Saturday Afternoon Visits: August 9
5 Minutes for Books

Children's Literacy Round-Up: August 10

Here is some recent children's literacy and reading news from around the wires.

  • Literacy and Reading News reports that "Teaching children to enjoy reading rather than just to read is vital in improving literacy, according to two leading authors appearing at the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) international conference in Liverpool". It's a great article, written by Brian Scott, with links to two UK publications on reading for pleasure. The site also has a nice article about why parents should read aloud to their kids.
  • Via Big A little a, I learned that Oprah's Book Club has added a "Kids Reading List". The recommendations come from the American Library Association, and are broken into five age categories. They are mostly current titles, with a few classics thrown in for balance. The site also includes a section on 10 Ways to Make Reading Fun for Kids, with some good suggestions. I hope it helps!
  • Franki from A Year of Reading writes about a program called Reading Village that focuses on bringing books to children in Guatemala. Their byline is "transforming lives through literacy."
  • You can find lots of other children's literacy news at The Reading Tub's August 8th Reading Round-Up. Most worth repeating here (to me): "Lightning struck the Swans Island (Maine) Library in late July and it burned to the ground. The library lost everything, including historical records. Rock City Books and Coffee in Rockland, Maine is coordinating a book drive, as the library needs all types of books … but especially children's books. You can email Rock City Books for more details." That announcement originally came from Jules at 7-Imp. But seriously, click through, because Terry has found tons of interesting links.
  • Now, I would have been happy to go to summer camp when I was a kid if I could have gone to Reading Camp. Check out this article by Monica Wolfson in the Windsor Star (Canada). According to the article, "This was the inaugural year of the literacy camp that was funded by a provincial grant. Of the 80 students who attended the program at Our Lady of Mount Carmel elementary school, all but one showed reading improvement". I can see how this idea might backfire, if it wasn't made fun, but it sounds like this one worked.
  • The Reading Eagle (Pennsylvania) recently published an article by David Mekeel about kids and reading. The article says that "many children say their busy schedules and increased entertainment options make it hard to keep the passion for reading alive," and includes interviews with several local kids. The article concludes with suggestions for parents to encourage readers.
  • The Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio) published an article by Melissa Rayworth about using audiobooks to deliver bedtime stories to reluctant readers. The article focuses quite a bit on the new AudibleKids venture, but does include a dissenting opinion about bedtime audiobooks as "another gadget for outsourcing parenting".
  • According to a recent news release, "On Thursday afternoon, while many players were studying their playbooks or resting between practices, Buffalo Bills Linebacker Angelo Crowell was reading a book …T is for Touchdown. As part of the St. John Fisher College Literacy Program, nearly 40 young children from the city and suburbs of Rochester and Greater Monroe County were treated to a book reading by Angelo Crowell... Crowell told the kids that being able to read and have an education was an important part of being a football player in the NFL. He described the large playbook that he has to read and understand for his position on the team." I think it's SO great when people that kids look up to take the time to do things like this. I believe that Angelo Crowell may have made a real difference for kids this week.
  • See also this article by Jesse Baumgartner on the Seattle Mariners MLB website about a children's book drive being held today at Safeco Field. Now I really want to see the Mariners beat the Rays today...
  • The Hagerstown Morning Herald (Maryland) has an article by Catherine Hall with the agreeable title "Children are never too young for books." According to the article, ""It's Never Too Early" is the slogan chosen by the Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Library Development and Services for their birth-to-5 literacy campaign. Never too early, that is, to introduce children to the library and to the joy of books."
  • According to Sal Pizarro's column in the San Jose Mercury News, Mayor Chuck Reed will be celebrating his 60th birthday later this month by participating in a literacy event at the San Jose Public Library. I do love living in a city where books and literacy are a priority (you would not believe the number of new library branches that have opened in the past few years).
  • La Presna San Diego has a commentary by teacher Susan J. Hobart about why she hates the No Child Left Behind act, and how it leaves her feeling demoralized.
  • An article by Stephanie Psaila in The Times of Malta asks about the future of reading in an Internet-dominated world. "Doreen Deguara, a Maltese teacher who has been teaching in Canada for the past nine years, says that since the World Wide Web became available to the public in the early 1990's, an information revolution has taken place which has changed the way people access and process the written word.... Ms Deguara says students are still reading books, but they are also reading texts in formats other than the traditional hardbound or paperback book."

That's all the literacy news that I have for you today. Happy reading! It's great to be back.