Today's literacy round-up begins with a host of international articles, mostly from Canada, because Canada just celebrated National Literacy Day. Worldwide, there is a lot to celebrate!
- Start with this recent article about the Woodstock, Ontario Family Literacy Event, held in honor of Canada's National Literacy Day. Literacy specialist Janet Stephens is quoted talking about the importance of literacy: "It literally opens the door to your future," she said. "If you struggle with reading it really makes it difficult for you."
- Another National Literacy Day article, from Regina, Saskatchewan, discusses the importance of family reading time. "It is very important that families and children read together. It creates a bonding time and it is a great way for parents and children to practise their literacy skills, according to Crystal Clark, executive director of the Regina Family Literacy Network."
- See also this press release about a recent University of Alberta study on family literacy. The study showed that parents' completion of high school is a critical literacy factor for their children. "Despite assumptions about the benefit of literacy programs this study is the first to offer quantitative proof that parent-child literacy interventions for families of low educational and low income backgrounds do work."
- This column in the Salem Statesman Journal touches on similar points, about the impact that parental illiteracy has on children's ability to learn to read.
- For a more grass-roots perspective on a level of literacy that most of us take for granted, check out this article from Viet Nam News. It's about a man who took upon himself a personal crusade to teach the people in his village to read. It's been a long struggle, but thanks to the efforts of Hoang Xuan Cam, most people in the village can now read, and also know more about the outside world.
- And, for a still more grass-roots perspective, be inspired by this article about a 9-year-old Iowa City girl who used the profits from her lemonade stand "to buy books for the children's collection in the library at University Hospitals." Her name is Lizzy. Lizzy says: "It makes me feel really good, so I am really proud that I am doing it". Kind of gives you hope for the future, doesn't it?
- A Columbus, Ohio couple has donated 21,000 picture books to the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science. According to the article: "Columbus residents Kenneth Marantz, a professor emeritus of art education at Ohio State, and his wife, Sylvia, a retired school librarian, have collected the picture books for more than 40 years as part of their work writing books and reviewing some 10,000 children's books. Publishers gave them free review copies and, at first, the couple stored them in their basement." What do you think, Cybils nominating committee member? Can you imagine storing up 20,000 books to donate somewhere?
- This article in the Arizona Daily Star urges people to start getting ready for National Love of Reading Week (Feb. 12-16). Author Rosalie Robles Crowe got my attention by starting with "Imagine grabbing a favorite read-aloud book and cuddling up on a soft sofa with (take your pick) your child, a grandchild, niece or nephew or offspring of close friends. Now that's living." I agree! It's a wonderful column.
- I learned from the First Book Blog (one of my favorites) that National Literacy Action week begins today. First Book also reports that their 2006 holiday campaign with Borders Books raised more than $780,000 for First Book. "First Book provides the funds in the form of Borders gift cards to incredible community and literacy programs across the country, and in many cases Borders stores hold fun events for the kids when they come to pick out their brand new books."
- Finally, some of you librarians out there may be interested in this article that (despite a distressing headline) concludes that there remains considerable demand for local libraries in Southern Oregon.
Happy Reading to you all!