The 13-Year-Old Who Is Championing World Literacy, a Million Books at a Time

By  | The Good News – Tue, Jan 28, 2014 5:26 PM EST

Freedom begins in the mind, and one 13-year-old girl aims to liberate children the world over with a book campaign to advocate world literacy.

When she was only 8, Maria Keller took it upon herself to begin collecting books for kids. She founded her own nonprofit, Read Indeed, and this month surpassed her goal of sending over a million books to children in various parts of the globe.

Read full article here.

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Technology -> Schools -> Our kids

So when I ran across the article below, it made me think back to the 2012-2013 school year, when a school district in the city I live spent the better part of $200,000 for iPads for an elementary grade level that was under-performing with their reading skills.

If I was a member of that school district, I would have some serious questions for the school board. I know that no amount of technology is going to teach a child the way a hands on approach can. I see that with the reading teacher for my children. The only technology she uses is a smart board that allows her to go through the photocopied, phonics worksheets she has created from scratch. It helps keep all the class on the same page and it allows for a succinct delivery of the decoding of the English language.

As Schools Jump to Tablets, Questions Linger Over Impact on Writing and Reading Skills.

Making a rhyme all the time

So if someone has asked me before the thought of kids had come in to my mind how my poetry skills were, I would have laughed. Aside from love endearing penmanship attempts that helped win over my love, I would have said “eh, ok”.

Here I am juggling around an active pre-pre-schooler and a first-grader and I find myself singing to them the silly songs I make up to emphasize an idea or a point. The thesaurus and I have become very good friends.

I ran across this blog (see link below) and the message there seemed to drive home an underlying plan that I myself had not written down.

10 Ways to Raise a Reader by Matthew Brown

Reading, reciting and singing Mother Goose rhymes to our children might seem old-fashioned today, but it is an excellent way to help children get ready to read. Nursery rhymes are more than just short stories or songs;

I wonder how much bedtime reading takes place here?

My wife and I tag team the reading activities in our household. I am a big proponent of literacy for children, actually I wonder who would be against that. Nevertheless, our older child has taken an active role in teaching our youngest phonograms (Based on the Spalding method of explicit phonics) and has begun to construct “homework” activities for her, here at home.

Homework Time

Little sister learning Spalding explicit phonics from her big brother.

I confess that I don’t weave any Royals into the stories we read here at home, for now, we just stick to the classics.

C
 

Reading Exercise Spawned Book by Anchorage Third-Grader

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130313/ZONE05/303130004/Reading-exercise-spawned-book-by-Anchorage-third-grader?nclick_check=1

When Astrid Mayer began to struggle with reading comprehension at school, a specialist recommended she start reading with her parents every night and visualizing what she read. Astrid, 9, and her father, Trace Mayer, took the advice one step further and began crafting a story of their own. For 10 minutes every night the father and daughter, who live in Anchorage, would piece together a story line and draw pictures. “It really helped me with reading,” said Astrid, who is in the third grade at Anchorage School.

The Curse of Non-Cursive Writing

http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/03/14/essay-why-professors-should-object-failure-teaching-cursive

A recent news item cut me to the nib. Many public schools no longer teach cursive writing; 46 states no longer mandate that districts must teach cursive in their language arts core curriculum. This comes from the mistaken logic that our keyboard-happy society has made cursive a relic of the past that students no longer need. Numerous public schools now teach only printing, and some don’t even bother with lower and upper case – just block letters. Roman Catholic schools still demand cursive, and good for them. For the foreseeable future, kids who don’t have cursive will be at a competitive disadvantage. I’m surprised parents aren’t on the pitchfork-and-torch brigade over this, but I’d like to suggest that college professors should be (especially if they have kids).