Here is some recent children's literacy and reading related news:
- According to BBC News, a champion of phonics and reading was recently knighted. It's great to see literacy advocates recognized! Thanks to RM1 (SS) from The Old Coot for sending the link.
- In other news from the UK, according to a controversial study reported in the Times Online (UK), "Children from poor families should be given extra lessons on weekdays and Saturdays to provide them with the levels of support enjoyed by pupils at private school... The report, Tackling Educational Inequality, also calls for all schools to be given the freedom to diverge from the national curriculum, enabling them to concentrate on literacy and numeracy." Seems a bit questionable to me, but I haven't tracked down the report. Commenters on the piece are appalled.
- UNESCO announced the winners of their 2007 literacy prize, selecting five winners "from China, the United States, Nigeria, Senegal and Tanzania... The honours are awarded yearly to recognize particularly effective efforts made in the fight against illiteracy, one of UNESCO’s priorities, and raise awareness of the work of thousands worldwide promoting the cause of literacy for all." The US winner was Reach Out and Read.
- A feature story at Penn State Live champions summer reading, and suggests book titles. It starts: "Summer reading for children should be an added seasonal bonus, not a chore. Books can entertain, enlighten and inspire young people of various ages. Steven Herb, director of The Pennsylvania Center for the Book and head of Penn State's Education and Behavioral Sciences Library, knows there are a lot of good books for young people. He has made some recommendations of award-winning reads to keep kids occupied and engaged during the second half of the summer."
- NorthJersey.com has a feature story about books by celebrity sports figures, with emphasis on Alex Rodriguez. Now, I can't say that I'm interested in reading most of these books myself, and I would want to see them very carefully edited. However, I do agree with school librarian Margaret Best, who said "Look, anything that gets kids excited about reading is good (and) ... there's a lot of excitement around athletes." If a young Yankees fan is more excited about reading because A-Rod published a book, that's a lot better than the kid not getting excited about any books at all.