Poetry Friday: A Bad Boy Can Be Good for a Girl: Tanya Lee Stone
The Star of Kazan: Eva Ibbotson

Children's Literacy Round-Up: July 14

Here are a few news stories from the wires that caught my eye this week. Happy reading!

  • On Sunday, July 16th, the Portland Sea Dogs will give away 1000 books to celebrate and promote family literacy. Local children's book author Philip Hoose will be participating. You can read more at MaineToday.com. The Portland Sea Dogs are a Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
  • James Earl Jones read aloud to a group of preschoolers the other day as part of the United Way's "Raising a Reader" program. Jones told the kids that he was reading aloud to practice, because "you never have too much practice ... There are not enough days in your lifetime to visit all the places you'd like to visit - that you're curious about. Right, but you can find those places in books". You can read the full article at the WAVY TV website.
  • There's another story about the ever-wonderful Reach Out and Read program, by which doctors tell parents and kids about the importance of books and reading by giving away free books during well-child visits. This story is by David Templeton, published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on July 12th. It describes Reach Out and Read programs in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • A recent article in the Lafayette, LA Daily Advertiser quotes literacy expert Richard Allington (who recently visited the Lafayette Parish school district) on the most effective reading improvement technique for kids. The idea is to provide kids with plenty of books that are reading-level appropriate and that they want to read (emphasis mine). I especially enjoyed this quote by Allington: "If you don't choose a program where your kids are trying to steal your books to read at home, then you are in trouble." Doesn't that make sense? Get kids books that are at their own reading level and that they want to read, and they'll read. Why doesn't everyone know this?