Here are a couple of children's literacy-related stories that caught my eye recently:
- Mike Cassidy's column in Tuesday's San Jose Mercury News was about a local high school graduate named Lesley Copeland and her efforts, through the Peace Corps, to stock a library in Mandinaba, Gambia, with books. On his blog, Mike wrote about another local graduate, Alexandra Candia, who is trying to build a library in Ghana. As Alexandra's parents note, it's "good to see that there is a new generation coming of age who truly are working to make this world better."
- WebMD published a brief report that said that, according to psychologists, "Reading picture books to 18- to 30-month-old toddlers helps them learn things about the real world". Psychologists from the University of Queensland, Australia and the University of Virginia tested 108 toddlers by breaking them into groups, and having some read books with photographs, others read books with pictures, and others not read to at all. The kids who were read to, especially those shown photographs, were more able to construct a rattle, as had been depicted in the books, than the other kids. This study will probably not be a surprise to parents who have been reading with their own preschoolers, but I thought that it was cool.
- According to the Elmira, NY Gazette, "Six Southside High School students will embark upon a literary marathon of sorts next week when they attempt to break a Guinness record by reading aloud for more than 117 hours...The students' endeavor also ties into National Children's Book Week, which will be celebrated from Nov. 13 to 19. The children will read a variety of works, including children's books, classics and selections from recommended reading lists of various colleges." The teens will also be raising money for a literacy organization, to be specified later.