture books. The article presents children's book publishers and booksellers who note the drop in sales and an acceleration of young children toward chapter books.
Librarians were quick to respond. An excellent blog on the topic can be found at EARLY WORD. Blogger, Lisa Von Drasek, notes the importance of picture books in the lives of children. Picture books provide young listeners an exposure to higher level vocabulary as well as visual literacy. For a list of great read-alouds, check out this site, as well as more info on my website:
K. Dawn Byrd is featuring GIFTS FROM GOD at her blog this week. Stop by and leave a comment. You'll have a chance to win a copy of the book. What a great way to celebrate NATIONAL FAMILY LITERACY DAY! The official day was last Tuesday, but everyday should be a family literacy event. Check out the website for lots of information on helping your child become a better reader and writer.
As a former school librarian, I know how important school libraries are--and the people who run them. Studies continue to show that students score better on achievement tests in schools with professionally staffed librarians. Across the curriculum, librarians aid students at their individual levels and needs.
Don't shortchange your students. At a time of budget cuts in many school districts, fight to keep the libraries well-stocked and well-staffed. Every school needs a great library and a great librarian!
I know it seems like we've just celebrated Christmas, but January is going by very quickly. Soon it will be Valentine's Day. I found out about a couple great ways to celebrate the upcoming holiday.
Sponsor a Milk and Bookies party. Milk and Bookies is a nonprofit organization that helps kids become part of the process for enhancing the lives of underprivileged children. At a Milk and Bookies party, kids bring books to donate for kids who don't have books of their own. To find out more, visit the link above.
Send special valentine cards from Save the Children. Proceeds from these cute cards go toward Save the Children education programs, which help inspire kids to love reading. Save the Children helps kids around the world with programs in education, nutrition, and health. They are a "link between poverty and literacy."
By grade four, a student needs to be able "to read to learn." If a child is not on par for reading at his/her grade level by third grade, he/she will start falling behind dramatically. Underprivileged children are at the biggest risk for this literacy shortfall. Help make a difference in their lives--one book and one child at a time.
Of course, any day is a good day to take your child to the library, but on February 4 many libraries will have extra events and activities planned. Even if you can't make it this Saturday, plan a family library excursion as soon as you can. You'll all benefit. The more and better kids read, the better they'll do in school.
No matter their interest or reading level, there should be something appealing for them at the library. And if you all have trouble finding it, ask a librarian for help.
Walter Dean Myers, another celebrated children's author and five-time winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, emphasizes the importance of helping every child become a reader. On January 10th, he became The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. The Library of Congress awarded him this honorary position, and you can listen to his acceptance speech at the link above.
Finally, an upcoming opportunity to encourage reading in your home, school, neighborhood, and community is coming on March 7. Join in WORLD READ ALOUD DAY and help foster the love of reading. Who will you read to or read with or listen to on March 7? Or better yet--start the reading today!
11th Annual International Latino Book Awards May 28, 2009
Nominations continue to come in for next year's International Latino Book Awards (ILBA). This is the earliest ILBA has ever received nominations. Judging from these early entries, it looks like there will be strong competition in all categories.
The 2009 ILBA to be held at the Javits Center in New York City on the afternoon of May 28. Each year the awards ceremony is held in conjunction with BookExpo America, the country's largest book publishing industry trade show.
Publishers, authors, publicists and all friends of literacy are invited to nominate their favorite books from 2008. There are 62 categories open for nominations: English and Spanish language categories covering everything from fiction to self-help to children's and young adults. Books must have been published in calendar year 2008 to be eligible.
For the 2009 awards, there are four new categories, including Best Young Adult Sports/Recreation (A11 & A12), (B19 & B20), a general fiction category, Best Popular Fiction (C37 & C38), Best Gift Book (B19 & B20) and Best Graphic Novel (C47 & C48). Please consider all the categories carefully before deciding which ones best fit your submissions.
You will find nominating forms and instructions in both English and Spanish here. The nominating process lasts until March 13, when the books will be sent to a diverse panel of judges.
L. A. Live New Home of the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival August 29-30, 2009
The new home for the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival starting in 2009 is L.A. Live. Home to the Nokia Theater, Club Nokia, the Grammy Museum, the Conga Room, Lucky Strike Lanes, the AEG Broadcast Studio, the ESPN studios and restaurants such as Trader Vics, Wolfgang Puck's, Lawry's and the ESPN Zone, L.A. Live will also feature two world class hotels, the Ritz-Carlton and the JW Marriott. This entertainment complex is revitalizing the downtown Los Angeles scene and quickly becoming the Times Square of the West. As the new, preferred venue for major events and concerts, including the 2008 & 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards, L. A. Live is perfectly located in downtown Los Angeles, just across the street from the Staples Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The Festival exhibit area will occupy the Nokia Plaza and Chick Hearn Court (the street that runs between the Plaza and Staples Center). A floor plan will be available shortly. This dramatic new Festival venue demands a brand new start for the Los Angeles Festival. Look for more celebrities, more authors and more literacy based initiatives than ever before.
The Los Angeles festival has had its greatest successes when held in late August and positioned as a "back-to-school" event, so we are also very excited about staging the event at this great facility the last weekend of August.
The Books for Kids Foundation has teamed up with The Children's Place to promote a great cause, hand designed with kids in mind. Joining forces with some of today's hottest celebrities, they're raising money for children's literacy programs by bringing you celebrity decorated messenger bags. This exclusive auction features one-of-a-kind messenger bags hand-decorated by some of today's biggest celebrities.
All proceeds from the auction will go to the Books for Kids Foundation. Books for Kids was founded to promote literacy among all children with a special emphasis on low-income and at-risk preschool-aged children. Books for Kids creates libraries, donates books, and partners with literacy programs to develop the critical early foundation and skills which young children need to be successful in life. Since it's founding in 1986, the Books for Kids Foundation has provided children with more than 5 million books, created 56 libraries and provided literacy programs in many of these locations.
EBay will host the ten-day celebrity auction that begins today--Tuesday, April 14 and runs through April 24.
Some of the celebs that designed bags for this great cause are: Alexander Ludwig, Anna Sophia Robb, B2K, Chace Crawford, Cobie Smulders, David Archuleta, Debra Messing, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Honor Society, Hosts of “Dancing with the Stars, Ivanka Trump, Jason Segel, Jeanette McCurdy, Jerry Trainor, Katrina Bowden, Kim Kardashian, Maggie Grace, Michael Rosenbaum, Neil Patrick Harris, Paula Abdul, Phil Collen, Shayleen Woodley, Slash, Sophia Bush, Taylor Lautner, The Clique Girlz, Tina Fey and Tony Hawk.
Please visit this link to find out more information and to place your bid when the auction begins.
30,000 excited kids packed the South Lawn yesterday for the annual tradition of the White House Easter Egg Roll. This presidential tradition has taken place since 1878 and is the largest annual event held at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This year's theme, "Let's Go Play," emphasized health and fitness.
"Our goal today is just to have fun," Mrs. Obama said. "We want everybody to think about moving their bodies."
But it also emphasized the importance of reading. President Obama added to the fun by walking to the storytime stage and reading "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak to a group of children--complete with sound effects and a little acting, making one little kid cry.
"These wild things can be a little scary," Obama said with a smile.
The president called the book one of his favorites and he stood front and center, turning the book, making sure everyone could see the amazing illustrations.
At the end of the story he asked, "Are there any wild things here? I just want to make sure," and issued a soft wild thing-like growl along with the cheering of the crowd.
Next, Mrs. Obama and her mother took turns reading "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie," by Laura Joffe Numeroff . The first daughters turned the pages of an oversized copy of the book to show the illustrations.
It just goes to show that an Easter Egg Roll isn't complete without storytime!
What children's book changed your life? Most of us have one book we have fond memories of, sparked a love of reading, or just gave us a good laugh. The idea that children's books change lives is how Children's Book Week came about, which is celebrated all this week (May 11- 17). In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.
With the help of two influential people in children's publishing, Frederic G. Melcher and Anne Carol Moore, Matthiews' proposal began to take shape. In 1916 the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.
At the 1919 ABA convention, the Association committed to the organization of an annual Children's Book Week. Since then, Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes-any place where there are children and books. Children’s Book Week encourages children to enjoy new authors and books, and celebrate children’s literature with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other literacy events in your school and community.
In 1944, the newly-established Children's Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children's Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.
Throughout the week, the Children's Book Council will be putting on events in locations all over the United States. Click here to see if the events will be held in your area. However, if your city is not involved in any of the events, don’t worry — there are numerous ways to celebrate! You can test your skills with Children's Book Week puzzles, help authors finish their stories, download the official Children's Book Week bookmark, and more!
A digital toolkit, aimed at teachers, librarians and booksellers, provides suggestions for celebrating Children’s Book Week, as well as advice on how to hold a “Book Week Party,” “Read-In,” or “Book Exchange Day.” It can be downloaded at the Book Week Web site. Links to “Story Starters,” or the first few lines of stories written by children’s book authors, are also available for teachers to use with students.
But remember, it doesn't need to be Book Week for you to find great books: the Children's Choices list is available all year round. Kids across the country pick their favorite books each year, and about 100 books make the cut. You can find the lists from other years, too--so find out what other kids think are the best books of the past few years!
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently kicked off the Department's summer reading campaign--"Read to the Top!" --with the children's classic books "Clifford the Big Red Dog" and "Where the Wild Things Are." The Secretary read to young children, including his own, on the plaza of the Department's Lyndon Baines Johnson headquarters building. The initiative is in response to President Obama's "United We Serve" national volunteer campaign that calls for all Americans to serve in their communities over the summer.
At lunchtime throughout the summer, the Department's weekly reading campaign, which runs through Sept. 11, will feature various children's books read by the Secretary, other Cabinet members and top Administration officials. The Department, in collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service, is partnering with libraries and other community organizations nationwide to combat summer reading loss.
"The road to academic success begins early, which is why early childhood learning and reading are so important," Secretary Duncan said. "When we read to our kids, it helps them become better readers and develop a love of reading on their own."
Research shows that reading achievement can drastically decline over the summer, particularly for low-income children who rely solely on their school libraries for books to read. Scholastic, a global children's publishing, education and media company, and a sponsor of "Read to the Top!" states that research shows that the key to stemming summer reading loss is finding novel ways to get books into the hands of children during the summer break. Thanks to a generous book donation from them, children will be able to take home their own books to read during the summer. Scholastic has donated more than 1,700 books for the Department's "Read to the Top!" campaign.
"Kids need books in their schools, communities and homes, not just during the school year but in the summer months, too," Scholastic CEO and Chairman Richard Robinson said. "We are proud to support 'Read to the Top!' with books that kids can take home, read and share with their families and friends."
In addition to Scholastic, Target enlivened the plaza's reading area with colorful rugs and beanbag chairs to create the feeling of a public library or classroom. "Target is committed to enhancing educational opportunities for kids and giving them the tools they need to succeed," Laysha Ward, president of Community Relations, says. "One of these opportunities is through our partnership with the U.S. Department of Education's summer initiative, 'Read to the Top!' which gives Washington, D.C. area families a fun way to explore reading together in a unique setting."
In addition to the Department's efforts to stop summer reading loss through "Read to the Top!" it also awards Striving Readers grants aimed at raising the literacy level of adolescent students and building a strong, scientific research base for adolescent literacy instruction. This year's competition is underway, and the deadline is Aug. 10. Striving Readers grants were first awarded in March 2006. To date, the Department has awarded approximately $120 million for projects aimed at helping struggling readers. When this year's grants are awarded, State Education Agencies will receive approximately $7.2 million to implement and evaluate supplemental literacy programs for struggling readers in middle and high schools. For more information about these grants, log onto www.ed.gov/programs/strivingreaders/applicant.html.
Thanks to The Joy of Children's Literature for pointing out this wonderful site yesterday. I had stumbled upon this website awhile back, and even bookmarked it. But since my bookmarks cup overfloweth, it seemed to have gotten lost in the shuffle.
This great site called Book Adventure will assist you and your children with finding age appropriate and interest-appropriate books.
All over the country, summer reading programs have begun. Take it from me, I was at my local library yesterday and I was surrounded by summer reading lists and programs. It's said that during July, kids in record numbers attend library programs, take part in summer reading activities, check out tons of books, and ask library staff for recommendations on what to read next.
If you're not sure what book you want your children to read, just visit this easy-to-use online search tool, created by Sylvan Learning.
From the Book Adventure Website: Using Book Adventure, young readers not only receive the intrinsic satisfaction of reading a book and demonstrating their comprehension through short quizzes, but also earn rewards for reading and demonstrating comprehension of the books they've read. Research has shown that providing extrinsic incentives can build a love of reading that lasts a lifetime. Book Adventure is the first Web-based, organization dedicated exclusively to motivating children to read using a technology platform.
To find books, use the Web site's pull-down menus to select grade level, reading level, fiction or non-fiction, and up to five genres. You can also search by author, title, or ISBN–just click on the orange “Search” star (all with the encouragement of Bailey the pink-nosed dog and other cartoon friends). The handy “5 Finger Test” will help kids to determine whether a book they've chosen is too hard for them. Children who are serious about reading tons of books will relish the challenge of tackling Sylvan's entire list of 7,000 recommended titles, available in either HTML or Excel format by clicking on "Book List" (found on the right of the homepage).
One important job as a parent, as if you didn't have enough, is building a library for your child. One of the biggest factors to raising a reader is the quality and amount of books you make available for your young reader. However, parents already have many expenses and the average price for a hardcover children's book is $19.99. So how do you build a library for your child that will encourage his love of reading and provide him with a bunch of titles he'll remember forever?
In a time when everyone's taking a look at ways to be frugal, you can also find some budget-friendly ways to provide books for your young readers.
As a parent, your local library is your friend. A library is a great resource that provides books at no cost to your family, provided you have a library card and remember to return the books on time. For preschoolers, libraries often offer free programs such as storytime and are a great way to expose your child to a world of books. Preschoolers will see it as a treat to make a trip to their local library and select books not available to them in their own collection. This is a wonderful way to try out books before purchasing them. You'll find certain books your child is drawn to that will be worth investing in and you'll see what your child's interests are. Libraries also teach children the importance of taking care of books, since the books are not their own. Most libraries offer a free to a good home rack or bin. Often people donate books to their local libraries and if it's an older book, or a duplicate, the library will place it on their free rack. Look out for book sales at your local library because it's also a great place to find discounted books.
2. Hardcover vs. Paperback: Hardcovers are usually appropriate for young children, since they'll hold up better to the wear and tear, but the truth is, paperbacks cost less. You can create a much less expensive library with paperbacks and often find the same quality titles available in hardback.
3. Thrift stores: Thrift stores are a great resource to search for books.
4. Dollar Stores and Dollar Bins: If you peruse the dollar bins at stores such as Target, you'll often find board books for babies and toddlers for only $1. Sometimes they even mark items down in the dollar bins to 50% off, so you can get books for $.50!
5. Gifts: Tell loved ones that instead of overloading your children with toys for Christmas or birthdays, that they're in need of books. Books make a wonderful gift, especially if the book is personalized by the gift-giver.
6. Garage and Yard Sales: Many parents whose children have outgrown their books will often try to declutter their house by selling them at garage and yard sales. Since most children like to mouth books and have wet hands while turning pages, turn to a safe non-toxic cleaner and give the books a good swipe.
7. Community Programs: I recently highlighted Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. Available in select communities, this wonderful program provides free books for children until they turn 5. See if any of these programs are available in your area.
8.Book Stores: Book Stores often have a discount rack where you can find children's titles appropriate for your child's library. Most of these book stores also offer reward programs (make sure it's at no cost to you) and sign up for e-mail alerts because they'll also send coupons.
9. Used Book Stores: Used Book Stores are a wonderful place to find used books at a discount price.
10. Book Swaps: Look in your community for book swap opportunities. You can simply find another parent and trade books your child might not be interested in for others. You can also check at your grocery store, as some stores offer a book swap table where you can donate your used books and take another.
Building your child's library is an investment that will pay off by instilling a love of reading in your child, and these are just a few ways you don't have to break the bank to do it. As your child grows older, keep books on low shelves or in baskets where he can see them and get them himself. Also teach a respect for books early on and show children where their books belong, so they're not covering your living room floor. For example, one great idea is to decorate a large cardboard box with color copies of your child's favorite books' covers. You can cover the copies with craft glue, so they won't rip. Then teach your child to return their books to the box when finished and every few days, play librarian and return the books to your shelves. While building your child's library, remember that what your child will truly remember is the time you curl up with them to read a good book.
"A home without books is like a room without windows ... A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life." ~Henry Ward Beecher
Encouraging your child to explore books is essential in developing her literacy skills and should begin as early as birth (some say to even read to your baby while he/ she is still in the womb). But early literacy does not mean teaching reading to infants and toddlers. Reading, writing and language evolve from a number of earlier, age-appropriate skills, such as physically manipulating or handling books; looking at and recognizing books; comprehending pictures and a story; and interacting with books verbally. So what books are suitable for infants?
Cloth Books: Cloth books, which are printed on cloth, are soft and strong and can be thrown in the washing machine.
Board Books: Babies should also have sturdy books to look at, touch and hold. Board books are appropriate for babies because the pages are easy for very young children to turn. During reading time, having children turn the pages helps them feel like they have some control and it promotes a sense that they are reading along with you. Babies love to explore and since board books are made from heavy cardboard with a plastic coating, they can stand hard wear and tear by babies who throw them, crawl over them, and chew them. Board books can also be wiped clean.
Interactive Books: Since babies love to explore, books that allow them to do just that are a fantastic tool to introduce babies to the world of reading. Look for books with handles, holes, textures, or lift the flaps. Touch-and-feel books invite children to explore them with their fingers and learn about different textures and shapes. Babies love lift the flap books, but, unfortunately, they usually don't hold up well under rough treatment.
Concept-Oriented Books: Choose books with large pictures or bright and bold illustrations set against a contrasting background. Look for books that have simple pictures, one per page. Rather than containing a story, board books are almost entirely concept oriented with topics such as the alphabet, animals, colors, numbers, opposites, shapes, and textures.
Interesting Language Books: It's important for infants to hear language. That's why it's important to read favorite books again and again. You might get tired of reading the same books, but children love hearing the same stories again. And it helps them learn to read by hearing familiar words and seeing what they look like in print. Choose books with interesting language, rhythm, and sounds such as books with rhymes, songs, and poetry. Books with predictable patterns and repeated language such as those that retell traditional nursery rhymes or songs are also recommended.
As your baby grows older, keep books on low shelves or in baskets where she can see them and get them herself. You'll find she may even “pretend“ to read a book that she has heard many times. As your child starts to explore books, support her progress by watching, listening and providing a number of age-appropriate books.
As the world mourns Senator Ted Kennedy, many people have mentioned his work with the Washington-based reading program known as "Everybody Wins!" The Massachusetts Democrat was inspired to write his children's book, My Senator and Me, from his work with Everybody Wins! Everybody Wins! USA is currently holding a literacy auction that is now open! The auction will run until September 2, 2009, with proceeds going to Everybody Wins USA in order to help them expand their Power Lunch reading program to low-income children. Power Lunch is a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that brings groups of adult volunteers into low-income elementary schools for one-on-one read aloud sessions with students.
Everybody Wins! was recently cited by the White House as "one of the countless hidden gems across the country that is successfully bringing together people from all sectors to address community challenges with solutions proven to work." Everybody Wins' work was also recently featured in the Chronicle of Philathropy, GOOD Magazine and by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
In the U.S. today, a stark disparity exists between the reading abilities of low-income and higher-income children. Only 50% of low-income 4th graders read at or above the basic level according to the Department of Education’s 2007 Nation’s Report Card. The implications of the growing literacy gap extend beyond the walls of our homes and our classrooms. According to Dr. G. Reid Lyon, Chief of Child Development and Behavior at the National Institute of Health, "surveys of adolescents and young adults with criminal records indicate that at least half have reading difficulties, and in some states the size of prisons a decade in the future is predicted by fourth grade reading failure rates."
According to the National Commission on Reading report, Becoming a Nation of Readers, “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in
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It is always a mission of mine to stress the importance of reading to, with, and by children to help them be successful in school and in life. RAISING A READER is a national nonprofit organization whose goal is the same, and it is meeting with great success in locations across the U. S.
One such location is the Seattle Public Library, where young readers experience the joys of reading and libraries.
My hat is off to Raising A Reader and all the libraries across the U.S. who have helped make summer reading possible for so many children!
In recent years this has become an ongoing educational issue: boys are falling behind girls in reading. This is a serious problem. Students who don't read at grade level will not be able to succeed in school--or in the world.
A recent Wall Street Journal article presented interesting new information on this topic. A study conducted by Dr. Robert Weis of Denison University found that boys with video games available to them at home spent less time reading. It seems a rather simple and obvious finding, but it presents compelling evidence to the importance of limiting video play time. Instead, boys need easy and plentiful access to good reading material--which should be readily available through their school or local library.
Perhaps if parents spent more of their resources--time and money--on providing reading material for their sons and less on easy access to video games, there would be no literacy gender gap.
The study also found that kids are drawn to electronic reading options. This information supports the growth of ebooks in children's literature. But the study also concluded that other technology options--like texting and online fun--can use up reading time opportunities for students.
For wonderful ideas on helping your child become a reader, visit the READING IS FUNDAMENTAL website. And for some additional ideas, check out my website as well.