Enhancing the Early Reading Experience: Books, Strategies, and Concepts

Selecting books for young children can not only be a fun and rewarding experience but also a little daunting, considering the number of books available. Frequent collaboration between myself and a public librarian has produced valuable insights about how to begin reading with very young children.

In an article I wrote for The Reading Teacher in November of 2011, with Nampa, Idaho Children’s Services Librarian Laura Abbott, suggestions are offered for how parents and educators can choose books that will encourage and motivate lifelong readers.

Six research-based areas defined by the Every Child Ready to Read @ your library program provide the framework: vocabulary, narrative connections, print motivation, print awareness, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness. Parents and teachers can evaluate various books based on this model. Our article offers several descriptions of books, and strategies for instruction and engagement are included with each.

Every Child Ready to Read @ your library is a parent education initiative.

Traditionally, early literacy programs at libraries have focused on children. Storytimes and other programs might model strategies that parents can use to develop early literacy skills, but parent education is not typically the primary intent.

The Public Library Association (PLA) and Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) concluded that public libraries could have an even greater impact on early literacy through an approach that focused on educating parents and caregivers. If the primary adults in a child’s life can learn more about the importance of early literacy and how to nurture pre-reading skills at home, the effect of library efforts can be multiplied many times.Teaching parents and other caregivers how to support the early literacy development of their children is the basis of Every Child Ready to Read @ your library. When the first edition of ECRR was introduced in 2004, the focus on educating parents and caregivers was a significantly different approach for many libraries; one that certainly has proven its value.

This updated and expanded second edition of Every Child Ready to Read @ your libraryprovides a new curriculum and materials to continue the effort, supporting parents and caregivers with the early literacy development of their children birth to age five.

According to the American Library Association, the program continues a commitment to research and introduces a powerful concept of constrained and unconstrained skill sets to our conversations with parents and caregivers. The 2nd edition utilizes natural language and a flexible format to encourage a more interactive way for library staff to work with caregivers and to create new ways for parents to interact with their children.

Let’s Connect on World Read Aloud Day, March 4!

Moderator:

This special day “calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.” For teachers, librarians and other educators, it has come to be a week-long celebration of sharing stories through Skype and Google Hangouts.

Originally posted on Writing for Kids (While Raising Them):

worldreadaloudday2015

As I was preparing this post, my daughter said, “Mommy, you always read LOUD!”

She’s right. So if you’d like a LOUDMOUTH to read to your class on World Read Aloud Day this March 4th, look no further.

I’m offering free, 20-minute Skype sessions throughout the day. I’ll read my picture book THE MONSTORE, answer questions from your students, and give everyone a sneak peek of my upcoming books, I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK and LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD. I’ll also wear the jammies of your class’s choosing. (I’ve got five awesome pairs from which to choose.)

jammiechart Kindergarten classes from Mahomet, IL tried to predict what jammies I’d wear.

If you’re interested, email me at tarawrites at yahoo dot com. Suggest a time (be sure to include your time zone so I can calculate if I’m living in the future or the past) and I’ll book you! If…

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National African American Read-In

The National African American Read-In is Hosted by the Black Caucus of NCTE and NCTE February 1 – 28, 2015

During the month of February, schools, churches, libraries, bookstores, community and professional organizations, and interested citizens are urged to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month by hosting an African American Read-In. Hosting an event can be as simple as bringing together friends to share a book, or as elaborate as arranging public readings and media presentations that feature professional African American writers.

Host Responsibilities

As host, you are responsible for hosting an African American Read-In during the month of February and submitting a short report about your event that includes the location, number of attendees, and books featured. You do not need to register in advance. Note: The Host Report Card is to be submitted after your Read-In event.   Click here to submit an Online Report Card,  OR you can Print and Mail/Fax Report Card. Please do not submit both. Report cards should be submitted between February 1 – March 30, 2015.

It’s easy as I,2,3!

To be recognized as an official African American Read-In Host:

1) Select books, poems, speeches (anything) authored by African Americans;

2) Hold your event during the month of February; and
3) Report results by submitting an African American Read-In Report Card.
Program History
At its November 1989 meeting, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English accepted the Issues Committee’s recommendation that the Black Caucus sponsor a nation-wide Read-In on the first Sunday of February.  At the request of educators, Monday was designated for educational institutions. Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott, an active member of NCTE and the Black Caucus, brought the idea to the Committee.  It was envisioned that following a decade of rigorous campaigning for participants, the African American Read-Ins would become a traditional part of Black History Month celebrations.  The commitment for nation-wide promotion extends from 1990 to the present.

In 1990, the National Council of Teachers of English joined in the sponsorship of the African American Read-In Chain. The campaign has also been endorsed and supported by the International Reading Association.  Persons receiving African American Read-In packets share the information with others, thereby creating a “chain” of readers whose numbers would grow to well over 5.5 million by the year 2014.

Program Contacts

Dr. Jerrie Cobb Scott
Founder and National Chair
African American Read-In Steering Committee

Dr. Mila Thomas Fuller
NCTE Deputy Executive Director

Carrie Stewart
NCTE Project Coordinator

Contact: aari@ncte.org

http://www.ncte.org/positions/statements/qandaaboutgrammar

Host an African American Read-In

Two Boise Children cast in upcoming touring broadway production of CAMELOT

Boise, ID – Fred Meyer Broadway In Boise is pleased to announce that Edsel Christensen (5th grader at Challenger School) and Mason Price (4th grader at Christine Donnell School of the Arts) have been cast as Tom of Warwick in the upcoming Boise engagement of the 2014/2015 National Tour of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT at the Morrison Center.
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Tom of Warwick is a young boy destined to be a Knight. He wants to fight for what is right and gives Arthur hope for the future.

Edsel Christensen is a 5th grade student at Challenger School in Meridian. He will be performing the role of “Tom of Warwick” on January 5th and 7th. He got his start on the stage in Boise Music Week’s 2012 Production of The King and I as one of the King’s children. Then, in the 2013 production of South Pacific, he played the role of Jerome.  Most recently, Edsel played the role of Louise in Opera Idaho’s 2014 Production The King and I in Concert.

Mason Price is a 4th grade student at Christine Donnell School of the Arts. He will be performing the role of “Tom of Warwick” on January 6th. In the last 4 years he has been cast in Character Matters as baby bear, Wizard of Oz (twice) as a Flying monkey and munchkin, Christmas play as an engineer, Three as the Big Bad Wolf.

Both Edsel and Mason have participated in the Morrison Center Summer Performance Camps for the past three years. Both have had lead and featured roles in some of the productions.

“Providing children from our community with an opportunity to perform in a national touring production of this caliber is unique,” said James Patrick, Executive Director of the Morrison Center. “We are always looking for new and exciting vehicles to engage children in the performing arts. Whether it be our annual Summer Performance Camps, Family Theatre Series or a chance to perform with professional actors in a Broadway musical like Camelot, involvement in the performing arts can change young lives and have a positive impact on their education and development.”

The 2014/2015 National Tour of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT reimagines the classic tale of King Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot and Boise can fall in love all over again with this beloved musical January 5-7, 2015 at the Morrison Center.

Tickets for CAMELOT are on sale now and start at $37.50. Tickets can be purchased at the Morrison Center Box Office, by visiting MorrisonCenter.com, or by calling 426-1110. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by visiting http://mc.boisestate.edu/group-orders  or call 426-4103.  

Broadway’s sweeping tale of passion, pageantry and betrayal is the winner of 4 Tony Awards®, 3 Academy Awards® and has never been more enthralling than in this new production. Intimate and fresh, CAMELOT’S celebrated score includes the classics “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and the title song, “Camelot.”

CAMELOT features a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe and is based on the King Arthur legend adapted from the T.H. White novel The Once and Future King. This all-new production is directed by Michael McFaddenand features Scenic Design by Kevin Depinet, Lighting Design by Mike Baldassari and Sound Design by Craig Cassidy.

Taught well by Merlin, King Arthur, with his beautiful new queen Guenevere, rule the kingdom of CAMELOT with new ideals, bringing peace to a troubled land. With the addition of the dashing Sir Lancelot to the Knights of the Round Table, one of the most fabled love triangles of all time ensues. Mordred, King Arthur’s illegitimate son, catches on and sees a kingdom in chaos and attempts to destroy all that is CAMELOT!

The original 1960 production ran on Broadway for 873 performances and spawned several revivals, foreign productions and the 1967 film. The original cast album was America’s top-selling LP for 60 weeks.

The CAMELOT tour for North America is produced by Phoenix Entertainment by special arrangement with Tams -Witmark Music Library, Inc. www.phoenix-ent.com or www.tamswitmark.com.

For more information, visit www.camelottour.com.

VELMA V. MORRISON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

Located on the campus of Boise State University, the 2,037-seat Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts is Idaho’s premier performing arts center. Nestled on the banks of the Boise River, with a panoramic view of the city, parks and foothills, the Center’s 10-story stage house is a recognizable fixture of the Capitol’s picturesque skyline. The realization of a life-long dream of Harry W. Morrison, and championed by his widow, Velma, the Center opened its doors on April 7, 1984. Today the Center is recognized as a major destination for arts and culture, annually hosting hundreds of live entertainment and arts education offerings that serve to enrich the lives of patrons of all ages. As a Boise State affiliate, the Center is a non-profit organization supported by ticket sales, facility rentals, donations and the generous support of the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation, Inc. For more information on our programs, or to find out how you can play an active role in our ongoing success as a donor or volunteer, please visit us at:  www.MorrisonCenter.com 

Mary Englebreit’s Nutcracker is a Sweet Delight to Read

 The Nutcracker is one of the world’s favorite holiday stories, and Mary Engelbreit offers her vision of that joyful night, creating a picture book filled with movement and vibrant detail that even the youngest child will enjoy.–From the Back Cover
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In Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker, Marie, the NutcraNutcrackercker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy will enchant readers in this freshly imagined holiday classic by New York Times bestseller Mary Engelbreit, now in paper-over-board format for the first time. On Christmas Eve, Marie receives a wooden nutcracker from her beloved uncle. Then something magical happens . . . her toy nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and whisks Marie off to the fantastical Toyland on a winter adventure she’ll never forget. Mary Engelbreit’s delightful interpretation of the timeless Christmas story makes this Nutcracker truly beautiful to behold
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YPP Reviewer Quinn writes:
Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker is a keeper.  Mary’s Nutcracker is filled with her well-known and  beautifully drawn, detailed pictures.   I love the details Mary puts into her pictures, from the beautiful patterns on the clothing, furniture, and wallpaper, to the variety of things to be seen in each picture.   The best part of her pictures is that no one pattern or piece of the picture overwhelms the others; which makes it a pleasure to stop and examine each picture.  Each picture tells a story by itself, while also contributing to the overall story.   I enjoyed the flow of the story in this book as well with just the right amount told on each page.  Mary tells the story in a way that children will understand and appreciate.  I believe this story will appeal not only to children, but to people of all ages.

Make a Date to Read: When Otis Courted Mama

“This excellent take on modern, blended families melds a believable, resonant story arc and winsome, child-appealing illustrations.”—Kirkus, starred review
    OtisIn When Otis Courted Mama, apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell’s life is mostly wonderful. He knows he’s loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that’s okay—Cardell is mostly used to it.
Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can’t make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell’s daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say “Adiós, Otis.” But what will happen if she doesn’t?
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When Otis Courted Mama  is a fun little story about a little cayote who feels threatened when Otis comes courting his mama….and Mama isn’t saying”Adiós, Otis”. In this bright and lovely book, children can learn along with Cardell  that new people in our lives can be a good thing.  — Quinn, YPP Reviewer
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Kathi Appelt is the author of many books for children and young adults, including When Otis Courted Mama, illustrated by Jill McElmurry; Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer; and the story collection Kissing Tennessee. Her novel The Underneath was a Newbery Honor book and a National Book Award finalist. She lives in Texas. http://www.kathiappelt.com

Positive: One Girl’s Triumph Over HIV and Bullying

”This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic . . . Through short chapters, teens will get a sense of the girl’s life, including her happy childhood, the strong bond between her and hePositiver mother, and the difficulties she faced, as well as gain accessible information on HIV/AIDS.” –Library Journal
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In Positive A Memoir by Paige Rawl  an astonishing memoir for the untold number of children whose lives have been touched by bullying. Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators, and administrators—a brave, visceral work that will save lives and resonate deeply.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth, but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. On an unremarkable day in middle school, she disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. From that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Paige was never sure when or from where the next text, taunt, or hateful message would come. Then one night, desperate for escape, fifteen-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills.

That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige’s memoir calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty—and above all, to be Positive.

Includes twenty-five photos from Paige’s personal collection throughout.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

 

YPP reviewer Quinn wrote:

Positive is a well-written account of the painful experiences of a young girl who is bullied because she was born HIV positive.  It is saddening to discover the amount of ignorance and prejudice that still exists today.  The people who should have educated themselves and acted to support Paige and influence her fellow students, did nothing and as a result the bullying that was allowed to persist in her school was heart-breaking and cruel.  Positive is a thought-provoking and compelling tale  truly worthwhile reading.
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