Welcome to my latest round-up of children's literacy and reading related news from around the wires. The news is a bit light this week, but I hope that readers will find something useful.
- According to an announcement on the International Reading Association (IRA) blog, Reading Today Daily, the IRA "has planned an exciting event in Washington, DC, on September 8 to mark the observance of International Literacy Day. Through shared reading of two novels, the "Reading Across Continents" project will unite students in Washington with students in Nigeria and Ghana."
- Also via Reading Today Daily, MSNBC reports on a study that found that "British children's brain development is being threatened by their failure to work with their hands in school and at home". ""Working with one's own hands in a real-world 3-D environment is imperative for full cognitive and intellectual development," said the Ruskin Mill Educational Trust report's author Dr. Aric Sigman."
- Via author Fran Cannon Slayton's Children's Book News eNewsletter (I met Fran recently at ALA), I found links to a couple of different articles about book showers for babies. The first, by Marlene Parrish in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, describes how members of a book club collected children's books as a gift for one of them own, who was about to become a grandmother. The second, by Erin Crawford of the Des Moines Register, says that "A new shower trend, the book shower, aims to stock the new baby's bookcase". Now, you all KNOW that I love this idea.
- In the Malaysia Star, Daphne Lee reviews two different guides that recommend books to teens. Daphne prefers The Ultimate Teen Book Guide (by Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn, and Susan Reuben) to The Rough Guide to Books (by Julia Eccleshare and Nicholas Tucker). She says "The Ultimate Teen Book Guide is, I feel, a better reference for teens. It’s more realistic, more accessible, friendlier and more creative... The editors of Ultimate seem less snobbish, less intent on recommending “worthy” titles and more interested in actually helping kids choose books that they will simply enjoy."
- The North County Times (CA) has an article by Aaron Claverie about how the definition of literacy is evolving in modern libraries.
- On Inquirer.net (Philippines), Grace Shangkuan Koo has a Learning section feature about the role of parents in children's education. The author describes some of her interactions with parents, and the ways that "Parents whose children are in intermediate grades and high school often think their duties are over or it is too late to do anything and that whatever happens now to their children in school is the responsibility of school and teachers." There are some religious views expressed near the end of the article, which I didn't feel were necessary to the central point of the article, but I do agree with this conclusion: "A serious memo to parents: You are the most significant educators of your children. Make the most of it and be the best persons for the job!" (Of course teachers play a huge role, too, but the role of the parent starts earlier, extends for longer, and is, ideally, consistent from grade to grade.)
- According to the Canadian Press, Canada is embarking on an ambitious Afghan education program. "The number of burned down or vacant schools in Kandahar province exceeds the total number of schools that are actually open, according to statistics compiled by the Afghan government. But in some parts of the province children are eagerly flocking to classrooms, parents are desperate to get their kids into school, and the waiting lists are growing. With this dichotomy in mind, Canada is embarking on an ambitious school-building project in the province - and being careful to build them in the right places." In a related story, the New York Times has an op-ed piece by Nancy Hatch Dupree about "the lack of basic reading materials needed to make education effective" in Afghanistan.
- And finally, if you need more reading news, check out Terry's July 15th Reading Round-Up at What Happens Next, the Reading Tub blog.
And that's all for this week! Happy reading!