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Children's Literacy Round-Up: May 15

Here are the news stories that I noticed this week related to children's literacy, and encouraging the love of books by kids.

  • I'm intrigued by what they're doing at Open Books. Here's the about section from the blog: "Open Books (coming spring 2008) is Chicago's first nonprofit literacy bookstore: a funky, fun, colorful, and eccentric used treasure trove of 50,000+ used books on the first floor, with all proceeds funding literacy programs upstairs." They just celebrated their one-year anniversary, and have written about some milestones reached along the way.
  • Children's author Wendelin Van Draanen and her husband, Mark Parsons have started a new campaign: Exercise the Right to Read. Wendelin writes at the First Book Blog about the statistics that caused her to want to do something, and says: "So out of our mutual love for fitness and literacy, my husband and I have started a “running for reading” campaign to raise funds for school libraries and First Book. Kids all over the country will collect pledges to “run a marathon” (1 mile a day for 26 days) and “read a marathon” (26 minutes a day for 26 days), earning money for books for their library while also helping kids less fortunate than they by donating 10% to First Book. Meanwhile, my husband and I will be collecting pledges (corporate and private) to run the 2007 ING New York City Marathon, with all money going directly to First Book."
  • According to a brief ChronicleHerald announcement, the Nova Scotia government "will provide $240,000 for the promotion of family literacy in Nova Scotia. The money will be spent on programs such as reading circles for parents and children, adult literacy programs with a focus on health and parenting, and workshops to teach parents and caregivers how to support the educational development of their children."
  • This year's Ann Arbor Book Festival will focus on children's literacy, according to a feature article by Leah Dumouchel in the Ann Arbor News. Here's the wonderful start to the article: "It doesn't often happen that an industry bands together to hook its potential users early and firmly - and nobody minds. That's the not-so-hidden agenda of this year's Ann Arbor Book Festival. From the Chenille Sisters' rendition of "I Love it When You Read to Me'' at the kickoff party to the Bookmaking for Families workshop by 826michigan that closes the festival, children's reading and literacy for all ages are in the spotlight this year." There will also be bookstore scavenger hunts.
  • Meanwhile Heritage Elementary School in Denver, CO just celebrated an entire literacy month, according to a story by Carolyn Mustin at "The month-long celebration began with a visit from award-winning children's book author and illustrator, Janet Stevens," and continued with pajama night, a door-decorating contest, and a read-off to wrap things up.

Happy reading to all!