I have a variety of children's literacy and reading related news for you this week. As is often the case, several of the stories are from Canada. Happy reading!
- Each 11-year-old in England will be given a free book, from a list of 12 selections, to encourage reading for pleasure during the summer. According to an article in The Guardian, "The choice of books was made by a panel of experts, including booksellers, librarians, teachers and journalists, and aims to represent a diverse mix of levels and styles." Thanks to Annette Simon for the link.
- Literacy News reports about Pennsylvania's state-wide summer reading programs, which have a theme of "Get A Clue At Your Library." The article includes "ideas for reading aloud, talking and asking questions about books and raising readers and writers."
- Rockport, Maine will be holding the 10th annual Gala Kids' Book Party on July 6th. According to VillageSoup.com, "The party features entertainment, great books and puzzles for sale, puppet making and refreshments." I'd like to go to that book sale!
- According to an article in the Philippines Sun.Star, volunteers from Smart Communications spent time in a village in Cebu City narrating stories to kids. ""We wanted to make the summer more entertaining and productive for kids," says Ramon R. Isberto, Smart public affairs group head. "We used storytelling to entertain, educate and instill knowledge and values to kids." Studies show that storytelling also improves vocabulary, prediction, sequencing, comprehension, story structure and recall - skills that will help children improve their life skills."
- The Niagara Falls Review (Ontario, Canada) has a feature about a local woman, Sandy White, who has worked for all of her 33 year career towards the reading success of children. The article, by Nancy Reynolds, says "Literacy is Sandy's watch-word. She taught it, stressed it, revered it and shared it her entire adult life to the benefit of countless people, some of whom have no idea who was behind their success."
- Another feature article, from the Northern News Services Online, describes recent efforts by the Inuvik Literacy Circle (Northwest Territories, Canada). The Literacy Circle sponsored a challenge, by which kids from various programs "either wrote or drew pictures of their favourite literacy activities such as reading or doing crafts. The winners, the children of the Aboriginal Head Start program, will now have extra reading materials to learn from, thanks to their love for literacy."
- According to a recent press release, Ontario's government "is helping children in culturally diverse and high-needs neighbourhoods gain the language and numbers skills they need to succeed in school", by setting up centers focused on "building children's literacy and numeracy skills through stories, music,
reading and playing."
- Hamilton, Ontario is also initiating a children's literacy effort. According to the Hamilton Mountain News, the Mayor, Chamber of Commerce, and library system started Hamilton Kids Read. The program "aims to bring the business and educational sectors together with the common goal of providing books for children."