A new children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog (with much assistance of late from Carol Rasco from RIF and Susan Stephenson from The Book Chook), is now available at the Reading Tub. This week Terry Doherty has collected plenty of content about literacy & reading-related events, programs and research. I can't actually say that I contributed to this edition. However, I am preparing to get back into the swing of things, and hope to be posting the next full roundup, at the end of the month, here at Jen Robinson's Book Page.
In the meantime, Terry (with help from the above contributors, and various Twitter friends) has compiled a delightful assortment of literacy-related tidbits. Here are a couple of highlights:
"For the 2010-2011 school year, Scholastic’s ClassroomsCare literacy program has adopted the theme “The United States of Reading. the idea is to emphasize state pride and giving locally, with emphasis on giving voice to America’s teachers, students, and parents who participate in the program. From the press release: “Reading is not a given for many of our nation’s children, some because they don’t have access to books, others because they have no one who can show them how to use them. Whether in cities or in rural areas; living with parents, or with other caregivers; in any one of the fifty states, these kids need books so they can, in the words of Scholastic’s President Richard Robinson, ‘Read Every Day’ to ‘Lead a Better Life’.” Since 2001, Scholastic Book Clubs ClassroomsCare literacy program has put more than 10 million books in the hands of kids. Visit the ClassroomsCare blog to see how your state is doing in the United We Read campaign." [Note: I also received this news release from Raab Associates]
"You may also enjoy Dawn Little’s recommendations in Motivating Readers, Again: Books About Reading. If you haven’t been following her Motivating Readers series, it’s not too late to catch up." [I'll second Terry's strong recommendation of this series.]
"This morning, Susan Stephenson of the Book Chook opened the September I Can Read! Carnival. This is a monthly meme created to celebrate and cheer on the newest readers among us. If you have a book suggestion (easy reader or short, illustrated chapter) or tip ideas Susan would love to include them in the carnival. Posts can date back to as far back as Spetember 2009! The Carnival is usually open for a few days, so you’ve got time to join us!"
And finally, two extra items from me. First, I'd like to bring to your attention the Breaking Waves e-book. I learned about this from Kelly Fineman, category organizer for Poetry for the Cybils, and poet extraordinaire. Kelly explains:
"It's September 15th, and that means that it's the release day for BREAKING WAVES: An Esoteric Collection to Benefit the Gulf Oil Spill Relief Fund, edited by Tiffany Trent and Phyllis Irene Radford, now available from Book View Café. The collection includes 34 stories, essays and poems, opening with "In England in the Fifties", a poem by Ursula K. Le Guin, and closing with "Troubled Water", a poem by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman...
Purchase this e-book for only $5 US (technically, $4.99) and you not only get the fabulous content inside, but also the knowledge that the full purchase price is going to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, which divvies donations up among organizations that help fishermen and their families, a term which includes not only direct assistance to the local fishing families but also funding to the SPCA, environmental monitoring via the "Bucket Brigade" and more. And hey, given the content, this e-book would be a bargain at twice the price."
Kudos to Kelly for being the closing act in such an impressive publication (Ursula Le Guin!) benefitting such an important cause.
Second, I ran across an interesting article on Twitter today (via @GinaRuiz, the Social Media Guru for the Cybils). Tara Parker-Pope of the NY Times Health blog Well asks: Can Exercise Make Kids Smarter? The answer appears to be yes, based on a couple of recently published studies. Parker-Pope notes:
"These findings arrive at an important time. For budgetary and administrative reasons, school boards are curtailing physical education, while on their own, children grow increasingly sluggish. Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that roughly a quarter of children participate in zero physical activity outside of school.
At the same time, evidence accumulates about the positive impact of even small amounts of aerobic activity ... But it’s the neurological impact of sustained aerobic fitness in young people that is especially compelling."
Compelling, indeed! It is crazy that with all of the evidence of the problems related to obesity, there's less phys ed and recess in schools every year. Perhaps if enough evidence mounts about the ways that exercise helps the brain (and hence test scores?) the situation will change.