Literacy

Literacy

Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens

Thanks to technology, we’re reading more than ever—our brains process thousands of words via text messages, email, games, social media, and web stories. According to one report, the amount people that read tripled from 1980 to the late 2000s, and it’s probably safe to say that trend continues today. But as we jam more and more words into our heads, how we read those words has changed in a fundamental way: we’ve moved from paper to screens. It’s left many wondering what we’ve lost (or gained) in the shift, and a handful of scientists are trying to figure out the answer.

From Everything Science Knows About Reading On Screens | Co.Design | business + design

Encouraging Teenagers to Read, by Choosing Books From the Non-Y.A. Shelves

My sons have always been voracious readers. One started early, the other started late, but once they got going, both were hooked. Then, one day this winter, I looked around my teenager’s room and noticed something was missing. Where books once littered his room, I now find guitar picks, running spikes and dirty socks.

I’ve learned from experience that encouraging my children to engage in anything I want them to do requires a lot of finesse. When I’ve come right out and recommended books I think they will like, those titles are immediately blacklisted from their mental card catalog, because my very endorsement taints them with a mom-approved stink.

My solution is to “seed” my older son’s room with a wide range of books for him to find on his own time and on his own terms. I consulted with my local bookseller, Brenda Leahy, who curates a list of teenage recommendations selected from outside the Young Adult section of the bookstore. Once armed, I scattered the literary bait all over my son’s room.

Full piece:

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/16/encouraging-teenagers-to-read-by-choosing-book...

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Raising Kids Who Want To Read

In his new book, Raising Kids Who Read, Daniel Willingham wants to be clear: There's a big difference between teaching kids to read and teaching them to love reading.

And Willingham, a parent himself, doesn't champion reading for the obvious reasons — not because research suggests that kids who read for pleasure do better in school and in life.

"The standard things you'll hear about why kids should read I actually don't think are very strong arguments," he says. "Because if the goal is to become a good citizen or the goal is to make a lot of money, I can think of more direct ways to reach those goals than to read during your leisure time."

Full piece here:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/03/17/387774026/q-a-raising-kids-who-want-to-read

What Reading Does for the Mind

Lack of exposure and practice on the part of the less skilled reader delays the development of automaticity and speed at the word recognition level. Slow, capacity-draining word recognition processes require cognitive resources that should be allocated to comprehension. Thus, reading for meaning is hindered; unrewarding reading experiences multiply; and practice is avoided or merely tolerated without real cognitive involvement.

From What Reading
Does for the Mind
[PDF Link]
Via Reddit

About First Book

Another story via National Public Radio about First Book and their continuing goal of introducing young children to the pleasures of reading and owning books.

When it comes to learning to read, educators agree: the younger, the better. Children can be exposed to books even before they can talk, but for that a family has to have books, which isn't always the case.

There are neighborhoods in this country with plenty of books; and then there are neighborhoods where books are harder to find. Almost 15 years ago, Susan Neuman, now a professor at New York University, focused on that discrepancy, in a study that looked at just how many books were available in Philadelphia's low-income neighborhoods. The results were startling.

"We found a total of 33 books for children in a community of 10,000 children. ... Thirty-three books in all of the neighborhood," she says. By comparison, there were 300 books per child in the city's affluent communities. Neuman recently updated her study. She hasn't yet released those findings but says not much has changed.

And according to Neuman, despite advances in technology, access to print books is still important because reading out loud creates an emotional link between parent and child.

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NPR series on reading in the Common Core era

Common Core Reading: The High Achievers

Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.

She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.

Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2014/11/13/356358135/common-core-reading-the-high-achievers

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For Dyslexics, A Font And A Dictionary That Are Meant To Help

A designer who has dyslexia has created a font to help dyslexic readers navigate text designing letters in a way that avoids confusion and add clarity. Two English researchers are making a dictionary that favors meaning over the alphabet.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/11/11/363293514/for-dyslexics-a-font-and-a-dictiona...

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Viewers respond to mandated extra reading at Florida schools

PBS viewers respond to a recent signature piece examining Florida’s new law requiring low-performing elementary schools to provide an extra hour of reading every day. Hari Sreenivasan reads your comments.

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No Devices, No Talking...Just Silence and Reading

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Book News: Millennials Reading More Than Older Americans, Study Finds

Young Americans are more likely to have read a book in the past year than their older counterparts, a new study finds.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/09/11/347620935/book-news-millennials-reading-more-...

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Report: Reading to young children benefits brain development

Building digital libraries in Ghana with Worldreader

https://medium.com/message/ebooks-for-all-b23d2d8e63b8

Worldreader, headquartered in San Francisco but with offices in Barcelona, Accra, and Nairobi, was co-founded in 2009 by former Amazon.com executive David Risher and Colin McElwee. The genesis of the non-profit was predicated on two simple notions:

Everyone should have access to books.
Technological advances are quickly making digital books cheaper and easier to distribute in more scalable ways than physical books.

David and Colin spent a year or so preparing, gathered some Kindles, and in March 2010 went to Ghana to test the idea with twenty students.

Why Aren't Teens Reading Like They Used To?

NPR piece discussing the reading habits of teens. The comments section has over 100 comments. Commentators point to parents, video games, and the lack of a great american novel as a cause for the decline in reading.

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How Mobile Devices Drive Literacy in Developing World

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Elementary School Libraries: Should They Open Over Summer Vacation?

From Boise, ID : The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) is working with Boise State University Literacy Professor Dr. Roger Stewart to research whether opening school libraries over the summer, along with using a “Book Fair” model of providing free books toward the end of the school year, can maintain or increase children’s literacy skills over the summer months.

The Commission will work with Horizon Elementary School in Jerome ID and its public library partners on a “full-court press” approach, providing $1,500 in funds for personnel to keep school libraries open as well as up to $9,000 in paperback books for all K-2 grade students. Three additional schools will try a “zone” approach, with the Commission providing $1,500 for personnel to keep those school libraries open during the summer, but without the additional books. All six schools serve populations where at least 60 percent of students come from low-income homes.

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Most Literate Cities 2013

Central Connecticut State University has the line-up:

1. Washington, D.C.
2. Seattle, Wash.
3. Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Atlanta, Ga. (tie)
5. Pittsburgh, Pa. (tie)
6. Denver, Colo.
7. St. Paul, Minn.
8. Boston, Mass.
9. St. Louis, Mo.
10. San Francisco, Calif.

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Libraries Participating More in World Book Night

From Library Journal:

Library participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.

Some libraries and bookstores host a special reception when the books arrive to foster community spirit among the volunteers. Last year, World Book Night US had volunteers in 5,200 towns and cities in all 50 states and a record 1,055 libraries and bookstores participate, program director Carl Lennertz said.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will host a public talk April 22 with several authors whose books have been selected for 2014 World Book Night US distribution. This is the first time NYPL is holding official World Book Night launch events; prior World Book Night events were held at the Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.

The guest list at the main library event includes writers Victoria Bond, Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Walter Dean Myers, Esmeralda Santiago, T.R. Simon, and Tobias Wolff. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in the 250-seat Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and will also be live-streamed on the Internet.

I'm a "giver" for the third time and delighted to be handing out copies of Jamie Ford's "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet." I will be picking up my books at my local branch library in Brooklyn, how about you?

Book News: U.N.-Backed Report Finds 'Shocking' Levels of Youth Illiteracy

Story at NPR.org

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The Decline of the American Book Lover

From The Atlantic. Subtitle is "and why the downturn might be over".

The Pew Research Center reported last week that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn't cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.

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