The second annual Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour starts today. Share a Story is a well-long celebration dedicated to building a new generation of readers. This year's theme is It Take a Village to Raise a Reader. [Official Share a Story logo to the left created by Elizabeth O. Dulemba]
Here are some highlights about this year's Share a Story celebration, updated from the official announcement:
As you may recall from last year, each day has a broad theme, and contributors add posts on topics related to it. Here are the themes.
Monday, 8 March: The Many Faces of Reading
Hosts: Terry Doherty at The Reading Tub
Terry and her guests will be talking about how we each play a role in helping children learn to read. This is the topic that embodies all of the elements of our theme: It Takes a Village to Raise a Reader.
Tuesday, 9 March: Literacy My Way/Literacy Your Way
Host: Susan Stephenson at The Book Chook
Susan is putting together a group of contributors to share creative literacy ideas. She will be drawing on all of the elements of literacy in the 21st Century: writing, art, computers, music.
Wednesday, 10 March: Just the Facts: The Nonfiction Book Hook
Host: Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone
There is lots of interest in promoting nonfiction as a "hook" for engaging readers. Sarah and her guests will talk about writing nonfiction for kids, as well as how to use it effectively ... and not make it feel like homework!
Thursday, 11 March: Reading Through the Ages: Old Favorites & New Classics
Host: Donalyn Miller at The Book Whisperer
Donalyn and her contributors will look at books for independent readers. Are there "boy books" and "girl books"? She'll also recommend "new" classics for the books we loved as kids.
Friday, 12 March: Reading for the Next Generation
Host: Jen Robinson at Jen Robinson's Book Page
Jen has invited guests to answer some of the things parents wrestle with, like being the opposite reading personality of their child, or feeling pressured to create a reading superstar, among others.
As you can see, this isn't a venue for promoting individual books. That said, we'll be talking about writing and books, in hopes that you find creative, fun ways to engage readers of all sorts - from emergent readers to dormant readers to underground reader
Every day of Share a Story is going to be fabulous. I'm especially excited for Friday, of course, since I'll be hosting. I have a dozen brilliant contributors. They'll all share nuts-and-bolts posts about managing some of the disconnects that arise along the path to growing young bookworms.
And speaking of encouraging young readers, I'd like to once again mention the voting for the National “Read to Kids” campaign. This idea, submitted by Everybody Wins! USA finished second in the education category in Change.org’s Ideas for Change in America competition. The Final Round of voting runs through this Friday, March 11th at 5pm ET. The top 10 rated ideas (out of 60 finalists) will be presented to members of the Obama Administration and media at an event in DC.
Currently, the Read to Kids campaign is in the top 20 - but more votes are needed for it to finish as a winning idea. Last time I checked, only about 400 votes were needed to bring the Read to Kids campaign back into the Top 10. Here's a snippet from the project description on the Ideas for Change website:
"By reading aloud with low-income children, we can help bridge the literacy gap. To accomplish this, we need a national campaign that emphasizes the importance of parents, teachers and community volunteers reading aloud to children at least 20 minutes a day from birth through high school. Similar to the national physical activity campaign that encourages kids to get their 60 minutes of physical activity every day, we need a similar campaign aimed at encouraging kids to get their 20 minutes of reading aloud every day.
By reading aloud with children, we can improve their interest in and attitudes toward reading and improve children’s fundamental literacy skills, including reading comprehension, vocabulary, reading ability, listening comprehension, attention span and ability to articulate thoughts. Being read to by an adult also helps build a child’s self-esteem and confidence.
A national “Read to Kids” campaign could engage national and local literacy organizations, schools, teachers, parents, authors, publishers and nearly every sector of business and society that understands that our nation's future depends on our children's literacy skills."
Sounds to me like Everybody Wins! is saying: "It's going to take a village to raise a new generation of readers." If this sounds like a good idea to you (as it does to me), I hope that you'll take a minute to click through and vote for the Read to Kids campaign (each person can vote once in this round). And then you'll be ready to have fun with Share a Story - Shape a Future, Day 1, at The Reading Tub. [It Takes a Village Logo created by Susan Stephenson]
Thanks for reading, and for caring about children's literacy.