Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Go Kentucky and Reading Rainbow and the Araboolies of Liberty Street

I am behind posting books on this blog, not because we haven't been reading (I've found some wonderful books lately!!!), but because I've let myself get behind. I need to fix that. I so want to make a difference in the world to inspire parents and kids to explore the wonderful world of children's literature

I've been inspired lately by three different occurrences that give me hope for the future of our children and the future of reading in this country.

The first is LeVar Burton's campaign to bring Reading Rainbow to more kids all over the country. See this article for details or to contribute.

I particularly love this excerpt from his interview on NPR (the question is in bold and LeVar's response follows):

On the way focus shifted from the love of reading to the mechanics of reading, and how that factored into the show's going off the air
Personally it was painful. ... Reading Rainbow is not about the rudiments or the fundamentals of reading. It's about the passion. It's about learning how to love the written word and developing a personal relationship with literature and having that be a part of your life, for the whole of your life.

The second thing was this article on a school district in Kentucky that is defying all expectations and getting rid of Standardized Testing in their schools (completely!) in favor of performance-based assessment. We just finished our standardized tests around here, and I think they are demoralizing, confusing, uninspiring and unable to help educators truly understand what kids know and don't know. Articles like this give me hope!

And finally, tutoring that boy I blogged about a little while ago is going so well. And it's going well because his mother is taking the time to really read out loud to him. She isn't just practicing reading with him, but she is reading out loud to him.

There is no substitute for this. No substitute in the world. Flannery's reading is taking off and it is taking off with flying colors. There is no coincidence that this is occurring as I am consciously reading to her picture books with more difficult language, more engaging stories, and a great deal more text per page. She loves it, and her reading is improving as a direct result.

As we bring our one-on-one time with our kids down to match their level, they will slowly, incrementally rise to meet ours.

It is a beautiful thing. It is an inspiring thing. We can make a difference in the life of a child by reading to them.

Here is one of this boy's favorite books I read to him in our last session—easily one of the greatest picture books of all time! Go check it out today!!!

Product Details

The Araboolies of Liberty Street by Sam Swoop.

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