Thoughts (Solutions?) on the Recent NAEP Exams

Unfortunately, recent National Assessment of Educational Progress exams reveal disturbing patterns. In more than half of these united states, 8th grade student reading scores declined.  In seventeen states, 4th grade reading scores dropped.  Overall, only 35 percent of fourth graders were proficient in reading in 2019, down from 37 percent in 2017; 34 percent of … Continued

Remember Fun Books During National Literacy Month!

September is National Literacy Month!  Have you perused the creative and varied ways literacy-based organizations are celebrating the month? If so, you will have picked up on an interesting tidbit; there is not a body that sponsors and promotes the day, as in Read Across America or Teen Read Week (perhaps such sponsorship is a … Continued

Promoting Reading As School Starts Back

August and September are hectic months for educators, students, and parents.  Classes are starting again, and many times the fun summer reading habit is placed on the back burner, unfortunately.  What can students, parents, and educators do to keep engaged reading habits flowing amidst curricular “rigor,” soccer practice and games, and this traditional time of … Continued

Reading Dangerously

At the recent 2019 American Library Association annual conference, held in Washington, D.C., the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) celebrated its 50th year in action!  What a fifty years of full-steam advocacy and action it has been, the organization working tirelessly to defend and support the First Amendment. What does the First Amendment and FTRF … Continued

The Good, the Bad, the Human Being, and the Importance of Children’s Books

Last night, I viewed the movie about Astrid Lindgren’s early life, entitled Becoming Astrid.   I learned that Ms. Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking and namesake for the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature, experienced quite an earth-shattering adolescence.  Despite the religious and societal norms of the times, she exhibited a hero-like sense … Continued

Of Academia and…Football?

Recently, I visited my alma mater’s University Bookstore.  Shockingly, I found the books had been moved into a corner, and the football paraphernalia stood where a plethora of books once welcomed learners and visitors in search of a well-stocked bookstore (in a town in which all the bookstores had closed).  I became incensed and asked to … Continued

Professional Time

In Olson and Land’s research on the teaching of English (University of California and California State, 2007), conducted over an eight-year period with 55 secondary English teachers, cognitive strategies (reading and writing for meaning and task completion) rose like cream to the top of the jar of milk!  These strategies were “most successful when teachers … Continued

Women, Literacy, Economics, and Society

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us reflect upon the role of women in building societal literacy levels. As we know, women in the Middle Ages were essentially illiterate; only 1% of women could read. Nuns were essentially the only women allowed to read and pursue scholarly interests. After Gutenberg invented the printing press, … Continued

Love of Language

During this month-long celebration of love, let us talk about the love of reading and writing. I ask my graduate students each semester to reflect upon their love of language as fostered during childhood.  Many speak to parents, but, in many instances this duty was relegated to librarians, teachers, or even siblings.  Instilling the specific love … Continued

Gifts for the Season

At this time of the year, we are fortunate enough to have many “best books” lists launching, precious gifts for those who work in literacy professions.  NCBLA’s gift to you this season is a compilation of such listings, along with access routes! 2018 Best Books – Publishers’ Weekly – listings divided into picture books, middle grade, … Continued