Literacy

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.

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

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...

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.

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

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-...

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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