Here are the community literacy items that brightened my day this week:
- The May 20th Rochester Democrat & Chronicle gives a thumbs up to "Alex William, 14, a Bay Trail Middle School student who worked with Cobbles Elementary School's 2nd-graders to collect more than 1,400 books for the RTS Books for Buses program, which promotes literacy by putting books on public buses." Isn't it amazing how many methods people think of for promoting literacy?
- And, in another inventive way of promoting literacy, the Brunswick News (Georgia) has a May 20th story by Carole Hawkins about an illusionist who uses his skills to promote reading. The illusionist, Ken Scott, "found he could weave stories in and out of his magic performance and get children interested in reading some of the books he used." Fascinating!
- The Penticton Western News has a May 21st story about the benefits to children from interacting with them, instead of letting them watch television. The article references the American Academy of Physicians, as well as a research study carried out by the University of Munich.
- Ms. Magazine's online newswire describes a recent study by Save The Children. The study report that "(t)he health of children is "inextricably linked" to the health and education of their mothers." In Sweden, the country that scored highest in the report "literacy is almost universal, nearly every birth is attended by a health professional, and only 1 in 333 babies will die before his or her first birthday."
- I found two fun articles about community book festivals on May 24th. In a Muscatine Journal (Iowa) article, Cynthia Beaudette describes a local elementary school's day-long celebration of reading at Camp-Read-A-Lot. In the Harrisonburg (Virginia) Daily News Record, Tom Mitchell recaps the fourth annual WVPT Kids’ Book Festival. The local public television station "began the festival to inform the public on the importance of getting pre-schoolers to enjoy books early." Doesn't it make you happy just reading about these festivals dedicated to getting kids excited about books?
- I also enjoyed this article by Howard Yune in the May 24th Marysville-Yuba City Appeal-Democrat. It's about a national program that has been working with a local county library to "bring youngsters and their parents together through books." The program (Prime Time Family Reading Time) is particularly focused on families where the parents have difficulty reading in English. The idea is to help both the kids and the parents to end up as life-long readers.