Literacy

In Afghanistan, our boys are reading from the front

The Times has an interesting article today on British soldiers in Afghanistan who read stories to their children back home. December 15, 2009. "In Afghanistan, our boys are reading from the front;
Fighting overseas doesn’t stop British soldiers telling their children bedtime stories." by Helen Rumbelow.
Andi Gray is married to the commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. Before he left, Lieutenant-Colonel Toby Gray recorded one CD for the youngest of their four children, five-year-old Johnny, and the eldest, 15-year-old Madeleine. The nine-year-old twins are getting theirs soon, as soon as Toby gets enough time in between combat to record a story in the Afghanistan mountains.

Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy is a group of 17 media, policy and community leaders. Its purpose is to assess the information needs of communities, and recommend measures to help Americans better meet those needs.

The Knight Commission sees new thinking about news and information as a necessary step to sustaining democracy in the digital age. It thus follows in the footsteps of the 1940s Hutchins Commission and the Kerner and Carnegie Commissions of the 1960s.

But in the digital age the stakes are even higher. Technological, economic and behavioral changes are dramatically altering how Americans communicate. Communications systems no longer run along the lines of local communities, and the gap in access to digital tools and skills is wide and troubling.

The Commission seeks to start a national discussion – leading to real action. Its aims are to maximize the availability and flow of credible local information; to enhance access and capacity to use the new tools of knowledge and exchange; and to encourage people to engage with information and each other within their geographic communities.

Website of the Knight Commission here.
Full PDF of report: Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy

Do Nothing But Read Day

Break out the comfy clothes and stacks of books: A UW-Madison SLIS student is initiating the first annual Do Nothing But Read Day, set for Sunday, December 20th. There's even a sign-up option with prizes...a sort of grown-up version of Book-It.

How our brains learned to read

How our brains learned to read
The brain in its modern form is about 200,000 years old, yet brain imaging shows reading taking place in the same way and in the same place in all brains. To within a few millimetres, human brains share a reading hotspot - what Stanislas Dehaene calls the "letterbox" - on the bottom of the left hemisphere.
(From a review of Reading in the Brain: The science and evolution of a human invention by Stanislas Dehaene)
Thanks Ender!

Jumpstart 'Read for the Record' Will Read Hungry Caterpillar October 8

Here's the website...find out all about how they're raising money for children in low income communities. This is the fourth annual Read for the Record program.

And sign up!! (you DON'T have to buy the book at Wal-Mart although they are sponsoring the advertising and selling 'special edition'/ i.e., flimsy pages/ printed in sweatshops/ copies in both English and Spanish...)

LeVar Burton On The End Of 'Reading Rainbow'

Talk of the Nation on NPR

Actor LeVar Burton has been the host of The Reading Rainbow for more than two decades. The PBS show's run has come to an end. Burton talks about the show's impact, his long-running career, and what he plans to do next.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor in regards to the story “Students Get New Reading Assignment: Pick Books You Like”

Reading by the Numbers

Essay in the Sunday New York Times Book Review.

Reading by the Numbers

“Reading management” software cannot identify what makes some books so complex and lovely and painful.

Students Get New Assignment: Pick Books You Like

For years Lorrie McNeill loved teaching “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the Harper Lee classic that many Americans regard as a literary rite of passage.

But last fall, for the first time in 15 years, Ms. McNeill, 42, did not assign “Mockingbird” — or any novel. Instead she turned over all the decisions about which books to read to the students in her seventh- and eighth-grade English classes at Jonesboro Middle School in this south Atlanta suburb.

Among their choices: James Patterson‘s adrenaline-fueled “Maximum Ride” books, plenty of young-adult chick-lit novels and even the “Captain Underpants” series of comic-book-style novels.

Full story in the NYT

'Reading Rainbow' Reaches Its Final Chapter

Even if you can't remember a specific Reading Rainbow episode, chances are, the theme song is still lodged somewhere in your head:

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high,
Take a look, it's in a book — Reading Rainbow ...
Remember now?

Reading Rainbow comes to the end of its 26-year run on Friday; it has won more than two-dozen Emmys, and is the third longest-running children's show in PBS history — outlasted only by Sesame Street and Mister Rogers.

Full piece on NPR

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