Saturday Afternoon Visits: October 11
Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank You Notes: Peggy Gifford

Children's Literacy Round-Up: Hokies, Cheerios, and the Love of Reading

Here is some recent children's literacy and reading-related news from around the wires:

Terry has tons of great stories at Tub Talk, the Reading Tub's Blog, in her October 6th Reading Round-Up. I especially enjoyed a story about how "Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech football coach) created Herma’s Readers in honor of his mother, a teacher for more than 30 years. Herma’s Readers is a “non-profit designed to introduce the power of reading to youngsters Kindergarten to grade 3.”" According to the nonprofit's site, "Walmart has partnered with Coca-Cola to donate 100 books for every Hokie touchdown this season". Virginia Tech was actually on my short list of schools when I applied to college (I really wanted to get away from New England winters), so I got an extra kick out of this story.

The Midwest Book Examiner suggests, in an article by Terri Schlichenmeyer, that people consider giving books as gifts this holiday season. The article also offers "do's and don'ts at the bookstore." I'm certainly happiest both giving and receiving books as gifts, that's for sure. See also the Examiner's article by Diane Petryk Bloom about Jon Scieszka's Knucklehead.

The Calgary Herald has a lengthy article by Roberta McDonald about teen reading. She says: "Life can be treacherous and turbulent during adolescence.... It takes stones and sensitivity to tackle stories about these often awkward and baffling years, and the new breed of writers has risen to the challenge in a way that is pleasing not only their audiences, but parents, librarians and school administrators alike. Here in Calgary, the folks at WordFest are gearing up for another banner year, as they anticipate more than 6,000 junior-high and high-school kids to descend on various events from Oct. 14th to 19th ... Organizers have clued in to the tastes of their younger audience and have booked authors, bloggers, and slam poets who not only engage reluctant readers, but bring unique celebrity panache to the various stages." Did you see that last bit? Bloggers ... who engage reluctant readers. Way cool! The article has lots of detail about various books and authors.

Twilight Speaking of engaging reluctant readers, SW Virginia Today has an article by Stephanie Porter-Nichols about a library's positive reaction to patrons' love of the Twilight books. "“It’s a dream come true for me to see people who don’t read start and fall in love,” (youth services supervisor Tracy) Reed-Armbrister said. She credits the Twilight phenomenon for making her dream a reality." And she's hosting a party at the library to show her appreciation.

According to a recent press release, "Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories is helping parents nurture their children’s love of reading – by putting five million books inside cereal boxes again this fall... This year’s books again hold broad appeal, with entertaining stories about a duck who runs for president, a girl who imitates zoo animals, stores that give out free dinosaurs with every purchase, two friends who blast off and discover another world, and Nickelodeon characters Dora and Diego’s daring adventure to rescue a wolf pup."

According to an October 10th press release, "Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the nation's oldest and largest children and families' literacy organization, announced today that a six-week promotion held at all Macy's stores has raised a record $3.1 million. The funds from the "Book A Brighter Future" campaign will be used to promote and support RIF's Multicultural Literacy campaign, new volunteer engagement initiatives, and provide free books and literacy resources to children nationwide. "

The Dallas Morning News has a lovely op-ed piece by high-school English teacher Lydia Croupe about the love of reading. She says things like; "How do I spark an interest in reading with only words? Step into a library or bookstore where the choices are endless and captivating stories rest patiently on the shelves for a prospective reader" and "The key is to take pleasure in the story you choose. If you are a parent, let your teen pick the book, find a copy for yourself and then read along. This will give you excellent things to discuss at the dinner table, and it will enable you to learn more about your teen." This is great stuff! It's always fun to discover a kindred spirit, even one who lives 1500 miles away.

The Attleboro Sun Chronicle has a column by Jessica Long about the importance of children's literacy, and the "detrimental effects that television viewing can have upon all children, especially when it comes to literacy rates." The author says that a study (though she doesn't give a reference for this study) found that "In homes with children who had a low interest in books, half to three-quarters of parents spent all their leisure time watching television. Conversely, for children who had a high interest in books, only about one third of their parents spent any of their leisure time viewing television, with the remainder of their time spent reading." I would have liked to see this piece more detailed in the citing of references (several other studies are mentioned in vague terms, such as "California researchers found..."), but I hope that the piece still gives readers some food for thought.

According to an article by Rani Gupta in the North County Times (CA), "Preschoolers in Lake Elsinore and Wildomar soon will be receiving new books each week as part of a program to encourage early literacy among young children. Project Read With Me is a 7-year-old effort to spur parents to read with their children, teach them to use libraries, and develop children's love of reading at an early age."

The Sun Peaks Independent News (Canada) has an article by Lailani Mendoza titled: "Reading creates successful adults." There's a sidebar with tips from Glen Atkinson, Leap Frog Canada’s marketing director, for getting kids reading. For example, "Don’t make it ‘work.’ You have to make it fun. It has to be a time that you share and enjoy".

And that's the round-up for today!