Friday, May 28, 2010

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes

UNESCO International Literacy Prizes

Every year, the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes reward excellence and innovation in the field of literacy throughout the world.

By honoring the work of institutions, organizations and individuals through these Prizes, UNESCO seeks to support effective literacy practices and encourages the promotion of dynamic literate societies.

UNESCO invites nominations [ submission form ] from Member States and International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) for the following Literacy Prizes:

The UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize: Supporting literacy in multilingual contexts
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy: Supporting literacy in rural areas

The selection of prize winners is made by an International Jury appointed by UNESCO’s Director-General, which meets in Paris once a year. The Prize is normally awarded at an official ceremony held for that purpose at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on the occasion of International Literacy Day, September 8.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Condition of Education: 2010

Condition of Education: 2010

The National Center for Education Statistics has released The Condition of Education 2010, a Congressionally mandated report to the nation on education in America today. It covers all aspects of education, with 49 indicators that include findings on enrollment trends, demographics, and outcomes.

The report projects that public school enrollment will rise from 49 million in 2008 to 52 million by 2019, with the largest increase expected in the South. Over the past decade, more students attended both charter schools and high-poverty schools (those in which more than 75 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-price lunch).

One in six U.S. students attends a high-poverty school; and the number of charter school students has tripled since 1999.

The report features a special section that looks closer at these high-poverty schools in America, examining the types and locations of schools, the characteristics of the students and their teachers and principals; and student achievement. It finds a wide and persistent gap in educational achievement.

Report findings include:
• In 2007-2008, about 20 percent of all elementary students and 9 percent of secondary school students attended high-poverty schools, compared with 15 percent and 5 percent respectively in 1999-2000.

• The reading achievement gap between low- and high-poverty 8th-grade students was 34 points in 2009 and the mathematics achievement gap was 38 points.

• In 2007-08, about 28 percent of high school graduates from high-poverty schools attended 4-year institutions after graduation, compared with 52 percent of high school graduates from low-poverty schools, based on reports from school administrators.

• Between 1971 and 2009, the percentage of White, Black and Hispanic 25- to 29-year-olds who had a bachelor’s degree increased. But, during this period, the gap in bachelor’s degree attainment between Blacks and Whites increased from 12 to 18 percentage points and the gap between Hispanics and Whites increased from 14 to 25 percentage points.

There is also an integrated collection of the indicators and analyses published in The Condition of Education 2000–2010. Some indicators may have been updated since they appeared in print.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Literacy: Senior Citizens

Literacy programs teach an older generation how to read and write May 26,2010 by Lane DeGregory

The conference room at the Pinellas Park Library is big and empty. The table is long. But the two women sit shoulder-to-shoulder, their heads nearly touching, each holding the edge of the same worn workbook. Ann Palmer, the woman on the left, slowly draws her polished fingernail beneath each word. Linda Barrett, the woman on the right, blinks behind her wire-rimmed bifocals. "The plants at the for … the for-est … the forest!" Linda reads. "Wow!" "Very good," Ann nods. "Keep going." "The plants at the forest floor are about a me … a me-ter high." Linda stops and looks at Ann, puzzled. "What's a me-ter?" For three years now, every Wednesday, for an hour-and-a-half, the women have been working together at the library. They're almost the same age, both mothers, both love the library. Though Linda used to hate it.

Ann, 56, is a former human resources manager who now volunteers full time as the head of the Literacy Council of St. Petersburg.

Linda, 58, used to live with her mom because she couldn't write a grocery list, couldn't dial 911, couldn't read.

Ann taught Linda how to hold a pencil so it wouldn't hurt her left hand, how to tell a B from a D by using her fists, how to write letters. Not just her name. All of them.

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For a long time, for 30 years, Linda says, it didn't matter. If you don't know what it means to read, if you don't know what you're missing, how can you care?

You pick up little tricks to fool people, to adapt: Study the first letter of street signs, learn PAR- means it's okay to park. In restaurants, when the menus don't have pictures, just order a hamburger. Even recipes sometimes have symbols, especially on the side of box mixes.

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Across America, an estimated 40 million adults have "below basic" literacy skills. The biggest group, according to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, is people age 65 and older.

These are folks who can't decipher a bus schedule or fill out an insurance form, who can't pay a bill or use a map or read a prescription.

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In Pinellas County, Ann says, about 20 percent of adults are "below basic" readers. Her volunteer group, which started in 1968, gets students who have been referred from employers, social service agencies, homeless shelters. Volunteers teach reading and writing through the Laubach literacy program, a phonetic-based method pioneered in the Philippines during the 1930s.

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Linda's goals are simple: To read stories to her granddaughter. To figure out the TV listings so she won't miss her nature shows. To bake brownies that actually taste good. And she wants to know. "You know," she says. "Just know." READ MORE !

Friday, May 21, 2010

Life - Long Role of Libraries

from the Blue Skunk Blog by Doug Johnson
May 20, 2010

The Life-Long Role of Libraries

The journey of a student from pre-kindergarten through the K-12 educational system and either into the workforce or on to a higher education institution. Along the way, school, academic, and public libraries are all available to provide services to the student and parents in support of learning and information literacy. This graphic was developed after attendance at various P-20 meetings where it seemed important to show that libraries play an important role throughout the life of students and adults. Minnesota libraries collaborate in sharing services and resources. Once in the workforce, information continues to be available through the public library for lifelong learning and recreation activities.

From the 19th Annual Minitex Interlibrary Loan Conference: May 4, 2010
. . . slide 15 of Minitex Update (pdf) - Bill DeJohn, Director

Minitex is a publicly supported network of academic, public, state government, and special libraries working cooperatively to improve library service for their users in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters

Early Warning!
Why Reading by the End of Third Grade Matters:
A KIDS COUNT Special Report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, May 18, 2010

Children who read on grade level by the end of third grade are more successful in school, work, and in life. This KIDS COUNT special report affirms a commitment by the Casey Foundation to help ensure that all students are proficient in reading by the end of third grade and help narrow the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children.

Two out of every three fourth graders overall are not proficient in reading according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Worse, four of five fourth graders from low-income families are also not proficient in reading. The failure to help children from low-income families reach this milestone cements educational failure and poverty into the next generation. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is focusing attention on the critical importance of achieving grade-level reading proficiency for all children by the end of third grade. The ability to read is central to a child’s success in school, life-long earning potential, and the ability to contribute to the nation’s economy and its security.

“Until third grade, children are learning to read. After third grade, they also are reading to learn. When kids are not reading by fourth grade, they almost certainly get on a glide path to poverty,” said Ralph Smith, Executive Vice President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “Poor reading test scores are profoundly disappointing to all of us who see school success and high school graduation as beacons in the battle againstintergenerational poverty.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

Waiting For Superman

Waiting For Superman
Audience Award: Documentary
Sundance Film Festival 2010

For a nation that proudly declared it would leave no child behind, America continues to do so at alarming rates. Despite increased spending and politicians’ promises, our buckling public-education system, once the best in the world, routinely forsakes the education of millions of children.

Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim reminds us that education “statistics” have names: Anthony, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, and Emily, whose stories make up the engrossing foundation of WAITING FOR SUPERMAN. As he follows a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth, Guggenheim undertakes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying “drop-out factories” and “academic sinkholes,” methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems.

However, embracing the belief that good teachers make good schools, and ultimately questioning the role of unions in maintaining the status quo, Guggenheim offers hope by exploring innovative approaches taken by education reformers and charter schools that have—in reshaping the culture—refused to leave their students behind.

Coming This Fall: Watch Trailer and Follow on Facebook

5 Things You Can Do Now @ Take Part

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Book, One Twitter

Ready, Set, Read !
The ‘One Book, One Twitter’

For anyone just arriving, huffing and puffing, to the shindig, we’re reading American Gods, by Neil Gaiman.

So now that we know what we’re reading, we still have to answer the question: How do you get thousands of people to read one book together without ruining the suspense and twists for anyone?

After all, some people like to read in delicate sips of 10 or 20 pages, while others — like me — prefer greedy three- or four-hour binges. And many of you have already devoured the entire book, or are reading it for the umpteenth time!

You can read (or reread) any way you want during the next eight weeks –- God help us if we tried to stop you –- but please, please be kind to others and stick to the following schedule for your comments. That way even the most delicate readers among us will have a chance to enjoy Gaiman’s finely-crafted thrills.

If you feel slightly queasy about tackling such a big book, use this schedule to divvy up the task into manageable chunks. The schedule covers 70 to 100 pages each week. You can nibble that down bit-by-bit every night before bed, or gobble it down in one great, lazy Sunday bender.

But keep in mind that the discussion of anything in those chapters is fair game starting from Day One of that week.

Happy reading everyone, and remember to follow @ 1b1t2010 for updates and to add the #1b1t to your tweets!

The ‘One Book, One Twitter’ Discussion Schedule

Week 1 : May 5 - 11
Caveat, Warning for Travelers
Discuss chapters 1, 2, 3.

Week 2 : May 12 - 18
Discuss chapters 4, 5, 6.

Choose a 1B1T badge.
Vote for 1 of the 3badge finalists @ Wired

Follow @1bit on Twitter

Monday, May 10, 2010

Children's Book Week: May 10 - 14

Children's Book Week: May 10 - 14
"A great nation is a reading nation."

Since 1919, Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes -- any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children's books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book-related events.

It all began with the idea that children's books can change lives. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

In 1916 the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.

In 1944, the newly-established Children's Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children's Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.

Also in 2008, the Children's Book Council created the Children's Choice Book Awards, the only national child-chosen book awards program, giving young readers a powerful voice in their own reading choices.

The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s fundamental declaration: “A great nation is a reading nation.”

Children’s Choice Book Awards

The Children's Choice Book Awards winners will be announced live at the Children's Choice Book Awards gala on May 11 in New York City as part of Children's Book Week, the oldest national literacy event in the United States.

~ Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year
~ Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year
~ Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year
~ Teen Choice Book of the Year
~ Author of the Year
~ Illustrator of the Year

Thursday, May 6, 2010

LAUSD begins to slash library funding

LAUSD begins to slash library funding
Contra Costa Times: May 5, 2010 by Connie Llanos

WEST HILLS — During recess Wednesday at Pomelo Drive Elementary as one student searched the online catalogue of the school's library, for books about pizza, another paced the fiction aisles digging for a "Star Wars" selection.

Two second-graders curled up on one of the room's big red couches while another group of students enjoyed the sunny day to read under some trees right outside the library.

"At recess and lunch this place can get crowded" said Fran Johnson, the library aide at Pomelo Drive.

When urged to explain her library obsession fourth-grader Reika Rashidi's answered promptly "I love my's a quiet place to think."

Next year though Reika might have to find a different place to gather her thoughts since steep budget cuts at Los Angeles Unified are expected to reduce funding for the district's libraries.

LAUSD's proposed budget for 2010-11 only guarantees high schools a full-time librarian while dozens of middle and elementary schools could be forced to scale back services.

Cutting access to books at a district that already suffers from dismal student achievement and even lower adult literacy rates – as city and county offices are also reducing services – is a big concern for educators.

"Better libraries are related to better reading achievement. This has been confirmed at the state level, national level and international level, and holds even when researchers control for the effects of poverty," said Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus of education and linguistics at the University of Southern California.

"The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more and the library is a major source of books for children."

District officials though said there are few options left.

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In California there are 18 library books per student, well below the national average of 26.

Also the state's ratio of librarians to students is 5,124:1 while the national average is 916:1.

And while California's education require all schools to have a working library they don't mandate how they have to be operated. READ MORE !

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spoonfuls of Stories New Author Contest

Cheerios® is searching for the next great children's book author. It could be you!

Cheerios has launched its 4th New Author Contest to support previously unpublished children's book authors. You can enter the contest starting March 15, 2010 through July 15, 2010. Winners will be announced in March 2011.

Just enter your original children's book story by July 15, 2010.

Stories should be geared toward readers 3 to 8 and be no longer than 500 words. They can be written in English or Spanish (Spanish entries will be translated into and judged in English).

Winners will receive cash prizes and a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster, and their books will be included in specially marked boxes of cereal.

Past grand prize winners include:
2007 - Shellie Braeuner of Tennessee: “The Great Dog Wash”
2008 - Lori Degman of Illinois: “1 Zany Zoo”
2009 - Laurie Isop of Washington: “How Do You Hug a Porcupine?”

Monday, May 3, 2010

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: May 2010

Literacy Tribune: May 2010

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: Time to be Counted
This year, the United States government will conduct a census.

Member Spotlight: a Personal Essay By Maria Arvizo
I have a dream that one day I will speak, write, read, and understand
the English language fluently.

Organization Spotlight: Whittier Area Literacy Council

A History Lesson: A Woman’s Vote
Women in the United States did not have the right to vote until 1920.

Technology Watch: Ultimate Phonics By Daniel Pedroza, Writer and Learner
Say the word moon. Now say the word book. Hear the different sounds /oo/ makes in these two words?

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 !