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Children's Literacy Round-Up:

Here's the recent children's literacy and reading related news from the wires:

  • The Phoenix Public Library Foundation just had a fundraiser that raised $300,000 for children's literacy programs. See details in this Arizona Republic article. "The goal of the foundation is to help provide children and families with education and a sense of community, said Susan Doria, a co-chair for the dinner and a founding member of the foundation. Foundation-sponsored events also include concerts and speakers. "We want children to get familiar with the library in a way that will carry them for the rest of their life," Doria said."
  • Channel 4 News (London) has an extensive article about the ways in which low literacy achievers are being left behind. The article discusses the low literacy rates among incarcerated youths (with quotes from kids), as well as the seven percent of kids leaving school who can't "read and write properly." The article says that part of the problem is an exam that kids take at age 11. Teaching resources may be too focused on drills for the exam, instead of keeping kids excited about learning. The station has started a campaign called Lost for Words to help get more kids reading. The Times Online has a related article about the Richard and Judy Book Club for Kids.
  • Also in the UK, according to the Guardian Observer, Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, is calling for families to help change the reading culture, and to read to make reading with children before bed as much a part of family routines as brushing teeth.
  • The Capital Times (Madison, WI) has a feature article by Katie Dean about a doctor who actually "took a break during his medical studies to earn a master's degree in library and information science, with a focus on children's literature." He know uses children's reactions to books as one of the indicators of their overall health (are they curious, do they know how to hold a book at the right age, etc.). Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatric resident, is of course involved with Reach Out and Read, a program that gives books to children during their well-visits up to age five.
  • This week there were children's book festivals in Portsmouth, NH (see a Foster's Daily Democrat article) and Aiken, SC (see an Aiken Standard article). The former had a "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" theme, and the latter a pirate theme.
  • CIGNA just made a $39,000 grant to the Children's Literacy Initiative (CLI) in Hartford, according to Literacy News. "The Blueprint for Early Literacy ® will bring CLI professionals to pre-kindergarten classrooms at ... (two local schools) to train and coach teachers as effective literacy educators. The end goal is to ensure that a growing number of Hartford pre-schoolers have the skills necessary to enter kindergarten."
  • Whoopi Goldberg has teamed up with Scholastic to support children's literacy. According to a press release, "Whoopi Goldberg and Scholastic Book Clubs today announced the launch of the Whoopi! We're Reading! Sweepstakes as part of the Scholastic Book Clubs' ClassroomsCare program. The actor, comedienne, author of Whoopi's Big Book of Manners and producer and host of the syndicated Wake Up with Whoopi! radio program is inviting classrooms from across the country to read 100 books for a chance to win ten 100-book collections for them to donate to the local charity or charities of their choice. One hundred winning classes will be chosen."

Wishing books and reading time to all!