The mid-December children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, and Rasco from RIF is now available at the Reading Tub. Over the past couple of weeks Terry Doherty, Carol Rasco, and I have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events; literacy and reading programs and research; and suggestions for growing bookworms.
This particular roundup is an interesting mix of heart-warming (like the 9-year-old who started a letter-writing campaign to get his community a bookstore) to the depressing (US rankings in world-wide literacy statistics). But like Terry, I especially liked the suggestion Anita Silvey in the Washington Post to make a book the FIRST gift that each child unwraps on Christmas morning (A Book on Every Bed). I'm going to try to remember that one for when Baby Bookworm is old enough to open presents (and, well, sleep in a bed). I did just order us a copy of The Night Before Christmas, but I won't wait until Christmas morning to read it, of course.
One more feel-good article came my way today, too late for the full roundup, via Jenny Schwartzberg. Vanessa McCray of the Traverse City Record-Eagle has a feature piece about a new project launced by ReadAloud.org. The Big Box of Books project "targets students who are struggling with reading and whose families may not be able to afford a well-stocked home library. Participants receive a box of six age-appropriate books. For the pilot project, the titles centered on a heroes theme." Participating families make a pledge to read together for at least 15 minutes a day.
I also enjoyed this Teacher Magazine book report about an upcoming book for teachers focused on how to get kids fired up about reading. "In her latest book, author and documentarian Kathleen Cushman takes an inventive approach to exploring the question of how educators can better engage and inspire students: She asks kids. In writing Fires in the Mind, Cushman worked with 160 “ordinary teenagers” assembled by the nonprofit What Kids Can Do to examine how and why young people become interested and often acquire impressive skills in particular projects and activities, whether in school or out."
Also not to be missed is this School Library Journal interview with Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano about their new book: A Family of Readers. Here's a snippet: " We spend a lot of time trying to get people who don't read to read—or don't read as much as we want them to—but we need to pay attention to the people who do read. And this book is for people who themselves love to read." I already love this book (thanks, Col!), even though I haven't really had a chance to sit down and read it yet.
That's all for today (though I just shared a bunch of other stuff on Twitter). Carol may be chiming in later this month with some final literacy and reading thoughts for the year. But if she doesn't have time, we will certainly understand, because she's deep in the midst of a fight for RIF's future funding. As Terry said, "We love having Carol, but there are millions of children who need her passion and all that RIF has to offer … not to mention a bit of a holiday for Carol, too." In any case, Terry and I will be back with a roundup shared across our two blogs in mid-January.
Wishing all of our literacy community friends a joyful and book-filled holiday.