This week's children's literacy round-up highlights several recent news articles about community efforts for children's literacy and love of books.
- A February 13th press release announced that "children's author Patrick Carman, and Agros International, a Seattle-based, non-profit organization that works with poor, rural families to help them escape poverty, are teaming up with Scholastic to bring libraries to 25 communities in Central America and Mexico. Carman, best-known for his highly successful " Land of Elyon" book series, has made a commitment to put books into the hands of children in Central America and Mexico, many of whom have never experienced the pleasure of owning their own book." Spanish-language books will be purchased from Scholastic.
- As described in the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson celebrated Love of Reading week this week. "The annual literacy program puts literate adults — business and government representatives, retirees, and parents and grandparents — in local classrooms with books in hand. This patchwork group reads to children and shares its love of literature and the pure joy of the experience." The program has been in existence since 1987. The Star had 76 staff members volunteer to visit schools to read to children this year. The article describes how uplifting this experience is for the adults who read, and how wonderful it is for kids.
- A February 16th article in the Eugene, Oregon Register-Guard describes an innovative program for fostering literacy. The program is called Reading Education Assistance Dogs. READ's mission is to improve children's literacy skills by having the children read to a dog. The idea is to give children practice at reading, while also associating reading with a pleasurable activity. The article says that "during interactions with therapy animals, children are inclined to forget about their limitations. Children find reading to a dog less intimidating. A dreaded reading experience can be transformed into something positive, rewarding and fun." I'm all in favor of anything that makes reading fun for kids.
- In a February 17th press release, Toyota announced the launch of a literacy program for Hispanic and other immigrant families in Detroit. This is an expansion of the Toyota Family Literacy Program (TFLP), and will be coordinated by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).
I hope that you find these community literacy efforts encouraging and inspiring! Have a great weekend! -- Jen