Literacy

"Revenge of the Book Eaters" - a Tour to Promote Children's Literacy

Starting on a six-city tour, the Revenge of the Book Eaters may (or may not) be coming to a theater near you (shows now through October in NYC, Chicago, LA, SF, Seattle and Ann Arbor). Stars of comedy (Jon Stewart), rock (David Byrne) and the literary world (Dave Eggers) will appear to help raise money for non-profit writing centers for children. The unique title of the show comes from a story written at a Brooklyn-based writing center by ten-year-old Rafaello Adler-Abramo.

Literacy Resources from the UN for International Literacy Day

Friday, September 8 is International Literacy Day (not to mention, 2003 - 2012 is the Literacy Decade). Today nearly 800 million people aged over 15 are illiterate and two-thirds of them are women.

The UN lists a variety of websites with statistics and resources here and from UNESCO, information on the history of International Literacy Day and activities around the world here.

Encouraging Reading With Dogs...and Cats

Most pets thrive on attention, and kids do too, which is why they make a perfect team for youngsters learning to read. This article is about R.E.A.D. -- Reading Education Assistance Dogs, a division of the mid-Atlantic organization, PAWS for People .

What happens? Kids read to animals. Think about it: Dogs won't laugh if you stutter. They won't correct a mispronounced word. Their loyal attention makes children feel supported as they practice reading. And recently, two cats, including three-legged Luke have been welcomed to join the READ team.

Study Concludes Learning About Art Helps Students Do Better All Around

In these days of educational cutbacks and 'No Child Left Behind', it seems that studying art is practically a luxury. But the Guggenheim Museum has found otherwise; a study to be released today by the museum, and reported in the New York Times suggests that studying art helps students improve skills in other areas. They specifically cited improvements in a range of literacy and critical thinking skills among students who took part in a program Learning Through Art in which the Guggenheim sends artists into schools.

Push for simpler spelling persists

From An AP Story: When "say," "they" and "weigh" rhyme, but "bomb," "comb" and "tomb" don't, wuudn't it maek mor sens to spel wurdz the wae thae sound? Those in favor of simplified spelling say children would learn faster and illiteracy rates would drop. Opponents say a new system would make spelling even more confusing.

Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.

It's been 100 years since Andrew Carnegie helped create the Simplified Spelling Board to promote a retooling of written English and President Theodore Roosevelt tried to force the government to use simplified spelling in its publications. But advocates aren't giving up.

What Effect Reading Has on Our Minds

Martha Brockenbrough Says Reading makes you smarter, and the more reading you do, the better. Why this is so and how the magic happens, though, is quite interesting.

In a paper called What Reading Does for the Mind, Anne E. Cunningham, associate professor of cognition and development at the University of California, Berkeley, makes the case that reading:
* increases vocabulary more than talking or direct teaching;

* substantially boosts general knowledge while decreasing the likelihood that misinformation will be absorbed; and

* helps keep our memory and reasoning abilities intact as we age.

Why D.C. Can't Read

The Washington Post takes a look at the D.C. public schools' misplaced priorities and shortsightedness.The result of this abysmal record is that a third of the city's high school students drop out without graduating. An equal percentage of District adults read at or below the third-grade level. More than half the city's schools -- including seven high schools -- have no librarian.

Sound-bite culture gives books short shrift

Beverly in Illinois writes "Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionWriter Jennifer Moses writes a wonderful story on the value of flexing your reading muscle to make sound decisions in a sound bite world. She Says today's students — like their elders — are in the grip of what she calls post-literacy...."

How do children get the book bug?

One From The UK: 30 years of books for children divide Ion and Lusa Thomas from their children. In some respects the children's choice of stories is similar to that of their parents - right down to the titles in the case of Asterix and Tintin.

But generally today's children have a much broader range of books and authors to choose from. The subjects covered are more diverse than in the early 1970s, when adventure books were the staple fare for young readers.

Keep Living, Keep Learning - A Word A Day

A favorite site of mine is wordsmith, and the e-mail advisory 'a word a day' by Anu Garg.

This week's words are all book-related, as next week is TV turn-off week. Here's what webmaster Anu says in today's e-mail:

So many channels, so little worth watching! Do you sometimes find yourself muttering those words? Next week is TV Turnoff Week
so give that TV a well-deserved rest, and instead say: So many books worth
reading, so little time!

People in the US watch TV for more than four hours a day. That's equivalent to sitting in front of a TV for two full months nonstop every year. It's not for nothing that TV has been called the plug-in drug, the boob tube, and the idiot box. For more, see : factsheets and research.

It's time to redefine television, from Greek tele- (far) + Latin vision- (view), as something that deserved to be seen far, far away. Instead, get
closer to books. Cut your screen time and increase your page time. This week we'll explore a few words from the world of books.

Today's word is

belles-lettres (bel-LET-ruh). noun;

Literary works valued for their aesthetic qualities rather than
information or instruction.

Subscribe for yourself or your entire library at wordsmith.

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