Literacy

Male reading mentors help close the literacy gender gap

This story from the Canada.com network reports on father-son book clubs and mentoring/intervention projects that bring average Joes into the classroom to read aloud and lead discussions. Assessment of boys who have participated in these programs indicate that male reading mentors can be an important factor in closing the growing literacy gap between boys and girls. Heather Richmond, a literacy expert at St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, says that boys need men to confirm the "guy rules of engagement" with a book.

New Papers Hope Free and Brief Will Attract Younger Readers

Steve Fesenmaier writes "Dena Lanier hands out amNew York, a free condensed daily newspaper that made its debut on Friday. New York is the latest market where publishers are trying out a product that is intended to attract readers aged 21 to 34.

NYTimes Has The Story"

They say target audience is readers aged 21 to 34 - a generation that spends far less time reading newspapers than its parents do.

The challenge of reaching that elusive group was evident in the effort Mr. Johnson was making: he had to meet the gaze of perhaps 20 passers-by before he successfully pressed the paper into the hands of one of them, and many of those hands appeared far older than his employer might have liked.

Literacy the focus of Jamaica's Adult Learners Week

Mock Turtle writes "With Adult Learners Week 2003, Jamaica seeks to draw attention to the nation's 20.1 percent illiteracy rate, highlighting the fact that many adults who cannot read are too embarrassed to attend literacy classes. Adult Learners Week, a project of the Jamaican Council for Adult Education (JaCAE), features a variety of events to promote the view that provision of learning opportunities should be a matter of public policy. Read more about it at The Jamaica Observer."

Another mammal for literacy

Mock Turtle writes "Here's another example of (ahem) harnessing the power of animals to encourage kids to read: The Black Stallion Literacy Project, the brainchild of Mark Miller, owner of the Arabian Nights dinner/performance attraction in Kissimmee, FL, and Tim Farley, son of the the late Walter Farley (author of the Black Stallion books). First- and fourth-graders receive free books and special visits with the Arabian Nights horses. Last year, the Black Stallion Literacy Project reached 35,000 children across the United States, about half of whom were from Central Florida. A traveling troupe of horses and performers takes the program on the road outside of Central Florida. The Orlando Sentinel profiles the Black Stallion Literacy Project."

Tools for teaching media and information literacy

Mock Turtle writes "To celebrate International Literacy Day (which was September 8) and the beginning of the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), Canada's Media Awareness Network web site currently features practical Internet and media literacy resources that public and school libraries can use in their programming. The site includes interactive tools such as "Jo Cool or Jo Fool," in which students tour a set of mock web sites and test their surfing savvy."

The BBC News StyleGuide

David Dillard writes "The BBC News StyleGuide[pdf]. An excellent overview of the BBC News StyleGuide may be found in this
document
written by Melvin Block.
The book has an English accent, but it provides pointers that can also
benefit newspeople on this side of the ocean. After all, or before all,
the Brits helped create our language. -- Read More

Decline in reading hurts publishers

Peter Murray writes "The United States (of course) isn't the only country facing a decline in reading with competition from other media. The Hindu Business Line has an article with the title 'Satellite TV, piracy hit publishing cos' about how a publisher is working with librarians to address the issue."

They say decline in reading habits, spiralling cost of production, piracy, proliferation of cheap quality books and onslaught of satellite TV channels have been cutting ground from under publishing industry's feet

@ Your Library campaign goes graphical

Peter writes "Silver Bullet Comics has a story titled American Library Association Teams with DC Comics to Create Sandman Poster and Bookmark. ALA has a press release as well (scroll down to the heading "Gaiman's Sandman promotes reading and libraries"). From the article:

"As graphic novels become a more important category for libraries, Sandman is a perfect choice to attract readers and we're glad to be working with the ALA on this beautiful poster," said Paul Levitz, President & Publisher, DC Comics."

Celebrate Seuss and Give the Gift of Reading to Underprivileged Children

"Random House Children's Books, in partnership with First Book and the National Education Association (NEA), announced today the launch of a national literacy campaign dedicated to providing children from low-income families with their first, new books. The campaign is taking place in conjunction with the NEA's Read Across America celebration, an annual reading initiative designed to motivate every child in every community to celebrate reading on Dr. Seuss's birthday, March 2nd" (from PR Newswire)

United Nations Launches Literacy Decade

"Gathering in the historic New York Public Library with its
100 miles of books, First Lady Laura Bush, U.N. officials, and President Natsag Bagabandi of Mongolia February 13 launched the United Nations Literacy Decade."

"The U.N. General Assembly declared 2003 to 2012 the Literacy Decade to address the needs of 860 million adults and 113 million children who are illiterate and give impetus to efforts to reduce the persistently high rate of illiteracy worldwide. The U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the U.N. agency coordinating
activities for the decade." (from The Department of State)

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