Today has been proclaimed National Literacy Day by President Bush. He called upon people "to observe this day with programs and activities that advance literacy for Americans and all the people of the world ... by donating books to local libraries, volunteering to tutor, supporting international literacy programs, and fostering a learning environment in the home." In honor of Literacy Day, here are a few literacy-related news stories of interest:
- George Scheber, a former Silicon Valley circuit board designer, has recently purchased the 90-year-old Carnegie Library in Gilman, Illinois. He hopes to turn it into a children's literacy center. "Books hold a special place for Scheber. About 20 years ago, he suffered a head injury in a skiing accident. He had short-term memory trouble. He couldn't always find the words he wanted. He turned to writing children's books to build back his vocabulary. Specifically, books about Earl the Squirrel, an earnest rodent with an enormous front tooth." You can read more in an article by Mike Cassidy from Friday's San Jose Mercury News.
- Children's author and poet Brod Bagert recently visited Stockton and Lodi, CA to participate in a seminar "to provide tips to Lodi Unified School District teachers on how to teach students to write better." He met with fourth graders, and gave them advice on writing their best, with particular emphasis on reading aloud with plenty of expression. Read more in an article by Keith Reid from Saturday's Stockton Record.
- According to an article in Saturday's Kansas City infoZine, "(t)he U.S. Senate confirmed a University of Kansas professor's presidential appointment to serve on the Advisory Board of the National Institute for Literacy. Donald D. Deshler was appointed to serve for the remainder of a three-year term expiring Jan. 30, 2008."
- Central Florida's One Book One Community literacy campaign has selected the book Mr. Popper's Penguins for the 2007 community reading program. "One Book One Community, which is heading into its sixth year, encourages Central Florida children -- and the adults in their lives -- to read the same book." The program is sponsored by the Orlando Sentinel. Read more in this September 17th article by Sara Isaac.
- You can read a transcript of Laura Bush's remarks at today's White House Conference on Global Literacy here. Speaking of her mother, mother-in-law, and daughter (who were all present) she said "We represent three generations of women who love to read. Reading, in fact, is so important to us -- is such a part of our lives -- that our lives have been built around it. My mother loved to read, and she taught me to love reading. I liked reading so much that I made it into my career by becoming a teacher and a librarian." She then moved on to discuss the global problem of illiteracy.
Happy Literacy Day!