Children

Iowa Students Pass On the Love of Reading

First-graders at Riverside (IA) Elementary are getting a little help in developing a love for reading.

The industrial manufacturing class at Highland High, along with sixth-graders at Highland Middle School, donated bookshelves and books they each made in class to the 37 first-graders. They presented the gifts at an assembly at the school Friday morning.

Each of the first-grade students received their own small bookshelf made by the high school students and a book written and published by the sixth-graders to take home. Great idea, story from the Iowa Press Citizen.

Mom Protests Library's 'Sexual' Spider-Man Comic

A Millard mother said she's upset by a comic book that she considers sexually explicit that is in her son's elementary school library.
The comic is part of a popular new series about Spider-Man and the head librarian of the Millard School District said it's been in high demand.
"My son looked at this and goes, 'Ohhhh!'" said Physha Svendsen.

Full story here.

30 Poets/30 Days -- a celebration of children's poetry all through National Poetry Month

This April, 30 children's poets -- including current Children's Poet Laureate Mary Ann Hoberman, past Laureate Jack Prelutsky, Nikki Giovanni, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Nikki Grimes, Douglas Florian, Jane Yolen, J. Patrick Lewis, Linda Sue Park, Pat Mora, Arnold Adoff, X. J. Kennedy, Adam Rex, and the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jon Scieszka -- will be sharing previously unpublished poetry at the GottaBook blog (http://gottabook.blogspot.com). Every day in April will feature a new poem and poet, and access to the project, called 30 Poets/30 Days, is completely free.

The full list of poets and other information is here:

http://gottabook.blogspot.com/2009/03/announcing-30-poets30-days.html

ACLU challenges Cleveland Heights Schools over Removal of Nintendo Magazine from Library

A principal's decision to remove a magazine from a middle-school library has drawn criticism for the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school board from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU said the First Amendment was violated when Brian Sharosky, principal of Roxboro Middle School, confiscated the November issue of Nintendo Power magazine. The magazine covers the world of Nintendo video games, from previews and ratings to secret codes and short cuts.

"Literature should not be removed from a school library simply because one person may find it inappropriate," said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio executive director, in a statement last week. She called for the board to "immediately order that the magazine be reinstated."

Sharosky deemed that particular issue unsuitable for students in grades six to eight because of a "violent figure" on the cover and content about a game that's rated for mature audiences, according to district spokesman Michael Dougherty

The librarian objected, maintaining that staff members -- including the principal -- are supposed to follow the policy for challenging a publication. That starts with submitting a form to the superintendent and ends with a decision by the school board.

Most Portland Schools Don't have Certified Librarians

If, as advocates say, the library should be the "living room" of a school, the place where kids can ask questions, find what they're passionate about and expand their world view, Portland Public Schools leaders acknowledge they're overdue for a change.

Some kids barely know how to find books and check them out. Others rarely visit the library without teacher prompts. Students have limited access and little familiarity.

Superintendent Carole Smith wants to fix that. In her budget released last week, Smith is requiring all traditional schools, about 75, to staff their libraries for at least 20 hours a week.

Portland was rated tenth in CCSU's America's Most Literate Cities in 2008.

Librarian fights to make sure all kids are represented in books

Kathleen Horning is director of the UW-Madison's Cooperative Children's Book Center, a non-circulating research library devoted solely to books for kids. "She just excels at mentoring young librarians," said Schliesman, who like Horning started as a student staffer. "This is a really important profession that has a huge impact on the lives of children and families in this country. She is looking for people who can carry that idea forward, people that she sees potential in."

Banning books: keeping our children safe from the perils of free thinking

Burning books is not funny. Neither is banning them, or challenging their right to sit on a library shelf. That being said, sometimes people find reasons to hate books that are so absurd, Meghara Eichhorn-Hicks can’t help laughing. It is in this spirit of mocking exasperation that she presents a list of books that have been banned, burned or challenged for totally ridiculous reasons.

New law could cost U.S. libraries thousands or worse, ban children

Coshocton Tribune - Coshocton,OH: Coshocton Public Library Children's Librarian Diane Jones is watching and waiting. Over the next year it will be determined if all of the library's children's books will need to be tested for lead, if children 12 and under will have to be banned or, best case scenario, neither has to happen.

Children's Author Rosemary Wells Salutes Librarians and Teachers

Author Rosemary Wells made a lot of people feel good about themselves at the Staten Island Historical Society Literacy Leadership luncheon at the Excelsior Grand, New Dorp.

The creator of beloved characters such as sibling bunnies Max and Ruby stressed the importance of reading to children every day and praised the people who help make that possible.

"Without teachers and librarians, our world as writers would be very small. Because of you, the world of ideas is open to all children," she said. The author of some 60 books lauded the society's honoree, Robert (Bobaloo) Basey, for his work as a storyteller.

"When you go around to schools and libraries, you are a living book and that is a wonderful life to live," she said.

Telling a story about building bridges, and performing his own exit music on a flute, Basey, a teaching artist and Stapleton native, expressed his gratitude for "getting a boost to hang in there. It's a challenge with arts funding being cut."

A major Max and Ruby fan, Robyn Busan, 7, was there to meet Ms. Wells. She is also a child who is being given, in Ms. Wells' words, the "gift of thought and language" by being read to.

"I like that he [Max] doesn't really talk much," said the first-grader at PS 65.

"And he doesn't listen," said her father, Robert, who was obviously benefiting from the daily reading sessions he and his wife share with their daughter.

The Law Formerly Known as 'No Child Left Behind'?

Report from the NYTimes: Two years ago, an effort to fix No Child Left Behind, the main federal law on public schools provoked a grueling slugfest in Congress, leading Representative George Miller, Democrat of California, to say the law had become “the most negative brand in America.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan agrees. “Let’s rebrand it,” he said in an interview. “Give it a new name.” And before Mr. Duncan has had time to float a single name, scores of educators, policy wonks and assorted rabble-rousers have rushed in with an outpouring of proposals.

A blog contest to rename the No Child Left Behind law has received entries like the Rearranging the Deck Chairs Act and the Teach to the Test Act. Here's the website sponsoring the contest. So far, 216 suggestions have been made.

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