There are several children's literacy-related stories this week. Here are a few that caught my eye:
- A recent UK study found "weaknesses in the first years of learning - with literacy and calculation "particular problems"", according to articles on the BBC News (quoted) and Telegraph websites. "The report from the education watchdog, based on visits to 144 different educational settings, examined young children's experience of the "foundation stage" of the curriculum." They found that even in pre-schoolers, "girls had gained a clear advantage over boys", with specific examples given.
- According to an article in the Springfield (MA) Republican, Springfield's monthly family literacy night program, held at the Salvation Army Headquarters, is successful but underutilized. According to Springfield Mayer Linda Jo Perks "the program began two years ago after some of the youngsters in an after-school tutoring program said their parents did not read to them." Participating kids are given a free book each month.
- The Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Beginners program just celebrated its 10th year, according to a recent press release. "BOOK IT! Beginners is a read-aloud program that builds reading-readiness skills and establishes an at-home reading routine by providing interactive classroom materials to teachers." I also ran across an opinion piece in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Advance-Titan in defense of the BOOK IT! K-6 program. Apparently MSNBC.com criticized the elementary school program, which rewards kids for reading by giving them free pizzas, though I couldn't find a link to the original article. Melissa Whalen, a former participant in BOOK IT!, defends the program.
- "Dolly Parton is working with the Early Learning Coalition locally to help coordinate Imagination Library throughout the Big Bend Region of northern Florida", according to Wakulla.com of Crawfordville, FL. To advertise the program, The Little Engine That Could is visiting local early learning centers and businesses.
That's all for today, but should give you some food for thought.