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Children's Literacy Round-Up: April 27

Here are a few items regarding community literacy from the wires this week:

  • The April 23rd Royal Gazette (Bermuda) featured an article by Jonathan Kent about the impact of television viewing on literacy levels. Cultural Affairs Minister Dale Butler, a former high school principal, calls upon parents to limit their children's television viewing, so that the children will have improved literacy levels later in life. Although he is speaking to Bermuda parents, I think that his advice applies everywhere.
  • Last month I recommended "books in baskets" for Easter. It seems that Willard Elementary School in Evanston, IL had the idea of books in baskets last year. According to an April 24th article in the Daily Northwestern, the elementary school's “Literacy Baskets” program has so far "supplied 45 families with miniature libraries, with material ranging from coloring books to longer storybooks for older children." The interests of the receiving families are taken into account when the baskets are put together, and the program appears to be a big hit.
  • On another "books in baskets" note, I ran across the BabyBookworms site this week. Founded by two teachers, this company sells book-themed gift baskets for new baby gifts, birthdays, etc. What a great idea!
  • I thought that Laura Bush had some good things to say about the importance of global literacy in her recent speech at the UNESCO Education for All Week Luncheon. You can find the full text of her speech here. Here's a snippet from the speech: "Literacy improves the lives of mothers and children. Literacy boosts economies. And literacy helps people make good, informed decisions about their health."
  • On April 25th, in honor of National Volunteer Week, Reading is Fundamental named five notable literacy advocates for the year. "RIF recognizes Wendy McClure of Camp Hill, Pa.; Marcia Hosfeld of Shreve, Ohio; Keith Baldwin of Hancock, Mich.; Ann Tackett of Aberdeen, Miss.; and Sally Dyches of Moroni, Utah for their accomplishments serving the needs of children and families in their communities."