Sorry that I've been remiss in reporting the children's literacy-related news lately. I've been having a bit of trouble keeping up. However, here are some tidbits for you:
- According to an August 11th article in the Australian, "children exposed to live arts performances have better literacy." A research study found that attending live arts performances over a three year period had an impact on childrens' learning and language skills. The article wasn't detailed enough to tell me how they separated out correlation from causation (wouldn't kids who are routinely attending live arts programs be more likely to be read to at home, say?), but it's still an interesting notion.
- There always seems to be a lot going on, children's literacy-wise, in Canada. A recent Chronicle Herald article announced that $200,000 (Canadian) worth of books were donated to a Pictou County literacy program launched by the police. The idea of the police using literacy programs to help prevent future crimes is not new (I've previously written about the Cops-N-Kids program on this site), but it's one of those ideas that just makes sense. You can read more at the Adopt-A-Library literacy program website (motto: Better to see them in libraries now than in trouble with the law later).
- According to an August 11th article on stuff.co.nz, "as part of a $2 million Massey University family literacy and learning project, children will visit their fathers in Kaitoke Prison, near Wanganui, to share one-on-one reading time." There is some concern, however, that "unless adequate support systems for the children (are) in place it could be emotionally scarring."
- I found this article through the Washington Post parenting newsletter. According to a July 25th article in The Book Standard, "consumer trend-tracking company Yankelovich has released a study demonstrating the power J.K. Rowling has on children’s reading habits." Upon being interviewed, many kids (especially boys) said that they did not read for fun before the Harry Potter books came along, but that they do now. They, and their parents, believe that their school performance has improved because of this. Which just goes to show the power of a good book (or series of books)!