Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Literacy


-- Quote of the Day --

"If you're going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write.
Do not wait for an idea.
Start writing something and the ideas will come.
You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow
."

~ Louis L'Amour



-- Taking Literacy for Granted --

Today's post comes from Fiona Ingram who is here to share her thoughts on childhood literacy, a passion of hers. Fiona’s earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, she entertained her three younger brothers and their friends with serialized tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity. After 15 years in the field of journalism, Fiona has released a children’s adventure series, Chronicles of the Stone – the first installment of this series has already been released and the second is on the way. Find Fiona at: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com

I love this piece Fiona wrote for us today on childhood literacy - and I invite our readers to comment on her article, share your experiences and literacy resources. :)

...

Some background to this post: I grew up in a house filled with books and took literacy and reading for granted. It's only when I became a children's author and adopted an underprivileged African child, still basically illiterate at age eleven, did I realize just how important early habits of reading are in creating an empowered, literate child. My daughter is now scoring high marks in school. We achieved this together by my reading aloud to her, and teaching her the love of books and reading. Now I can't get her away from books (especially the Twilight series) - isn't that wonderful?

Why Reading With Your Kids Is So Important

I recently found a great review by Jen Robinson of Jim Trelease’s The Read-Aloud Handbook. This is a marvelous book that should be mandatory reading for all new parents. Kids spend more time out of school (7800 hours per year) than in school (900 hours per year) so it’s illogical to place the burden of creating a love of reading in kids on the teachers’ shoulders. That role should begin with the parents.

In Jen Robinson’s assessment of the book, she has this to say, “Among the many reasons to read aloud to kids, one of the most important is that it helps them to associate reading with pleasure. Human beings are by nature pleasure-centered—we will voluntarily do things repeatedly if we get pleasure from them. And because reading is an accrued skill, spending repeated time reading is what enables us to get good at it.

Any parent keen to see their child excel in school and indeed in life should heed Jim Trelease’s words: "Reading is the ultimate weapon, destroying ignorance, poverty, and despair before they can destroy us. A nation that doesn't read much doesn't know much. And a nation that doesn't know much is more likely to make poor choices in the home, the marketplace, the jury box, and the voting booth. And those decisions ultimately affect an entire nation—the literate and the illiterate." (Page xxvi)

Books should be in every household, and reading an entrenched part of family life. Parents can get their kids started while young, showing them just how much fun books can be, and just how much fantastic information is contained in books. But even more importantly, reading with your child will have the most beneficial emotional effects. Kids love doing things with their parents and reading, discovering an exciting story, waiting in anticipation to hear what will happen to the hero/es, is better shared in an atmosphere of loving familial warmth. Parents can assess their child’s emotional, mental, and spiritual development, and help them learn about life, (and sometimes death), decisions, and choices that will determine who they are in life and build their future. Children learn their moral and ethical guidelines early in life. Be there when they do!

Find Fiona at: http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com
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Check out these archived Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show interviews with specialists in the world of literacy:

WriteOn Literacy Foundation (Jan 12/'10)
Literacy Bridge Org. (Feb 24/'09)
Literacy Org.s Why They Exist (Dec 11/'07)
Author Speaking on Literacy (Nov 29/'07)
In-Print Literacy Org (Nov 5/'07)

upcoming... May 20: Ina Hillebrandt - Topic: Literacy for Youth

*Feel free to comment on these interviews while listening, and to "tweet" or "facebook" to your friends :)

Find Dave & Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio shows & free resources & articles at www.brummet.ca

1 comment:

  1. That is awesome that you are so into literacy and that your daughter is now doing great! I think a lot of us take it for granted while growing up. Kudos!

    ReplyDelete

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