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Children's Literacy Round-Up: May 1

There are lots of great children's literacy and reading-related news stories this week:

  • In Canada, the Gift of Reading program, through receiving and organizing gifts from the public, will be donating 25,293 books to underprivileged children. According to the press release, "The magic of this project is that it enables donors to have a direct impact on the daily life of a child in their region. Indeed, one's very own book can make all the difference when the social and economic environment is far from conducive to reading. The Foundation targets children aged 0-12 across Quebec in order to prevent difficulties with reading and writing that can lead to dropping out of school."
  • According to an article in the Battle Creek Enquirer (Michigan), "United Way of Greater Battle Creek is investing $383,000 in programs that build literacy, education and increased self-sufficiency for area residents in need.... "United Way and our Board of Directors are placing a strong emphasis on community issues concerning literacy, early learning and child growth and development," said Matt Lynn, director of community impact."
  • There's a nice feature article about the Lehigh Valley chapter of one of my favorite organizations, the Cops 'n Kids program, in the Allentown Morning Call. According to the article, "Since 2003 ... many local businesses and nearly every local high school has held a book drive. Cops 'n' Kids also is collecting books for communities in other countries. In the Bethlehem Police Department, officers volunteer and carry books from the program in their cars, Police Commissioner Randall Miller said."
  • I also enjoyed this article in the Manchester, CT Journal Inquirer about an East Windsor elementary school librarian, Marian Friedrich, who requests books for her school's kids through the Reading is Fundamental program. She then uses the books as part of a lesson for children, teaching them about math and geography, as they learn about the government grant that led to their receiving free books. The article includes several quotes from the kids about what books they enjoyed and why. Uplifting reading, for sure.
  • The Seattle Times has an article about a local children's author, and former librarian, Suzanne Williams, who "wants to inspire kids to love reading. "I want to motivate kids to read, but I also want them to chuckle at the allusions to classic children's literature sprinkled throughout my books, like an inside joke," she said."
  • In San Diego, the annual Children's Book Party was just held in Balboa Park. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, "The annual literacy event provides two free books to each child. Hundreds of children and their families filled the benches at the Organ Pavilion for the book party, which was provided by Roosevelt Brown and his nonprofit group, Reading Literacy Learning Inc." Transportation is provided for schools.
  • from Denver has an article about a Lakewood woman named Linda Behrens, who, after seeing the need for books at an overcrowded school in Tanzania, traveled back to deliver two suitcases packed full of donated books.
  • And finally, as has been extensively reported elsewhere, Al's Book Club for Kids on the TODAY Show has selected the first of four summer reading titles: The Invention of Hugo Cabaret. Here are some discussion questions posted by TODAY.

Happy reading to all!