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Jan 4 / Carol Rasco

Children’s Literacy and Reading News – End of October

Literacy Reading News RoundupThis is the archive edition of the end of month reflection on promoting reading and connecting kids with books. The original can be found at Rasco from RIF.

Hello reading friends! This “end of October” children’s literacy and reading news round-up is brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog, and Rasco from RIF.  I will be taking a look back each month as well as taking a look ahead as I know we all often get “caught” saying something like “Oh, I wish I had remembered to plan for (fill in the blank) event or week or month that has been designated to focus on a particular topic.” or “I wish I had more information pulled and put in front of me.”

Maggie Stiefvater who keynoted Kid Lit Con kept her audience laughing and at the same time reflecting on “Why Blog?”

Just this past weekend Jen and I were both in Minneapolis for the Fourth Annual Kidlit Con or #kidlitcon where we enjoyed what attendee Toby Speed tweeted upon return home as a Velveteen Rabbit experience:  Ah…there was a whole VELVETEEN RABBIT feel to the whole #kidlitcon day. Everyone is real at last! It was my first KidLitCon and I will work hard to attend in Seattle next year…as I note in my recap of the weekend.  As noted there you can review a compilation of “recaps” as compiled by one of our wonderful hosts, and you can see a listing of tweets from Saturday compiled by Greg Pincus as well as the full weekend’s tweets and follow up messaging.  Again, I say “thank you” to all who planned the great weekend as well as to those who participated in the sharing of information and friendships.

Another meeting this past week was the School Library Journal’s 2010 Leadership Summit titled “The Future of Reading.”  I have had little time to search for recaps of this conference, but I have seen some tweets and did read at NEVERENDINGSEARCH some very interesting observations about the conference, and I encourage you to read the full posting.  Mentioned there is news of a free webcast featuring JON SCIESZKA as part of the fourth annual  Walla Walla Kids Read in March…sign up soon for your students to observe this author in action.

Speaking of digital, virtual, webcasting, and so on, I found this column through tweets on Sunday and appreciate the items noted by Donald Leu in his ”Embracing New Literacies” presentation summary from the SLJ Conference.  Three points I would note for you as food for thought:

  • “… no state in this country measures students’ ability to read search engine results during state reading assessments, students’ ability to critically evaluate information that’s found online to determine its reliability, or students’ ability to compose clear and effective email messages in their state writing assessment.”
  • “And although a 1999 study by Boston College shows that 19 percent more students will pass writing samples if they use a word processor, not a single state allows them to do that.”
  • The digital divide continues? Leu notes ”Neglecting research into online reading comprehension perpetuates public policies that help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer,” Leu says, explaining that 63 percent of kids from households that earn more than $75,000 annually used the Internet at school. But only 36 percent of kids from households earning less than $15,000 annually used the Internet at school.

What about other SLJ Leadership Conference discussion topics?

ALERT!  ALERT! Do not miss Terry Doherty’s postings this week about really scary stuff…literacy data that frightens!

Remember Grover’s Old Spice Guy recently? It’s been viewed more than 24 million times…and there is much more to read about Sesame Street’s position as a hit of the internet for all ages.

It is not too late to make your plans to head to Indianapolis for the November 9-10 National Conference on Summer Learning.  And also be sure to check out if you have not done so already the HOURS OF OPPORTUNITY report reviewing the experiences of five sites in seeking to broaden and increase the quality of out of school time experiences for children all year.  Discussion of this report and other work by the Wallace Foundation will be one aspect of the conference in Indianapolis.


Thanksgiving: Last year I posted about my recent experiences that led me to start studying this holiday more, to rethink some of how my family approaches the holiday.  I invite you to read that full post but in short, I invite you to visit the website of Dr. Debbie Reese,  American Indians in Children’s Literature: Critical perspectives of indigenous peoples in children’s books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large; and I give you one paragraph regarding the book shown here:  What am I taking away from my study thus far which I realize has not gone deep at all? In brief, from the words of Nancy Brennan, Executive Director, Plimoth Plantation and Margaret M. Bruchac, Wampanoag Indian Program Advisory Committee  in the Foreword to 1621: What you will read in these pages represents new thinking about the people and events of 1621. This book is just one part of a museum-wide effort to reinterpret the 1621 harvest feast, through books, videos, educational materials, and a reenactment that gave birth to these photographs. We invite you to join us here on this shore and view the past from a different perspective. The issue is critical, join me in continuing to learn more.

Black History Month: Having discovered The Brown Bookshelf prior to Black History Month last year and learning about 28 Days Later on that blog during February, I am looking forward to following and learning from this great service this year.  You can review a “Sneak Peak” of SLJ’s Annual “Black  History Month Preview” to be published on November 1; and I found this quote recently at the New York Council for the Humanties’ blog Together-Book Talk for Kids and Parents:  Any character can teach you about yourself, even if that character isn’t of your race, gender or cultural background.

I hope to see some of you at Poetry Friday on the 29th of October at The Writer’s Armchair with Toby Speed and on Nonfiction Monday hosted by Capstone Connect on the first day of November.

Have a great autumn weekend and happy reading!

Twitter: @RascoFromRIF