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Sleepovers with stuffed animals help children learn to read

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Sending stuffed animals for a sleepover at the library encourages children to read with them, even long after the sleepover took place, say researchers in a new study in Heliyon. For the first time, the study proves stuffed animal sleepovers are an effective way to get children to read. The results also suggest that stuffed animal sleepover programs may help develop children’s prosocial behavior by encouraging them to read the books the stuffed animals had chosen during their sleepover. The researchers behind the new study, from Okayama University, Kanazawa University, Osaka Institute of Technology and Kyushu University in Japan, say they hope their results support the global spread of this approach, which has a positive effect on children’s reading habits.”(more)

How Reading Aloud to Therapy Dogs Can Help Struggling Kids

KQED News Mind/Shift – Juli Fraga

“Two years ago, principal Diane Lau-Yee grew concerned when she saw how family tragedies were impacting her students at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School in San Francisco’s Chinatown. “Some of the students were acting out their feelings of confusion and anger by starting fights with their peers, while other children shut down and stopped participating in class,” says Lau-Yee. When children are struggling at home, it’s often harder for them to concentrate in school. And if kids experience trauma — such as the death of a family member, divorce or witnessing family or community violence — research shows that kids will have more difficulty tolerating frustration, controlling their impulses and managing their aggression.”(more)

Personalized learning isn’t just for math — it boosts literacy, too

Education Dive – Autumn A. Arnett

“In Utah, the UPSTART program provides early literacy interventions via technology to students across the state, free of charge. Despite connectivity deserts, sometimes language barriers, and poverty in many cases, four- and five-year-olds in the state all have access to the program which seeks to close the literacy gap before these students enter Kindergarten. Utah’s UPSTART program is funded by the state legislature, because literacy is an educational priority of the state.”(more)

Instead of digital devices, a push to get books into the hands of young readers

Ed Source – Carolyn Jones

“With her wide smile and eager expression, Oakland 3rd-grader Weiying Wu looked a bit like a princess herself earlier this week as she pored over her new book titled “Real Princess Diaries,” thanks to a multistate effort to get books into the hands of low-income children who come from homes where books are often in short supply. In an age when older children, especially, are drifting away from reading the old-fashioned way, Weiying is carrying on a time-honored practice of reading an actual book. In this case, the book is not one that belongs to the school to be read as part of a class exercise or assignment, but rather to take home and read on her own.”(more)

Engaging fathers in parenting intervention improves outcomes for both kids and fathers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A parenting program where fathers engage with their children through reading was found to boost the fathers’ parenting skills while also improving the preschoolers’ school readiness and behavior, finds a study led by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. “Unlike earlier research, our study finds that it is possible to engage fathers from low-income communities in parenting interventions, which benefits both the fathers and their children,” said Anil Chacko, associate professor of counseling psychology at NYU Steinhardt and the lead author of the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.”(more)

7 sneaky ways to get students reading using technology

E-School News – Eve Heaton

“We all have had students in our classroom who dislike reading. You can spot them easily during their silent reading time: staring at the wall, using the bathroom, or attempting to sharpen pencils that clearly do not need sharpening. Sadly, the number seems to jump year after year. You attempt to cajole, differentiate, and bring in parents knowing that the only way to improve reading is to read. Don’t give up hope! You can get these students reading, but it is time to get creative, smart—and yes, sneaky—about it. Sometimes, using something many students like (technology) can get them inspired to read.”(more)