I found myself with a bit of computer time this afternoon, and wanted to share with you some literacy and reading news from papers from around the world. Most of the news that caught my eye this week was from the UK, for some reason.
- icWales has an article by Abbie Wightwick about efforts to help reluctant readers in Wales, where "a quarter of adults and school children ... have serious problems with reading and writing." According to the article, "Basic Skills Cymru, part of the Welsh Assembly Government, is offering grants totalling £350,000 to all primary and secondary schools to buy books for "reluctant readers". It is also launching a comic to be distributed to schools in Wales after Easter to encourage children put off by swathes of text." The article also includes a list of recommended titles for emerging readers of different ages.
- Also in the UK, Polly Curtis, education editor at the Guardian, reports on a new study "conducted by Hull University for Xtraordinary People, a learning difficulties charity, funded by the DCSF" (Department for Children, Schools and Families). The study reported "that 2 million children (in the UK) have dyslexic-type learning difficulties, more than has previously been thought but in line with research in the US", and also that "55% of pupils who are failing Sats are at risk of dyslexia or learning difficulties."
- I thought that this was interesting. An article in the Times (UK) by Rosemary Bennett reports that "the children of parents with healthy social lives outperform other children at school." The authors of the study said that they "took into account the parents’ educational backgrounds and class, known to be crucial to determining educational achievement. Regardless of background, social activity appeared to be important." I tend to agree with another expert quoted, who thought that sociable parents probably talk more to their children than other parents do, and that this talking correlates with academic performance.
- The Times Educational Supplement has an article by Anne Joseph about children's reading clubs, and how they work in building young readers' confidence.
- According to an article by Patrik Jonsson in the Christian Science Monitor, a school district in Georgia is considering segregating the public schools by gender. Supporters say that this will help with academic performance, but there are concerns that such a segregation isn't even legal. It seems to me that offering single-sex schools as a choice makes sense, but that implementing it unilaterally across a district is a bit risky. Thanks to the International Reading Association blog for the link.