Welcome to Day #11 of the Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG) Project!
I’m happy to feature Jo Ann Kairys, founder of BRAG, and blogger at Story Quest Books. To do her part in promoting children’s reading and literacy, Jo Ann has been rounding up great information about programs dedicated to helping every child learn to read. Here’s her latest report:
I’ve been scouring the Internet for children’s literacy and reading resources, and am excited to see many wonderful programs and initiatives. Throughout the BRAG tour, I’ve listed as many programs and initiatives as I could find. It’s an affirmation of our global community and the shared goal that every child will learn to read.
Here are some other programs making that goal a reality:
1. Check out the interesting conversation I Have a Dream edition of the Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page, The Family Bookshelf, and Reading is Fundamental. These bloggers share one dream: that every child has (at least) one book to call their own and to be successful, happy readers.
2. Here’s a well-established reading motivation program—Reading is Fundamental (RIF) — that shines a light on underserved children from birth to age 8, making reading a fun part of everyday life. Last year, through community volunteers in every state and U.S. territory, RIF provided 4 million children with 15 million new, free books and literacy resources, including Multicultural programs and activities.
After what I thought was a pretty extensive Internet search, a new (to me) literacy program suddenly appeared—LitWorld—dedicated to help build literacy skills in the world's most vulnerable children. Then I discovered “New Day, New Friends,” a lovely picture book created for the LitWorld project.
“New Day, New Friends” is a story about values and how they reflect who you are and who you want to be. The 7 personal strengths embodied in the book are a jumping off point to foster fun reading and interaction.
“New Day, New Friends” highlights excerpted from LitWorld’s Discussion Guide:
BELONGING—Identifying as a needed, loved, and respected member of one’s family, community, and world as a whole: What groups are you a part of in your community? How do you feel similar to other people in that group? How do you feel different from them?
CURIOSITY—Fostering a willingness to explore new territory and test new theories: When have you tried something new? What would you like to try that you haven’t already done? What do you wonder about?
FRIENDSHIP—Having close, trusting relationships with others: What qualities make you a good friend to someone else?
COMPASSION—Being tender towards others who are in need, both near and far:
When have you helped others? When has someone helped you? How does being helpful make you feel? How do you feel when someone helps you?
CONFIDENCE—Thinking independently and expressing ideas with assurance:
When have you tried something new and succeeded? When have you tried something new and didn’t succeed? What is your proudest accomplishment?
ESTEEM—Feeling respect and admiration for self and others: How do you feel about people who are like you? How do you feel about people who are different from you? How do the differences bring you closer or keep you apart?
HOPE—Thinking optimistically and believing that today’s efforts will produce good things in the future for self and for the world
I love reading to my grandchildren, and can picture these types of questions prompting some wonderful discussion and dialogue. Thanks to LitWorld for bringing them to us—and to children everywhere.
Jo Ann Kairys is co-author and co-illustrator of the children’s picture book, Sunbelievable—winner of the Mom’s Choice Gold Medal 2012 Award. Widely published in the medical/science literature, she recently shifted from highly technical writing to creating stories for young readers. “I don’t know which is more challenging… writing a research article or producing a book that children will want to read over and over again. I love that wonderful stories can last for generations!” Jo Ann is also Founder of the 2012 First Annual Bloggers Read Across the Globe (BRAG) Project—Promoting Children’s Reading and Literacy—one enthusiastic blogger at a time.
Sunbelievable tells of a hilarious and whacky Sun seen through the emboldened imagination of 2 young sisters. Does the Sun ride roller coasters? Eat pizza? This endearing story shows the loving relationship and unbounded curiosity of young children. NASA’s Chief Technologists adds facts about the real Sun as a jumping off point for questions and discussion. The images combine real photographs with magical, digitally created landscapes. “You can’t take your eyes off of the illustrations!” (San Francisco and Sacramento Book Review 2012)