Children

Children

What Do You Think of Reading Books as a Punishment?

From an article in The New York Times, a judge imposes juveniles to read from a list of books and report on their reactions.

  • A Virginia judge handed down an unusual sentence last year after five teenagers defaced a historic black schoolhouse with swastikas and the words “white power” and “black power.”

    Instead of spending time in community service, Judge Avelina Jacob decided, the youths should read a book. But not just any book. They had to choose from a list of ones covering some of history’s most divisive and tragic periods. The horrors of the Holocaust awaited them in “Night,” by Elie Wiesel. The racism of the Jim Crow South was there in Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” The brutal hysteria of persecution could be explored in “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.

  • To Kill A Mockingbird Pulled From Reading List

    CBS NEWS reports that a school district in Missippi has pulled Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from a junior high reading list as the discussion of race “makes people uncomfortable.”. The book remains in libraries (fortunately).

    Librarian explains why she rejected books donated by Melania Trump

    Via CBS News.

    The Dr. Suess books were rejected by a librarian at the Cambridgeport Elementray School Library in response to President Trump's selection of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education among other factors. What's your opinion on the rejection of the gift?

    UPDATE: FLOTUS office fires back a reply to the rejection of the Dr. Suess books: via FoxNews (what else?)

    'To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate.' - FLOTUS

    A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them

    Marx is currently on the look-out for some creative ways to not fine kids, but still hold them accountable. One idea he's toying with: put a hold on a child's account until they simply return their overdue materials, no fines involved. Five years ago, Marx granted city-wide amnesty to children with fines, and he says they saw 80,000 kids return to the library over time. Now, he's trying to secure a $10 million endowment to get rid of fines in perpetuity.
    From A Better Way to Get Kids in Libraries: Stop Fining Them - WNYC News - WNYC

    Getting Kids to Read the Stuffed Animal Way

    Via CNN.

    West Orange NJ's childrens librarian Faith Boyle read "Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale" by Mo Willems to a group of children and their fluff-filled companions. After that late afternoon story time, the children kissed their toys good night.

    A group of teenage volunteers quickly got to work, snapping photos of the stuffed animals in the library. There were images of a teddy bear and bunny holding hands while watching a puppet show and a tiny plush alligator reading about swamps. Even the photos of the monkeys sneaking Chips Ahoy cookies from the break room made it onto the library's Facebook page.

    Your Child Should Read Banned Books

    From pediatrician Perri Klass via the New York Times, why children should read banned books, and some recommendations.

    Once your kids can read easy books, start reading them hard ones, says reading expert Doug Lemov

    There are multiple benefits to reading kids hard books, he argues. Some are obvious, like exposing them to more complex vocabulary. Some are less so, such as exposing them to more complicated sentences and more elaborate plot lines, which better prepares them for when they encounter those on their own further down the road.
    From Once your kids can read easy books, start reading them hard ones, says reading expert Doug Lemov — Quartz

    The origins of children’s literature - The British Library

    By the end of the 18th century, children’s literature was a flourishing, separate and secure part of the publishing industry in Britain. Perhaps as many as 50 children’s books were being printed each year, mostly in London, but also in regional centres such as Edinburgh, York and Newcastle. By today’s standards, these books can seem pretty dry, and they were often very moralising and pious. But the books were clearly meant to please their readers, whether with entertaining stories and appealing characters, the pleasant tone of the writing, or attractive illustrations and eye-catching page layouts and bindings.
    From The origins of children’s literature - The British Library

    Our (Bare) Book Shelves, Our Selves

    Although the study did not account for e-books, as they’re not yet available in enough countries, Dr. Evans said in theory they could be just as effective as print books in encouraging literacy.

    “But what about the casual atmosphere of living in a bookish world, and being intrigued to pull something off the shelf to see what it’s like?” she asked. “I think that will depend partly on the seamless integration of our electronic devices in the future.”

    From Our (Bare) Shelves, Our Selves - The New York Times

    In response to controversy, hundreds pack Mount Horeb library for reading of transgender book

    <P align=justify><blockquote>MOUNT HOREB — In a turnout that stunned organizers, nearly 600 people filled the library here Wednesday night to hear a public reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl, with many in the crowd expressing strong support for a local family with a transgender child.</blockquote></P> From <A HREF="http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/in-response-to-controversy-hundreds-pack-mount-horeb-library-for/article_095da109-0caf-534e-9879-3cb4e0c769ee.html">http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/in-respon

    The Statistical Dominance of Dr. Seuss

    Nearly twenty-five years after his death, Dr. Seuss continues to dominate the world of children’s books to an astonishing degree.

    Today, one in four children’s first book is one penned by Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss’s given name). The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, all published prior to 1970, remain among today’s bestselling children’s books. The Grinch might have stolen Christmas, but Geisel stole all our hearts.

    From The Statistical Dominance of Dr. Seuss

    Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

    In Washington, D.C., some vending machines are providing a new snack: free children’s books.

    The Book Vending Machine program is the first of its kind in the U.S. It is the newest addition to "Soar with Reading", a literacy program started five years ago by JetBlue Airlines.

    Dozens of books that appeal to children are within reach, at the push of a button...

    From Vending Machines Dispense Free Books to Children

    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

    More Librarians Required in NYC Middle and High Schools

    The New York City Department of Education must stop violating rules on the minimum number of librarians required at city high schools, state education Commissioner John B. King Jr. has decided.

    The United Federation of Teachers had appealed to the commissioner several times in recent years to force the city to comply with regulations spelling out how many librarians are necessary, depending on enrollment. City school officials argued last year that fewer were needed because of advancements in technology and the ability of small schools to share them.

    In a decision signed Sept. 15, Mr. King said the union didn't have standing to argue on behalf of students deprived of librarians' help, but the city must comply with the staffing minimums.

    A spokeswoman for the city education department said it would work on a plan to address the issue, noting that school libraries have "tremendous value." Article from The Wall Street Journal.

    New York City Librarian Gets Covered in Pasta.

    Talk about dedication to her line of work! Click here to find out why.

    Which Version of American History to Teach Texas High Schoolers?

    From ABC News:

    Debates over academic curriculum and textbooks have for years thrust Texas' Board of Education into the national spotlight, sparking battles over issues such as how to teach climate change and natural selection. In 2010, while approving the history curriculum standards that this year's round of new books are supposed to follow, conservatives on the board required that students evaluate whether the United Nations undermines U.S. sovereignty and study the Congressional GOP's 1994 Contract with America.

    This long-running ideological dispute over what gets taught in Texas classrooms flared anew over proposed history textbooks Tuesday, with academics decrying lessons they said exaggerate the importance of Christian values on the nation's Founding Fathers while conservatives complained of anti-American, pro-Islam biases.

    The Board of Education will approve new history textbooks for the state's 5-plus million public school students in November. But it heard hours of complaints about 104 proposed books during a sometimes heated public hearing.

    Jacqueline Jones, chairwoman of the University of Texas' History Department, said one U.S. history high school book cheerleads for President Ronald Reagan and the significance of America's free enterprise system while glossing over Gov. George Wallace's attempt to block school integration in Alabama. She also pointed to a phrase stating that "the minimum wage remains one of the New Deal's most controversial legacies."

    "We do our students a disservice when we scrub history clean of unpleasant truths," Jones said "and when we present an inaccurate view of the past that promotes a simple-minded, ideologically driven point of view."

    Harsh Children's Book Reviews

    From Quartz.

    "One hundred years before post-millennial parents were deeming Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs inappropriate for young vegans, the children’s librarians of the New York Public Library kept a card catalog of hand-typed kids’ book reviews.

    “There’s about a billion card catalogs in the library,” says Lynn Lobash, who oversees reader services at the NYPL. “But these are special in that they were used as a tool for collection development, for the staff to evaluate the children’s collection.”

    Fave comment written in 1975 on an index card is "Just what we've been waiting for. A DIRTY TEENAGE NOVEL" about Judy Blume's Forever.

    Report: Reading to young children benefits brain development

    Boy Creates Little Free Library in his Leawood, KS Front Yard, City Shuts it Down

    From Boing Boing:

    In Kansas, 9-year-old Spencer Collins has been told by authorities that he must stop sharing books with his neighbors, and close the little free library in his yard. Its slogan was "take a book, leave a book," but city government is mostly about the taking.

    Collins loves reading. He doesn't just dive into a book -- he swims through its pages. "It's kind of like I'm in a whole other world and I like that," he said. "I like adventure stories because I'm in the adventure and it's fun."
    When he tried to share his love for books, it started a surprisingly frustrating adventure.

    "When we got home from vacation, there was a letter from the city of Leawood saying that it was in code violation and it needed to be down by the 19th or we would receive a citation," said Spencer's mother, Sarah Collins. The Bookcase was considered an illegal accessory building."

    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.

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