Tag Archives: literacy

10 Revolutions in How We Read (other than the E-book reader)

From The Atlantic

The industrial revolution. Gigantic presses powered by steam (and later, electric power) could crank out books and newspapers and advertisements that strained the always-fickle paper supply. Eventually, papermakers were able to invent a variety of mechanical and chemical techniques engineer decent-quality paper out of pulped wood, a supply that (unlike cloth rags) appeared limitless. Print was off to the races, and dozens of other inventions helped make generating texts cheaper and faster. Having beaten back the scroll, our anthropomorphized codex now jostled against increasingly-important nonbook documents glutting the alphabetic information stream, like newspapers and office memoranda. More people were reading too, thanks to cheap primers and a state-driven educational push towards universal literacy: historian David Hall has called this the "literacy revolution." If print in the Renaissance and early modern periods was a proof-of-concept, a limited beta – the Xerox PARC GUI and first-generation MacIntosh of the new modes of producing and consuming text – the age of industrial print was Windows 95.


Free Books = Summer School

This is interesting

Such high-level attention to summer reading is welcomed by educators concerned about the way summer tends to sap learning gains. Two-thirds of the reading achievement gap between low-income 9th-graders and their higher-income peers can be attributed to different levels of reading in the summers, according to research cited by the National Summer Learning Association in Baltimore.

Giving away books is a good first step, “and it also helps if a parent or a teacher is working with the child … asking questions [about the books],” says Jeff Smink, the association’s vice president of policy.

Here is how to do it

In a study that compares students who received free books over the summer with students who didn’t, Richard Allington, an education professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, found encouraging results. He tracked low-income first- and second-graders in Florida who chose a dozen free books at their reading level for three summers in a row.

“The effect was equal to the effect of summer school,” Professor Allington says. “Spending roughly $40 to $50 a year on free books for [each kid] began to alleviate the achievement gap that occurs in the summer.”

The study couldn’t show how many of the books the students actually read, but the students who sent in reading logs answering brief questions about the books showed even stronger achievement gains.

If I was a local church pastor, I would put together a proposal for local companies to sponsor this next summer and run this out of your church.  Some computers, some reading stations, parent volunteers, and a lot of Hardy Boys, Harry Potter, and Diary of a Wimpy books to give out.  via