Here are some children's literacy-related stories that caught my eye this week.
- Have you heard that General Mills is putting children's books in Cheerios boxes, from November through the spring? They picked pretty good titles, too. "Minneapolis-based General Mills (NYSE: GIS) is also donating books to disadvantaged children at 50 reading programs via the First Book, an international nonprofit that focuses on children's literacy. Each child that participates in the program will be given twelve books."
- The Centre Daily Times (PA) has a nice article about a community literacy outreach project "beginning its 10th year of providing a choice of a new book to each child, from infant up to age 16, served by the seven Centre County food banks." There are other programs like this, of course, but this article, by Dagmar Wilson, talks eloquently about why it's important for communities to give books to underprivileged children. For example: "A book is a gift like no other; it is a gift that lasts a lifetime. A single book can begin to shape a child's life. It can be a gateway to a more promising future and open doors that a child might not otherwise know existed." See the full article for more.
- In this guest column in The Johnson County Sun (KS), Dr. Dennis Cooley talks about why he participates in the Reach Out and Read program. He says "I'm in the program because I think reading is part of a healthy individual's life - and because low reading skills and poor health are related." He goes on to cite reports about the link between literacy and health - there is some definite food for thought.
- I couldn't pass up a news article titled "Inspiring Youngsters to Read" in any case. When this one mentioned former Red Sox and Patriots players, it really caught my eye. In an article for the Framingham TAB (MA) Tyler B. Reed writes about a local program that brings dozens of adults, many of them famous role models (like Rich Gedman), to local schools to read with kids. ""What made the visiting readers unique, Wilson literacy specialist Brett Berkman said, is the different interests they each brought to the classroom... "It’s showing the kids that reading is important - sharing their love of reading," Berkman said." Sounds cool to me!