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Dozens of schools have rejected gifts of free classic books because today's pupils find them too 'difficult' to read, it has emerged.
Around 50 schools have refused to stock literary works by the likes of Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens after admitting that youngsters also find them boring.
The worrying figures were released by the Millennium Library Trust, which donates sets of up to 300 books to schools across the country.
Two childrens book author/librarians, Gina Macaluso and Mary Margaret Mercado have a pretty basic approach to helping kids learn to read.
"The kids who love to read will be the most successful," Mercado said. In her eyes, books can be liver or ice cream: good for you, or really yummy.
She and Macaluso, at the Pima County (AZ) Public Library, want kids to get started reading books that are yummy like ice cream, "then they'll develop a palate for everything else and learn to eat more than just ice cream," Mercado said. More from Arizona Daily Star.
Here's a sweet essay (Guardian Unlimited) from a UK dad who, owing to the new baby in his life, has rediscovered the public library.
But maybe I can drag out her pre-consumer phase, postpone the day when owning the toy becomes more important than chewing the wrapper. So I take her to a magical place where there is no such thing as ownership, only learning and sharing. I take her to the library.
From The New York Times, the catchiest catch phrases and most repeated buzzwords of this year. Times reporter Frank Bruni was "the Decider."
"Literacy is not an end in itself. It is a fundamental human right." (UNESCO, 1975). It is linked to other fundamental rights--rights that are universal, indivisible, interconnected and interdependent.
Becoming literate involves much more than language use and singular routes to language acquisition. It calls literate beings to recognize socio-political contexts of teaching and learning, image multiple possibilities for literate activity, and act as agents of change. As educators we have the responsibility to make visible the complexities of becoming literate in the new millennium. This year's National Council of Teachers of English summer institute will focus on literacy as a human right.
--See A Librarian at the Kitchen Table.
The research said there were costly problems linked to poor literacy, like truancy and poor employment prospects.
The Every Child A Reader scheme puts specialist literacy teachers into schools to give intensive one-to-one support to those six-year-olds most in need."
Jane Karp writes "National Federation of the Blind Partners with Santa Claus
to Support Braille Literacy
Blind Children to Receive Letters in Braille
NORTH POLE (November 28, 2006): The National Federation of the Blind,
the nation's oldest and largest consumer organization of the blind, and
the leading promoter of Braille literacy in the United States,
announced today that as Christmas approaches the Federation will be
providing a special service for children who read Braille. Blind
children who wish to send Braille letters to Santa will be able to
submit their letters to the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan
Institute, which will then Braille Santa's response. For more information about the Braille
Letters from Santa Program, visit our Web site at website. -- Read More
Journalistic snapshot of an ESL class in a Boston suburb from the Globe demonstrates the significance of libraries in teaching English to immigrants.
TransLibrarian writes "An Easy Reading Plaza is the number one hit in Dutch public libraries.An Easy Reading Plaza is a special area in the library for children with reading difficulties. Recently there is far more awareness of the problems that children with reading difficulties experience in later life when their reading abilities are not up to the levels required by modern society. Many local authorities therefore see an Easy Reading Plaza in their local library as a valuable contribution to tackling this problem. More on this subject on http://dutchlibraries.web-log.nl/"
Children with severe reading problems usually struggle for years before getting the help they need. But a growing number of neurologists and educators say that with the latest diagnostic tests, children at high risk for these problems can be identified in preschool and treated before they ever begin to read. More from the New York Times.