Borrowing a colleague’s clever phrase , I apologize for having been “MLISing in Action” for four months. I didn’t intend to disappear like that, but between adjusting after our move and grad school and my amazing procrastination skills…well, clearly this blog plummeted to the bottom of my priority list.
Though I wasn’t posting, I was reading. In fact, over the summer, I was reading about reading and I learned some incredible things about literacy and emergent readers.
For example, from Mary Anne Wolf’s fascinating exploration of the neuroscience of reading, Proust and the Squid, I was shocked to learn of the disparity between linguistically affluent and impoverished environments: “In some environments the average young middle class child hears 32 million more spoken words than the underprivileged child by age 5.” Additionally, the average underprivileged child has access to zero age-appropriate books while the affluent counterpart has access to 200. For many children, schools and professional educators do not enter the picture of early literacy until Kindergarten (age 5), at the end of the stage (ages 2-5) at which a child is capable of learning 2-4 new words per day. This means that parents truly are the primary educators of their children when it comes to laying the groundwork for learning to read.
Today happens to be the kickoff day for Jumpstart’s year-long Read for the Record campaign to support preschool children in low-income neighborhoods and prepare them for success in school and life. By reading The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats today, you & your child can be counted toward a world record. Click here to read the book online & confirm your participation.
October is Learning Disabilities Awareness Month. The folks at Reading Rockets have a wealth of information here. I love this video in which children’s author Patricia Polacco shares her own moving struggle with dyslexia.
This month also happens to be National Book Month, sponsored by the National Book Foundation. Next week, the 2010 National Book Award Finalists will be announced. I’m embarrassed to admit that of all the National Book Award winners listed here, I’ve read three: Outside, Over There by Maurice Sendak, Holes by Louis Sachar, and Ramona and Her Mother by Beverly Cleary. Perhaps I’ll make a point to read at least one of the titles announced on 10/13.
And to round out this very literary month, Teen Read Week, sponsored by YALSA, is happening October 17-23.
What are you currently reading?