Monday, November 30, 2009

The Library Book

The Library Book: Design Collaborations in the Public Schools November 28, 2009

It's often said a child's lifelong love of reading begins at home.

But declining literacy rates among the nation's public elementary school students suggests this maxim needs revision.

For reading to become an everyday habit, it needs to be nurtured in a home of its own.

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The nonprofit L!brary Initiative, created by the Robin Hood Foundation, has been working since 2001 to enhance student literacy and overall academic achievement by collaborating with school districts to design, build, equip, and staff new elementary school libraries.

The L!brary Book takes readers behind the scenes of fifty groundbreaking library projects to show how widely varied fields and communities - corporate underwriters, children's book publishers, architects, graphic designers, product manufacturers, library associations, teachers, and students - can join forces to make a difference in the lives of children. READ MORE !

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

America's Star Libraries

LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009, Round 2: America's Star Libraries - best libraries - top-rated libraries
Library Journal: November 15, 2009 by Keith Curry & Ray Lyons

Library Journal's national rating of public libraries, the LJ Index of Public Library Service 2009, Round 2, identifies 258 "star" libraries. Created by Keith Curry Lance and Ray Lyons and based on 2007 data from the IMLS, it rates 7,268 public libraries. The top libraries in each group get five, four, or three stars. All included libraries, stars or not, can use their scores to learn from their peers, expand service to their communities, and improve library awareness and funding. (see Round 1)

The LJ Index divides libraries into categories by operating expenditure to compare like to like. It is about what libraries deliver to their users with the money they have, based on:

Circulation Per Capita
Visits Per Capita

and on 2 statistics that more clearly define libraries’ increasingly crucial role in their communities, especially in these tough economic times:

Program Attendance Per Capita
Public Internet Computer Use Per Capita

Stars by State
There are no libraries on this chart from Delaware, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, or Tennessee.

Find a Library
Tally of Libraries Not Included - 1949
293: Do Not Meet Federal-State Cooperative System [FSCS] definition
234: Total Expenditures Less Than $10,000
670: Population Less Than 1,000
752: 1 or more data Not Reported in 2007

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Alabama Illiteracy has an Economic Fallout

Alabama Illiteracy has an Economic Fallout

A Birmingham News analysis of the 2008-09 Alabama High School Graduation Exam, reported Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, shows that 130 public high schools either failed reading or were classified as "borderline" failing, based on 11th-graders' performance on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam. The analysis involved 367 high schools, all of the state's public high schools that are not spe­cialized in some way.

Three groups are especially hurt when schools fail to teach students to read well: The students, who are unprepared for meaningful work; the companies that can't find the employees they need; and the overall community, which loses a chance to increase prosperity.One example was Newnan, Ga., where employer Yamaha went to educators in the late 1990s and said it would have to build a planned automated facility elsewhere, because Cowetta County didn't have the work force the company needed.

"They said, 'We're not so interested in tax breaks; we're interested in a skilled work force,' " said Mark Whitlock, CEO of the Central Educational Center in Newnan.

But the county school system and businesses fought back by creating the CEC, a charter school that allows students to take free two-year college courses in addition to their high school classes. CEC has become a model for its ability to graduate students who have the skills needed for a 21st century work force."

Our young people are facing a new economy that is very difficult and very complex," said Whitlock, formerly with Bank of America. "It's only going to get more complex and difficult. We have to add skills at a more rapid rate."

READ MORE ! @ Birmingham News: 11/23/09 by Jeff Hansen

Monday, November 23, 2009

Empire of the Word - The Origin of Reading

Empire of the Word
Wednesday, November 25 at 10:00 pm

Eight years in the making, Empire of the Word is a compelling look inside the act of reading and traces its impact on more than five thousand years of human history. Introduced and narrated by one of the world's great readers, Canadian writer Alberto Manguel, the series traces reading's origins; examines how we learn to read; exposes censors' attempts to prevent our reading; and finally, proposes what the future might hold for this most human of creative acts.

Empire of the Word Online is also an interactive Alternate Reality Game. It is fantasy, but the story it tells derives from histories of real, courageous people who have risked all to preserve and defend the freedom to think, write, and read freely.

Play Online: Lekha’s Journey – explore the past, present and future of the written word in this 8-part interactive mystery.

Follow Empire on Facebook

Episode 1: The Magic of Reading - Wed. Nov. 25 @ 10:00PM
How did the alphabet we know today come to be? What was the world's first novel? How did the concept of being free to interpret one's own meaning from a text evolve? The opener uncovers the genesis of the written word, including primitive animal paintings on cave walls, the advent of portable writing materials like papyrus scrolls and Alexander the Great's dream of the first universal library.

Episode 2: Learning to Read - Wed. Dec. 2 @ 10:00PM
In a prosperous western nation such as Canada, we take the ability to read for granted, yet one in six Canadian adults can't read a newspaper headline. How does the human mind learn to read? And how can the ability to read allow us to transcend difficult life circumstances?

Episode 3: Forbidden Reading - Wed. Dec. 9 @ 10:00PM
Readers and writers the world over have been punished and persecuted for expressing their ideas or by simply carrying the wrong book. Nazi book burnings, publisher Barney Rosset's legendary legal battles in the 1950s and 60s over the right to publish the uncensored works of Henry Miller and D.H. Lawrence in the U.S., authors in hiding ... we witness how the determination of writers and their readers is not without revolutionary consequences.

Episode 4: The Future of Reading - Wed. Dec. 16 @ 10:00PM
How will the technological revolution change the way we read? Will electronic texts like cellphone fiction replace the traditional book? What ethical issues are at play when it comes to who owns the digital archives of the world's printed heritage? We get perspectives from Canadian interactive novelist Kate Pullinger (Inanimate Alice) and Google engineering director Dan Landry, among others.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year 2009: Admonish

The list is based on actual user lookups to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary and Online Thesaurus. This year's traffic was generated by topics and events ranging from Michael Jackson to H1N1 to the recession and, of course, politics. The word of the year that received the highest intensity of searches over the shortest period of time is "admonish."

2. emaciated
3. empathy
4. furlough
5. inaugurate
6. nugatory
7. pandemic
8. philanderer
9. repose
10. rogue

READ MORE ! @ Merriam-Webster

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

literacy : : : lite : racy

Exercise Balls Get Education Rolling

Donna Yehl's fourth-grade students bob behind their desks, heads nodding up and down as if the children were on the deck of a ship.

But they aren't fidgeting.

The two dozen children in Yehl's Elgin, Ill., classroom read and write -- in fact, do all of their classwork -- perched on exercise balls.

The inflatable balls are commonly used in Pilates, yoga and exercise classes. Some teachers say they belong in school classrooms too because they sharpen students' attention and improve their posture.

This year, Yehl checked the Internet for ways to help her restless pupils sit still. She stumbled on a story about exercise balls improving concentration. So she replaced her classroom's chairs with bouncy 21-inch-high balls in colors students chose. She sees a difference.

"They're more focused," Yehl says. "They're sitting upright."

"You'd be surprised how many kids really need to move while learning . . ."

READ MORE ! @ LA Times: November 16, 2009 by Georgia Garvey

Driven To Distraction : Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood Through Adulthood – Hallowell & Ratey

also previous post: Facelift For America's Classrooms

Friday, November 13, 2009

Literacy: Return on Investment

Investing in Literacy Pays Off
St Joe News: November 13, 2009

For more than 20 years, Pass the Power Adult Literacy has filled a vital need. For various reasons — unstable home life, undiagnosed learning disabilities, frequent moving — people reach adulthood and cannot read.

Pass the Power is a unique outreach program of the Western Institute at Missouri Western State University. The program is funded entirely through local donations and grants. All students receive free one-on-one or small group instruction for reading, math skills and English for speakers of other languages.

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One dollar invested in literacy returns $33 to the overall economy by boosting productivity for workers and businesses. An even greater return can be seen in the lives of people who for the first time can open a checking account, read the instructions on a bottle of medicine or fill out a job application. READ MORE !

Friday, November 6, 2009

Literacy Education Basic Human Right

Literacy Program Caters to Basic Human Right Cape Breton Post: November 5, 2009 by Doreen Lynk Letters To The Editor

Did you know that basic education was recognized as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 ?

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Adult literacy is more than reading, writing and mathematics. Literacy helps people participate in society. Literacy deserves serious attention. Right now there are people like me who cannot improve their education.

Nov. 2 to 6 is Literacy Action Week. The theme is Literacy and Empowerment. I, and people like me, want to benefit from our basic human right and improve our education and skills.

Please show that you value adult literacy by supporting programs and government policies that help adult learners play an active and productive role in our communities. READ MORE !

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

Article 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Get Rich @ Your Library

Get Rich @ Your Library

Libraries are everywhere, rooted in nearly every school, campus and community, but they’re are about to take front and center in a new place: the breakfast table.

The American Library Association (ALA) and Safeway Inc. will roll out the first 2 of 5 Safeway-brand cereal boxes in October with back-panel content about libraries and librarians. The cereal will be available at Safeway’s stores across the U.S.

The first boxes to feature the library-related content are Toasted Oats and Honey Nut Toasted Oats. There will be a staggered launch for the rest of the panels.

Get Rich @ Your Library

Your public library is a goldmine of books, magazines, movies, music and other great stuff. There are many ways you can Get Rich @ Your Library !

The panels focus on 5 content areas:

Get rich @ your library lists free resources available at libraries and encourages readers to add up how much they save by using the library’s resources.
Learn for a lifetime @ your library features the ways that school and public libraries encourage lifelong learning.
Great mysteries answered @ your library contains fun facts about libraries, including the number of questions answered weekly by reference librarians at our nation’s academic and public libraries.
Discover the world @ your library positions a library card as a passport to the world.
Discover your family tree @ your library encourages readers to go to the library to research their family tree.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Literacy Tribune: November 2009

Literacy Tribune: November 2009

United Literacy, a non-profit organization, provides resources and support to adult literacy learners in the United States. Its aim is to make literacy education accessible and worthwhile for adult learners.

Main Story: Road Safety
~ In 2006, motor vehicle traffic crashes were the leading cause of death among people between the ages of 3-34.
Member Spotlight: Henry Barnes III
~ 10 months ago, Henry Barnes III walked into the Second Start Adult Literacy Program at the Oakland Library in California and asked for help. He wanted to learn to read better.
A Learner's Poem
~ Good Feeling by Rodolfo Diaz
Organization Spotlight: Start Adult Literacy Program
~ The Second Start Adult Literacy Program has been teaching adult learners in Oakland, California to read for 25 years.
A History Lesson: William McKinley
~ the 25th president of the United States, was born in Niles, Ohio on January 29, 1843.
Technology Watch: Picasa
~ Digital cameras make taking photos easy. But keeping all those photos organized on your computer and editing them can be daunting.

The Literacy Tribune is looking for adult learner writers.

Are you an adult learner ?
Do you want to write ?
Do you want to publish your writing ?

You can write about:

Your road to literacy
Your literacy organization
Literacy resources you like
You can write book reviews, poetry, short stories
You can write articles about health, finance, or technology
You can write just about anything !