Here's the children's literacy-related news that caught my eye this week. The first one is my favorite.
- 10-year-old Alexa Sheets of Georgia recently received a $500 grant from the NEA's Read Across America and the Youth Leaders For Literacy Grant Program to start a book club for four to eight year olds. According to Johnny Jackson of the Henry Daily Herald, "Alexa Sheets said she merely had a passion for reading mystery novels and wanted to share it. Seeing the lack of interest and success in reading among her peers, the 10-year-old says she went to work to find ways to help make hers a more literate community." She thought that a book club would do the trick, and she wants to help younger kids learn to enjoy books. I've never met her, but I love this kid. There are lots of great quotes in the article, too.
- According to Caleb Hale of The Southern (Illinois), "WSIU Public Broadcasting at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is one of 10 pilot sites selected for a nationwide literacy initiative in partnership with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the U.S. Department of Education." The idea is to improve children's literacy for at-risk families within the radio's service area.
- Though not directly about children's literacy, I enjoyed this Guardian article by Peter Kingston about woman named Sue Torr who learned to read after a nine-year-old girl called her on her long-hidden illiteracy. Torr was a dinner lady in a primary school, and once she did start learning to read, many of the children in her school helped.
- Author Rick Riordan recently published the text of a speech that he gave to the Federation of Children's Book Groups in England. After much discussion, he ended with this: "I’m very grateful to the Federation for the work you do opening minds, and expanding frontiers in children’s literature. Children need advocates who care about reading, who care about youth literacy, and who understand that reading needs to be a fun, positive experience if we want children to grow up to be lifelong readers and lifelong learners." Can't argue with that!
And that's all for this week. Happy reading!