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The Love of Reading: There is Much More Than Literacy at Stake for Young Learners

The Prescott News – John Grimaldi

“Getting your kids ready for school goes beyond outfitting them with pencils, pens and new clothes,” says author and publisher David Bruce Smith. “The most important ‘gift’ you can give your child is a love for reading.” He says that reading is elemental to the education process but, he adds, there is much more than literacy at stake for young learners. “To paraphrase a character in a movie I once saw, the key to all knowledge comes in words.” Smith, who co-founded the Grateful American Book Prize for authors who write and publish historically accurate works of fiction/nonfiction– especially for kids– points out that a well-read child becomes a productive citizen. Reading also promotes curiosity, which is a cornerstone of success in later life.”(more)

With Kids’ Empathy on the Decline, Books and Talking Help

Education News – Grace Smith

“Parents know what it’s like when their child does something wrong and they try to get the youngster to apologize. The child usually refuses to do so, but finally might get a very soft “sorry”out, which by no means conveys empathy and was said to get the parents off their backs. Kelly Wallace of CNN writes that parents seem to be unable to find a way to have their children learn from the incident, make sure the children do not repeat the offense, and have the kids empathize with the other person. CNN asked parents to act out how they would manage these encounters and had a parenting expert listen to their interaction and give some feedback. One Atlanta mom said that if anyone bothers her son’s Lego creations, he can become explosive. His reaction is based on what he sees as someone coming into his space, so he does not understand why he should apologize. Trying to get him to apologize for his tantrum in that moment, she added, is just futile. Erik Fisher, a psychologist, and co-author of The Art of Empowered Parenting: The Manual You Wish Your Kids Came With, said this mother should help her son calm down by talking to him in a quiet voice and asking him how he might be able to show his friend that he was sorry.”(more)

The Merits of Reading Real Books to Your Children

The New York Times – Perri Klass, M.D.

“A new Harry Potter book and a new round of stories about midnight book release parties reminded me of the persistent power of words printed on a page to shape children’s lives. How do we think about a distinct role for paper, for “book-books” in children’s lives? My own pediatric cause is literacy promotion for young children. I am the national medical director of the program Reach Out and Read, which follows a model of talking with the parents of babies, toddlers and preschoolers about the importance of reading aloud, and giving away a developmentally appropriate children’s book at every checkup.”(more)

Can’t Buy Me Love (Of Reading)

NPR – Cory Turner

“You sneak them into backpacks and let them commingle with the video games (hoping some of the latter’s appeal will rub off). You lay them around the kids’ beds like stepping stones through the Slough of Despond and, for good measure, Vitamix them to an imperceptible pulp for the occasional smoothie. Books are everywhere in your house, and yet … they’re not being consumed. Because it’s summer, and kids have so many other things they’d rather do. As the parent of a 4- and 7-year-old, I’ve been thinking a lot about the summer slide, and a timely story from The New York Times reminded me of just how delicate a balance it is, encouraging your kids to read during these wildly distracting months — enticing them at every opportunity — without jumping the shark.”(more)

How ‘Do-Re-Mi’s can help children read better

The Daily Herald – Ashley Mendoza

“You’re used to saying the “ABC”s with your children, but did you know singing the “Do Re Mi”s together can help them read better, too? Research supports music to be helpful in contributing to their development. Reading Rockets, a national multimedia literacy initiative that offers information and resources on how young children learn to read, reports how impactful music is in children’s literacy. According to the Reading Rockets report, “Music promotes language acquisition, listening skills, memory, and motor skills. Songs introduce new words, often ones that rhyme or repeat, which makes them easy to learn. Singing also facilitates bonds between adult and child.” Directly working with music is one way children can partake of the benefits music has on children’s development and literacy.”(more)

Input Compassion Output Results

The Huffington Post – Regina Jackson

“Imagine a classroom blustering with energy. All hands up in the air. Why are they excited? It’s reading time! The enthusiasm of an engaged, confident reader is infectious. They cannot wait to travel through books, to make discoveries, and to unlock mysteries. Yes, the enthusiastic reader is like finding a pot of gold… Unfortunately, many classrooms in Oakland do not look like this yet. In OUSD, nearly two-thirds of third graders are reading below grade level. For our African American and Latino students, that number is even lower with 30% of African American third graders proficient in reading and only 25% for Latinos. These numbers hit even harder when you realize that politicians use third grade reading proficiency as an indicator of the likelihood of graduating from high school and even being incarcerated. The school to prison pipeline is REAL. These numbers tell us that our classrooms in Oakland are not yet brimming with the enthusiastic, confident readers we hope for.”(more)