Hello and welcome to the mid-December Children's Literacy and Reading News Roundup from Terry Doherty (The Family Bookshelf), Carol Rasco (Quietly), and me (Jen Robinson's Book Page). It's a busy time of year, so I'll be brief. But I do have some children's literacy and reading-related events and programs and research to share, as well as a few posts with suggestions for growing bookworms.
Literacy and Reading-Related Events
The Cybils shortlists are coming! Stay tuned. Cybils shortlists in 10 fabulous categories of children's and young adult books will be announced on January 1st. A little late for Christmas shopping, it must be admitted, but there you can find the shortlists for the previous years in the upper right-hand sidebar of the Cybils blog.
And right in line with the announcement of Cybils winners on February 14th (Valentine's Day) a group of literacy advocates from around the world will be celebrating International Book Giving Day. More details will be announced after the new year, but for now, Amy Broadmore has asked us to share this announcement:
International Book Giving Day is a volunteer initiative aimed at getting books in the hands of as many children as possible on February 14th, 2013. International Book Giving Day’s focus is on encouraging people worldwide to engage in simple acts of giving. We invite individuals to: 1) give a book to a friend or family member, 2) leave a book in a waiting room for children to read, or 3) donate a book to a local hospital, shelter or library or to an organization that distributes used books to children internationally. In addition, we encourage people to support the work of nonprofit organizations (i.e. charities) that work year round to give books to children, such as Room to Read, Books for Africa, Book Aid International, The Book Bus, Indigenous Literacy Foundation and Pratham Books.
Children's book illustrators who would like to support International Book Giving Day are invited to add their names to the list of authors/ illustrators celebrating International Book Giving Day. They are also invited to design an International Book Giving Day bookplate. For more information, see this post.
Literacy and Reading Programs and Research
Terry found this article via @BrainInsights, @ScoopIt, and @BookChook, a Psychology Today piece by Jim Taylor about how technology is changing the way children think and focus. Taylor's conclusion is that "too much screen time and not enough other activities, such as reading, playing games, and good old unstructured and imaginative play, will result in your children having their brains wired in ways that may make them less, not more, prepared to thrive in this crazy new world of technology." But do read the whole article to understand why.
According to a recent Education Week article, "the first-of-its-kind National Assessment of Educational Progress report suggests a consistent relationship between performance on vocabulary questions and the ability of students to comprehend a text, which experts say is consistent with prior research on the subject." While not much about the article is surprising (including performance trends by family income), the article does reinforce the importance of helping kids to obtain as broad a vocabulary as possible. In my view, this is futher incentive, should anyone need it, to keep reading aloud to your kids for as long as possible.
'Tis the season for holiday donations. Walmart just gave $25,000 to support school literacy programs in Arkansas (Carol's home state). See details in this Arkansas Business article.
Suggestions for Growing Bookworms
Reading Rockets' guest blogger Julie M. Wood shared some tips earlier this week for using digital media to help get boys hooked on reading (via @ReadingRockets)
The long awaited Hobbit movie hits theaters tomorrow. Read The National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance's Tips for Linking Books to Movies. Here's a sample:
"Read the book first. Read picture books and novels aloud to your kids whenever possible. Encourage older kids to read a novel on which a movie is based before they see the movie or video with their friends. Why? Books are generally much better written than movies."
It's also that time of year for buying gifts for kids, of course. While we love stuffed animals and dolls as much as the next person, may we humbly suggest that all children should also receive some gifts that are also good for their literacy development?
- Trevor H. Cairney from Literacy, families, and learning has a lovely post on Choosing Great Educational Toys as Gifts: 30 Top Gift Ideas for Kids 0-12.
- MotherReader has her annual list of 150 Ways to Give a Book, full of wonderful book / non-book gift pairings.
- The Book Chook shares her Christmas Gift Ideas for Kids. She lists books, of course, but also includes "add-ons" for each book.
- See also Nontraditional Literacy Gift Ideas – Holiday Edition from Terry at The Family Bookshelf (along with two other Literacy Lalapalooza posts with gift ideas).
- And if you just want to find great books, look no further than Susan Thompson's master list of 2012 best children's book lists at Chicken Spaghetti. I especially recommend the Horn Book Magazine's 2012 Fanfare list, just released this week. I used that one for some of my own holiday shopping.
I shared a bunch of other suggestions for growing bookworms in last week's Twitter recap post, all grouped together right in the middle of the post. I won't repeat them here.
And that's all for this week's children's literacy and reading news roundup. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, and great books to read in the New Year. Thanks for reading, and for caring about children's literacy.
This post © 2012 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.