Wednesday, July 28, 2010

UNESCO Literacy Prize Winners: 2010

UNESCO Literacy Prize winners for 2010

The six laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes* for 2010 were proclaimed today by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, on the recommendation of an international Jury, which met between 5 and 9 July.

UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prizes, supported by the Republic of Korea:
1: General Directorate of Adult Training in Cape Verde.
Its Adult Education and Training Programme (EdFoA) was recognized for its relevance and flexibility, its priority on women and its remarkable impact: the illiteracy rate in Cape Verde decreased from 60% to 20% between 1974 and 2005 and continues to fall.

2: State Institute for Teacher Training and School Development in Hamburg, Germany
Family Literacy Project (FLY). This intergenerational approach, with parents participating in and benefiting from their children’s learning, provides a model for enhancing literacy in immigrant families and promoting integration.

UNESCO Confucius Prizes for Literacy, supported by the People’s Republic of China:
1: Non-Formal Education Centre in Nepal

National Literacy Campaign. Its integrated programme is based on themes including the environment, maternal and child health, women’s development and income generation.

2: Governorate of Ismailia in Egypt Females for Families.
It is an innovative approach to solving societal problems by training village girls to become development facilitators in their own community, thus building female leadership.

The committee decided to award the Honourable Mention of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy to two laureates this year.

Coalition of Women Farmers
(COWFA) in Malawi for the Women’s Land Rights Project (WOLAR), which assists women farmers in achieving social and economic independence.

North Catholic University Foundation in Antioquia, Colombia
Virtual Assisted Literacy Programme, which uses e-learning to improve technology skills and employment opportunities in marginalized communities.

UNESCO’s International Literacy Prizes are awarded every year in recognition of excellence and innovation in promoting literacy throughout the world. In accordance with the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) thematic calendar, the theme for this year’s Prizes was literacy and women’s empowerment.

The award ceremony will take place at UNESCO in Paris on International Literacy Day, 8 September.

*The King Sejong Literacy Prize was created in 1989 through the generosity of the Government of the Republic of Korea. Each laureate is awarded US $20,000.
The UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy was established in 2005 through the generosity of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Each laureate is awarded US$20,000.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Five-year-old girl hosts radio show about reading
Chicago Tribune: July 24, 2010 by Cassie Tegeler

WATERLOO, Iowa — Sporting a pink skirt and pink flip-flops, Zoe Malin Campbell tilts her head toward a large, silver microphone and begins to read from one of her favorite books, "Amazing Grace" by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch.

Not once does the 5-year-old stop to ask an adult how to pronounce a word. Not once does she look confused or nervous.

Campbell, who has been learning to read since age 3, has her own radio show on KBBG radio. "Zoe's Book Club with a lot of Books" airs at 11 a.m. every Saturday.

During the show, the young girl reads stories to children and their families.

Lou Porter, Campbell's great-grandmother and CEO and president of KBBG, came up with the idea for the show.

"I simply asked Zoe one day if she would consider reading on the radio so that other young children would be encouraged to read, and she went for it," Porter said. "She named the show herself and brings books from her own library at home. She usually has advice for parents and teachers at the beginning and end of her show."

The advice usually encourages parents to teach their children how to read, which Porter says is the main idea behind the show. READ MORE !

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman - Dial, 1991

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Library Snapshot Day: 2010

Library Snapshot Day
A Day in the Life of Your Library: 2010

Library Snapshot Day provides a way for libraries of all types across a state, region, system or community to show what happens in a single day in their libraries.
~ How many books are checked out?
~ How many people receive help finding a job?
~ Doing their taxes?
~ Doing their homework?
This initiative provides an easy means to collect statistics, photos and stories that will enable library advocates to prove the value of their libraries to decision-makers and increase public awareness.

The concept originated in New Jersey as a joint effort between the New Jersey Library Assn. and the New Jersey State Library. Soon after, many states began emulating the effort. At the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group, in conjunction with the Chapter Relations Committee and COSLA, agreed to take this initiative to a national level, asking that states across the country find a date to conduct a Library Snapshot Day.

See examples of states that have created or are planning Library Snapshot Days.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Diane Ravitch Defends Public Education

2010 NEA Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly (RA)
New Orleans, Louisiana — June 26 - July 6, 2010

NEA Friend of Education Diane Ravitch's Speech
Delivered at the 2010 Representative Assembly

Diane Ravitch Defends Public Education (full speech)
~ Researcher and former Assistant Education Secretary Diane Ravitch blasts ‘So-Called Reforms’ in No Child Left Behind in a speech to NEA members at the NEA Annual Meeting. She says the current education reform movement is pushing bad ideas.

. . . . .
Well, it’s kind of amazing that this convention is being held in New Orleans. I was, just a few minutes ago, interviewed by documentary filmmakers who said to me, “Well, don’t you know that New Orleans is proving a new model?” The new model consists of wiping out public education and firing the unions, and it’s spreading across the country. And I said, “God forbid.” I pointed out to them what we all used to know, which is that public education is the backbone of this democracy, and we cannot turn it over to privateers.

Since my book appeared in early March, I have started out on what I thought would be a conventional book tour, but it really has turned into a whistle-stop campaign. I have been to 40 different cities and districts. I have another 40 planned starting in September. I talked to union members, to school board members, to administrators, to left-wing think tanks, to right-wing think tanks. I have met with high-level White House staff. I have met with about 40 members of Congress. I would say that I have met so far about 20,000 teachers, and after today I think I am going to increase it to 30,000.

And in all of this time, aside from the right-wing think tanks, I haven’t seen met a single teacher who likes what’s happening? I haven’t met a single teacher who thinks that No Child Left Behind has been a success. I haven’t met a single teacher who thinks that Race to the Top is a good idea.

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I will continue to speak out against high-stakes testing. It undermines education. High-stakes testing promotes cheating, gaming the system, teaching to bad tests, narrowing the curriculum. High-stakes testing means less time for the arts, less time for history or geography or civics or foreign languages or science.

We see schools across America dropping physical education. We see them dropping music. We see them dropping their arts programs, their science programs, all in pursuit of higher test scores. This is not good education.

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The single most reliable predictor of test scores is poverty, and poverty, in turn, is correlated to student attendance, to family support, and to the school’s resources.
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The current so-called reform movement is pushing bad ideas. No high-performing nation in the world is privatizing its schools, closing its schools, and inflicting high-stakes testing on every subject on its children. The current reform movement wants to end tenure and seniority, to weaken the teaching profession, to silence teachers’ unions, to privatize large sectors of public education. Don’t let it happen!

So here’s a thought for NEA. Print up four million bumper stickers that say, “I am a public schoolteacher, and I vote — and so does my family.”

Do not support any political figure who opposes public education. Stand up to the attacks on public education. Don’t give them half a loaf, because they will be back the next day for another slice, and the day after that for another slice.

Don’t compromise. Stand up for teachers. Stand up public education, and say “No mas, no mas." Thank you.
The Death and Life of the Great American School System:
How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education
Basic Books, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Literacy Tribune Newsletter: July 2010

Literacy Tribune: July 2010
The Adult Learner Network Newsletter

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: The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
For decades, hundreds of oil wells have been drilled into the ground in the Gulf of Mexico.

Member Spotlight: Milton Whitley
In July 2007, at the age of fifty-two, Milton Whitley began working with a basic literacy tutor at the Literacy Council of Montgomery County (LCMC) in Maryland.

Organization Spotlight: Washington County SOAR
will celebrate its first anniversary this August

A History Lesson: Woodrow Wilson

Technology Watch: Apple's iPad
by Daniel Pedroza, Writer and Learner
One of the hottest pieces of technology today is Apple’s iPad

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 !

Thursday, July 1, 2010

W S Merwin: Poet Laureate

Librarian of Congress Appoints W.S. Merwin Poet Laureate
Library of Congress: July 1, 2010

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced the appointment of W.S. Merwin as the Library’s 17th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry for 2010-2011.

Merwin will take up his duties in the fall, opening the Library’s annual literary series on Oct. 25 with a reading of his work.

"William Merwin’s poems are often profound and, at the same time, accessible to a vast audience," Billington said. "He leads us upstream from the flow of everyday things in life to half-hidden headwaters of wisdom about life itself. In his poem ‘Heartland,’ Merwin seems to suggest that a land of the heart within us might help map the heartland beyond—and that this ‘map’ might be rediscovered in something like a library, where ‘it survived beyond/ what could be known at the time/ in its archaic/ untaught language/ that brings the bees to the rosemary.’"

William Stanley Merwin succeeds Kay Ryan as Poet Laureate and joins a long line of distinguished poets who have served in the position, including Charles Simic, Donald Hall, Ted Kooser, Louise Gl├╝ck, Billy Collins, Stanley Kunitz, Robert Pinsky, Robert Hass, Rita Dove and Richard Wilbur.

During a 60-year writing career, Merwin has received nearly every major literary award. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, just recently in 2009 for "The Shadow of Sirius" and in 1971 for "The Carrier of Ladders." In 2006, he won the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress for "Present Company." His retrospective collection "Migration: New and Selected Poems" won the 2005 National Book Award for poetry.

Born in 1927, Merwin showed an early interest in language and music, writing hymns for his father, a Presbyterian minister. He studied poetry at Princeton and, in 1952, his first book, "A Mask for Janus," was selected by W.H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. READ MORE !

Background of the Laureateship
The Poet Laureate is selected for a one-year term by the Librarian of Congress. The choice is based on poetic merit alone and has included a wide variety of poetic styles.

The Library keeps to a minimum the specific duties required of the Poet Laureate, who opens the literary season in October and closes it in May. Laureates, in recent years, have initiated poetry projects that broaden the audiences for poetry.

Kay Ryan launched "Poetry for the Mind’s Joy" in 2009-2010, a project that focused on the poetry being written by community-college students.