The Great Web Sites for Kids committee has selected 19 sites as a 2009 Great Web Site for Kids. These sites have been added to the Great Web Sites for Kids page. See the annotated list below, or go to the website: http://www.ala.org/greatsites. Great Web Sites for Kids are those considered the best web sites for ages birth to 14, outstanding in both content and conception. As applied to web sites for young people, “great” should be thought to include sites of especially commendable quality, sites that reflect and encourage young people’s interests in exemplary ways.
Sincerely, Meagan Albright & Sharon Haupt co-chairs of the 2009 Great Web Sites for Kids committee Annotated List of New Great Web Sites for Kids – Spring 2009
Building Bighttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig/index.html Explore large structures and what it takes to build them with BUILDING BIG™, a five-part PBS television series and Web site from WGBH Boston. BUILDING BIG explores the history behind some of the world’s greatest feats of engineering and the ingenuity of the engineers, architects, and builders who designed and built them.
First Palettehttp://www.firstpalette.com/ First Palette is an art site with ideas for educators and parents who share an enthusiasm for art, who recognize the value of doing meaningful and fun activities together with kids, and who have a passion for nurturing creativity and the love for learning.
Giggle Poetryhttp://www.gigglepoetry.com/index.aspx The self proclaimed number one fun poetry site for kids on the web! Learn to write poetry, create poems online, and read and rate hundreds of poems. Teacher resources available.
Great Group Gameshttp://www.greatgroupgames.com Your ultimate game group resource for free and fun youth party games, icebreakers, outdoor games, and more! Searchable by size of group, age of group, playing area, and type of occasion.
Imagination Café – Feed Your Mind!http://www.imagination-cafe.com Imagination Café is safe, fun, education and entertainment site for kids and tweens with quizzes, recipes and articles on careers, animals, history, sports, science, and more!
Jack Prelutskyhttp://www.jackprelutsky.com Explore the wacky and inventive poetry of Jack Prelutsky, the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.
Jean Marzollowww.jeanmarzollo.com List of Jean’s books online as well as paper format. Preschoolers can enjoy listening to a book read to them as they view works and illustrations. Short and Long bio of Jean.
Journey Northhttp://www.learner.org/jnorth/ Global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Engaging stories, photos, videos and slide shows from the natural world. Viewers can read, view, track, graph, analize, view migration maps, sightings, and read the latest news on our ever changing natural world
Kokonehttp://www.kokone.com.mx/ A wealth of activities, games, stories, and recipes, as well as information about Mexico, ecology, and the solar system. Una sobreabundancia de actividades tales como juegos, cuentos y rectetas, también información tocante México, la ecología y el sistema solar.
Mrs. Pwww.MrsP.com Kids can listen in as Mrs. P (played by Kathy Kinney) reads aloud classic children’s stories. The site also contains interactive games and activities. Requires a high-speed Internet connection.
Read Kiddo Readhttp://www.readkiddoread.com/home An authoritative resource for finding the best, current literature for children of all ages. It includes summaries, read-alikes, reviews, and links to related activities. Find the books with links to Library Finder and various booksellers. Join the newsletter and the ReadKiddoRead Community to access author interviews, blogs, lesson plans, and more!
Scholastic News Onlinewww.scholastic.com/news Today’s news headlines in a kid-friendly format. Kids will experience the news from a variety of angles with articles, videos, book reviews, surveys, newsfeeds, and podcasts. The Kids Press Corps are real kids conducting interviews, reporting, and maintaining the blog. The site includes interactive games about current events, geography, newsmakers, and more.
The Lorax Projecthttp://lorax.conservation.org/ This site raises awareness of environmental issues and helps children to take action to conserve forests and species.
Wildlife Film Makerhttp://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/filmmaker.html The National Geographic Wildlife Filmmaker allows kids to make animal movies using short clips of a wide variety of animals. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, they can add animal sounds, music and captions. Once a masterpiece is completed, it can be saved on the site to share with family and friends or e-mailed directly to them.
Spatulattawww.spatulatta.com Spatulatta.com presents kids with beginning cooking tips and recipes while encouraging them to eat well and to understand the connection between farms and the dinner table. The site also encourages kids to ask family members for recipes they can cook together.
It occurs to me, now that we are celebrating an Adult Summer Reading Program in our Sweetwater County libraries, that many may still ask “why should I read?” I know that one member of my own family is still a ‘non-reader’ preferring to be on his cell, play on his X-Box or even sleep before he would pick up a book. If you are trying to justify reading maybe you could use the following:
There are a lot of benefits of reading… but here are a few:
It expands your vocabulary.
It improves your spelling.
It helps you understand different ways of life.
It helps you understand different ideas.
It helps you learn to communicate.
It helps us find other people like ourselves.
It can be fun to read new stories and find out what happens.
It expands your imagination.
It helps you know what other people know, so that instead of repeating their mistakes and experiments, you can expand upon them and go farther as a community.
It helps you drive from one place to another.
It allows you the freedom to find out what other humans have had to say over the years.
It helps you know what drugs are in which bottles.
It helps when you have to mute the TV because you can read the subtitles and still know what is happening.
For many, reading has many benefits that continue to enhance their lives. Their lives are bettered in some the following ways: mentally, spiritually and sociality. Also, if we develop a habit reading will we become more confident and self assured in abilities to comprehend and understand all types of information. Let’s further examine some of the benefits of reading.
One of the other main benefits of reading is that it exercises your mind. Your mind begins to bend and flex mentally, It stays lose and limber so to you can flow easier through the course of the day. The regular routine ensures that the reading muscle stays in good shape as well as the mind. Just like physical exercise, there has to be a determination to make reading part of your life. If you understand the many benefits of reading, you will have no trouble adopting a regular habit of reading.
Reading has other benefits to the regular reader which is the ability to focus. When the mind is trained and channeled, it begins to pay attention more thoroughly. For example, when you are faced with some of life’s difficult and challenging assignments, you will have the ability to stay calm and objectively look at the problem, circumstances or required task. If you continue to read, you continue to stay focused; bottom line.
There is perhaps no greater avenue to learning then through reading. All people, great and small, have learned more things by reading then practically anywhere other way. When we continue to read, we have the ability to expand our minds tremendously. We review the pages of knowledge left by those who came before us. We than begin to add to the knowledge as the cycle of humanity continue. The regular routine reading has positively chanced the course many peoples’ lives.
Finally, when we develop a practice a habit of reading, we are building solid foundation on which to build. This foundation of reading will allow us to accomplish many goals and ambitions we have for our lives. Our habit of continuing to read helps to ensure we will continue to succeed. Reading has a long and distinguish track record for establishing positive and lasting benefits to humanity.
Reading is an active mental process: Unlike sitting in front of the idiot box (TV), reading makes you use your brain. While reading you would be forced to reason out many things which are unfamiliar to you. In this process you would use the grey cells of your brain to think and become smarter.
Reading improves your vocabulary: Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.
Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places of the world: How would you know about the life of people in Mexico if you don’t read about it? Reading gives you an insight into the diversity of ethnicity of people, their customs, their lifestyles etc. You become more aware about the different places and the code of conduct in those places.
Improves concentration and focus: It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information, books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.
Builds self-esteem: The more you read, the more knowledgeable you become. With more knowledge comes more confidence. More confidence builds self-esteem. So it’s a chain reaction. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.
Improves memory: Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.
Improves your discipline: Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.
Improves creativity: Reading about diversity of life and exposing yourself to new ideas and more information helps to develop the creative side of the brain as it imbibes innovation into your thinking process.
You always have something to talk about: Have you ever found yourself in an embarrassing situation where you didn’t have anything to talk about? Did you hate yourself for making a fool of yourself? Do you want a remedy for this? It’s simple. Start reading. Reading widens your horizon of information. You’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing become endless.
Reduces boredom: One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right? http://www.inewsindia.com/2008/09/29/10-benefits-of-reading/
What are the health benefits of reading?
Reading is beneficial for both children and adults. It can help you to cope with stress and anxiety, and provide a form of relaxation and escapism.
It is also a great ‘brain tool’, helping people of all ages to learn and develop important life skills, in terms of education, self improvement, positive life choices and all round well-being.
Children and adults can read to develop their language, vocabulary, and all round comprehension skills. Spelling and writing skills are also improved by regular reading.
If you have sight or reading difficulties such as visual impairment or dyslexia you can still enjoy the wonderful world of story telling and literature. If your child is unable to read themselves, you can read to them. If you have difficulties, ask others to read to you. Many books are available as audio CDs. And, you will be able to buy Braille versions of some books. Ask at your local bookshop for advice and information.
Never stop learning
As well as academic learning, reading also offers a wide range of other life skills. Books can help children learn more about the world around them. They can read and learn about morals, friendship, love and family.
If your child is going through a difficult time in their life, such as the separation of parents, starting a new school, the death of a loved one, bullying, or puberty, books can be a great source of information and comfort. There may be books that your child can read at these times to help them understand what they are going through. This may help to relieve any anxiety and stress your child may feel.
Reading can give your child the tools to make good choices in life, whether it be about positive relationships, education, health and lifestyle.
Children can learn about their bodies, healthy lifestyles, diet and exercise through reading books and magazines.
Reading is a more interactive activity than watching television. When children read they are involved with the book, imagining the characters and scenes, and painting images in their minds, rather than just staring blankly at a television screen. This encourages your child to be creative and think for themselves.
Reading is a great activity that you and your child can enjoy together. You could read to your child, or they could read to you while you enjoy the stories together. This is a fantastic way to spend quality time with your child, and can be a very bonding experience. Many people recall fond childhood memories of a parent reading to them at bedtime. Why not do the same for your child?
Reading with your child is also a great conversation starter. You can talk to your child about the ideas and messages conveyed in a story, and ask them what they feel about them. This will encourage your child to analyse what they have read and learned about, and form opinions which they can then confidently share with you, and others.
All about you
Reading is great for adults too. Settling down with a good book or a favourite magazine is a great way to unwind at the end of a stressful day, and enjoy some ‘you’ time. It can take your mind of your worries and woes, and often a bit of time out helps you to put things in perspective and cope better.
But don’t think that the benefits of reading for adults are limited to relaxation.
Adults can also develop their vocabulary and improve their spelling, literacy and comprehension skills in the same way that children do. Life is a learning curve – it’s never too late to learn.
There is a huge choice of books available to you. Novels, fiction, non-fiction, biographies – the list is endless, you are bound to find something you enjoy.
Self-help, self-improvement, health, motivational and educational books will give you a greater awareness and general knowledge.
Reading is a great way to expand your own horizons; you can learn about pretty much anything you choose!
Now that you’re bolstering your brainpower and working on your wellbeing, you may as well fit in time for the physical as well!
Question: What are the benefits of reading as a teen?
Answer: Reading as a teen leads to success. When teens read more than just their classroom assignments, research clearly shows that they generally do well in school. First of all, the extra reading expands their vocabularies. It also shows them how different writers put down their thoughts leading to better writing skills. And teens who read more serious literary works gain skills in handling complex ideas. The more teens read, the more information they pick up. This leads to a solid core of knowledge that is useful in a wide variety of classes. For example, the teen who reads biographies has a better understanding of prominent people studied in history classes.
Another big dividend of reading as a teen is a good score on the verbal section of a college admissions test. No other activity builds the vocabulary and comprehension skills needed to do well on these tests as well as reading.
Besides helping teens do well in school, reading also helps them expand their horizons as they learn more about people and the world. Plus, reading can show teens that everyone has problems in his or her life and may even help teens see solutions to their own problems. Finally, reading is enjoyable. It can bring a great deal of pleasure to teens.
Parents can encourage their children to stay involved with reading by expressing interest in what they are reading and tying it to other activities. If a teen is fascinated by racing stories, try to take the child to a race. If a teen likes a book that has been turned into a movie, make sure he or she sees the movie.
1. Reading is an active mental process – Unlike TV, books make you to use your brain. By reading, you think more and become smarter.
2. It is a fundamental skill builder - Every good course on the planet has a matching book to go with it. Why? Because books help clarify difficult subjects. Books provide information that goes deeper than just classroom discussion.
3. Improves your vocabulary – Remember in elementary school when you learned how to infer the meaning of one word by reading the context of the other words in the sentence? You get the same benefit from book reading. While reading books, especially challenging ones, you will find yourself exposed to many new words you wouldn’t be otherwise.
4. Gives you a glimpse into other cultures and places – What is your favorite vacation spot? I would bet you read a lot about that destination. The more information the better. Books can expand your horizons by letting you see what other cities and countries have to offer before you visit them.
5. Improves concentration and focus – Like I pointed out before, reading books takes brain power. It requires you to focus on what you are reading for long periods. Unlike magazines, Internet posts or e-Mails that might contain small chunks of information. Books tell the whole story. Since you must concentrate in order to read, like a muscle, you will get better at concentration.
6. Builds self-esteem – By reading more books, you become better informed and more of an expert on the topics you read about. This expertise translates into higher self esteem. Since you are so well read, people look to you for answers. Your feelings about yourself can only get better.
7. Improves memory – Many studies show if you don’t use your memory, you lose it. Crossword puzzles are an example of a word game that staves off Alzheimer’s. Reading, although not a game, helps you stretch your memory muscles in a similar way. Reading requires remembering details, facts and figures and in literature, plot lines, themes and characters.
8. Improves your discipline – Obviously, if 1 in 4 people don’t read one book per year, then there is a discipline issue. There may be many causes for people not reading books such as the “quips” of information you can get on the Internet. TV is also a major distracter. Making time to read is something we all know we should do, but who schedules book reading time every day? Very few… That’s why adding book reading to your daily schedule and sticking to it, improves discipline.
9. Learn anywhere – Books are portable. You can take them almost anywhere. As such, you can learn almost anywhere too.
10. Improves creativity – by reading more books and exposing yourself to new and more complete information, you will also be able to come up with more creative ideas. As a personal example, I read many, many books on IT Networking. So often, when IT Admins are stumped with a problem, I can come up with a creative (smack your head simple) solution that isn’t written anywhere. But the reason I can do that is because I have read so many books on the subject, I can combine lessons from all of them into new solutions.
11. Gives you something to talk about – Have you ever run out of stuff to talk about with your best friend, wife or husband? This can be uncomfortable. It might even make married couples wonder if their marriage is in trouble. However, if you read a lot of books, you’ll always have something to talk about. You can discuss various plots in the novels you read, you can discuss the stuff you are learning in the business books you are reading as well. The possibilities of sharing are endless.
12. Books are inexpensive entertainment – What’s the average price of a movie ticket these days? $8 – $10? You can buy a paperback for that price and be entertained for many hours more. If you have a used bookstore nearby, you can get them even cheaper.
Tip: Once you make reading a habit, you’ll enjoy reading the books in your chosen career as well.
13. You can learn at your own pace – Where formal education requires time commitments, books have no late-bells or hourly commitments. So you can learn at your own pace when you read books.
14. New mental associations – I touched on this above. As you read more books the depth and breadth of your knowledge expands and your ability to form new associations increases. In reading a book to discover the solution to one problem, you find the solution to others you may not have considered.
15. Improves your reasoning skills – Books for professionals contain arguments for or against the actions within. A book on cooking argues that Chili powder goes well with beef and goes poorly with ice-cream. A book on building a business argues that testing an idea for profitability before setting up is a smart strategy and argues against just barreling forward with the idea without testing.
You too will be able to reason better with the knowledge you gain. Some of the arguments will rub off on you. Others you will argue against. Regardless, you’ll be reasoning better.
16. Builds your expertise – Brian Tracy has said one way to become an expert in your chosen field is to read 100 books on the subject. He also said by continuing the same for 5 years you’ll become an international expert. With the Internet and blogs, you could hone that time down to 2-3 years if you follow through.
17. Saves money – Apart from saving money on entertainment expenses. Reading books that help you develop your skills saves money. Reading books on how someone went bankrupt will be a warning to you against repeating their mistakes. Reading a book on how to build your own backyard deck saves the expense of hiring a contractor.
18. Decreases mistakes – Although I would never suggest putting off an important goal because you fear making mistakes, it is still important to sharpen the saw (link to A.L. post). When you gather the deep and wide wisdom that books can provide, you are less apt to make mistakes.
19. You’ll discover surprises - As you read more books as a source of information, you’ll learn stuff you weren’t looking for. I’ve read many great quotes on life and love by reading books on marketing. I’ve learned facts about biology from reading about chemistry. Heck, I’ve picked up some facts about history while reading about programming. Since so many subjects intertwine it’s almost impossible not to learn something other than the book’s subject.
20. Decreased boredom – One of the rules I have is if I am feeling bored, I will pick up a book and start reading. What I’ve found by sticking to this is that I become interested in the book’s subject and stop being bored. I mean, if you’re bored anyway, you might as well be reading a good book, right?
21. Can change your life – How many times have you heard of a book changing someone’s life? For me, it was Your Erroneous Zones (link) by Wayne Dyer – which is the first self-development book I read. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking that was not depressing and dull. It was the first step in my path of choosing my own life and being free of old habitual thought patterns.
22. Can help break a slump – Being in a slump is uncomfortable. If you are a writer, you call it writer’s block. If you are a salesperson, it’s called – not making a sale in 23 days. But a slump can be a crossroads. It might be you are wavering on your commitment to a particular project or (with marriage) person. Or a slump can be simply a lack of new ideas. Books are a great source of ideas, big and small. So if you find yourself in a slump, pick a book on the portion of your life you are slump-ing and get to reading!
23. Reduces stress - Many avid readers (including me) unwind by reading. Compared with the person who gets home from work and immediately turns on the TV news, you are going from work stress to crime stress. But it’s not just news. TV as a source of relaxation is too full of loud commercials and fast moving (often violent) images. If relaxation is something you want, turn off the TV or computer and pick up a book.
24. Gets you away from digital distractions – If you, like many others, feel overwhelmed with the flashing lights, beeps, boops and ring-a-dings that burn up our computing lives, then give books a chance. When you find some good books, you’ll find yourself drawn into the subject matter. You’ll want to spend more time reading. By spending more time reading books, you’ll have less time for the plethora of the digital gadgets begging for our attention.
25. You’ll make more money - If you make a serious effort to read in your chosen career, your expertise in that specialty will increase. As you become more specialized and learned, you join a smaller group of more qualified people. By being part of the small few with the highest level knowledge your pay will increase. It’s simple supply and demand.
26. The book is always better than the movie – except for perhaps No Country for Old Men.
In our high-speed-connection world, why bother to read when you can get it all electronically? We make the case for not closing the book.
When you can see Atonement in two hours and 10 minutes (enacted by the very appealing James McAvoy, no less) or listen to it on audiotape, why bother working through the 371-page novel? For that matter, why trudge through the newspaper when you can turn on CNN? Why puzzle over a manual when you can YouTube the instructions? Everyone knows the book is always better than the movie, but is there any real advantage to getting your information by reading it?
Yes, according to neuroscience—your mind will most definitely thank you. Just like muscles, the brain benefits from a good workout. And reading is more neurobiologically demanding than processing images or speech. As you’re absorbing, say, this article, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” says Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, which is devoted to the science of language and affiliated with Yale. “A sentence is shorthand for a lot of information that must be inferred by the brain.” In general, your intelligence is called to action, as is greater concentration. “We are forced to construct, to produce narrative, to imagine,” says Maryanne Wolf, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University and author of Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain.
“Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight. By and large, with oral language—when you watch a film or listen to a tape—you don’t press pause.” The benefits of all this mental activity include keeping your memory sharp, your learning capacity nimble, and your mind basically hardier as you age. No one’s advising that you toss the DVD player—or books on tape, which, Pugh says, provide more work for your brain than seeing a movie—but print should take up part of your life too. A literate mind is a more complex one. “There’s a richness that reading gives you,” Wolf says, “an opportunity to probe more than any other medium I know of. Reading is about not being content with the surface.” Even when it is superficial (what’s a plane ride without a little celebrity gossip?), indulging in a tabloid beats watching TV—just processing the words boosts the brain. “If you had your druthers,” Pugh says, “you’d rather be reading.”
Reading fiction can seem like an absolute indulgence when life goes into overdrive. But did you know it’s good for you? Yes, really!
Is your life so busy you’re wondering how you are going to find time to read more, especially when it’s just for ‘pleasure’? Having trouble justifying it, even to yourself? Leisure activities like reading are often the things that slide when life goes into overdrive. And that’s sad because it’s an activity that can make life richer and more enjoyable.
A lot has been written about the benefits of reading for and to children. However, there is very little about the benefits to adults in engaging in regular reading. Let me assure you that the benefits for adults do exist and are many and varied.
Some of these include:
1. Providing an escape from the day-to-day
Fiction is a great way to take a quick immediate break, to be instantly transported into another world. Today you could be in America, in the deep south with Alice Walker’s ‘The Colour Purple’, tomorrow in the Australian bush with Tim Winton’s ‘Dirt Music’, next week in downtown London with Helen Fielding’s ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ and next month in Ireland with Jim O’Neill’s ‘At Swim, Two Boys’. There is no limit to the places fiction can take you.
There is something about stopping to focus on words arranged for our reading pleasure that is instantly relaxing. Maybe it’s staying still, something that doesn’t seem to happen often enough. Maybe it’s knowing that we are stepping into a secret world that we have to relax enough to enter. Then there is the words themselves. The beauty and rhythm of language has the ability to calm and relax us.
3. Stress relief
Taking your mind off your own problems, even for a few minutes, can have a therapeutic effect and be a timely circuit breaker. This is so effective that the National Health System in the United Kingdom has introduced a ‘Reading and You Scheme’. The scheme encourages mental health patients to read more as part of their therapy for reducing stress and overcoming anxiety, depression and social isolation.
4. Stimulates the right side of your brain
Reading opens your mind to new possibilities. It stretches your imagination in new and wonderful directions and takes your mind on a wonderful journey through others’ lives. What would you do if you were Jo Becker in ‘While I Was Gone’ by Sue Miller? Would you tell your husband and three daughters about a grisly crime that happened when you were a university student? Or would you try to pretend it never happened?
Fiction is capable of provoking many and varied emotional responses – it can make you laugh out loud, it can make tears spill onto the page, it can be edge-of-the seat terrifying, it can make you blush with embarrassment, it can challenge your core beliefs. There is a world of emotion in every story and you as the reader get to be part of it.
Reading is a deeply satisfying pursuit. The expression ‘curling up with a book’ evokes a warm and cozy image and feels luxurious if you don’t get to do it often.
Reading is an easy and quick way to nourish your soul because it is for the most part a solitary pursuit. And being alone, or at least alone in your thoughts, on a regular basis is crucial to maintaining a sense of self. As I’m sure you know, it’s easier to give to others when you feel fulfilled and your needs are met. Even just a few minutes of reading can keep you going throughout the day. Of course, you know you’ve read something special when you find your thoughts continually re-visiting it.
Reading is like exercising – mental and physical benefits flow from a regular routine. So don’t feel guilty about taking time out to read. It’s good for you!
If you love escaping into fiction but can’t always find 12 hours to indulge in a novel, then you are exactly who Jill Brennan had in mind when she created espresso Fiction! For details go to: http://www.fastfoodforyourmind.com
There is an easy way to improve your child’s chances at school. It will entertain and delight him. It will strengthen the bonds between him and you. And it is virtually free.
Sound too good to be true? Actually, it isn’t. The magical method: taking time to read aloud to your child.
In an era of high-stakes testing and education reforms and revolutions, research has repeatedly proved that one simple parenting technique is among the most effective. Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.
“Reading aloud to young children, particularly in an engaging manner, promotes emerging literacy and language development and supports the relationship between child and parent,” concludes a review in this month’s Archives of Disease in Childhood.
In other words, reading that bedtime story may not only entertain and soothe Johnny, it may also develop his vocabulary, improve his ability to learn to read, and – perhaps most important – foster a lifelong love of books and reading.
Developing that passion for reading is crucial, according to Jim Trelease, author of the best-seller, “The Read-Aloud Handbook.” “Every time we read to a child, we’re sending a ‘pleasure’ message to the child’s brain,” he writes in the “Handbook.” “You could even call it a commercial, conditioning the child to associate books and print with pleasure.”
This reading “commercial” is critical when competition for a child’s attention is so fierce. Between television, movies, the Internet, video games and myriad after-school activities, the pleasures of sitting down with a book are often overlooked. In addition, negative experiences with reading – whether frustrations in learning to read or tedious “skill and drill” school assignments – can further turn children off from reading.
That can have long-term consequences. As Mr. Trelease succinctly puts it in his handbook, “Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most, and stay in school the longest. Conversely, those who don’t read much, cannot get better at it.”
Reading aloud is, according to the landmark 1985 report “Becoming a Nation of Readers,” “the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.”
If you need some ammunition to motivate yourself or others to read, I hope you will use this information, shamelessly stolen from the above authors as they say it more completely than I can. Take time to participate in the Sweetwater County Libraries Adult Summer Reading Programs, for all of the above reasons!
Richard Sharpe and the Defense of Portugal, Christmas 1812. His enemy is, of course, Obadian Hakeswell. By 1812 a lot of men had deserted from the British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese armies and some of them-too many of them-had banded together in the border mountains where they were led by a renegade Frenchman nicknamed Pot-au-Feu. They formed a semi-military group of bandits and their enemies all agreed on one thing-they had to be crushed. Send for Sharpe.
The stitchers of the Embroiderer’s Guild raised over twenty thousand dollars for charity-but the representative who accepted the check at the annual convention disappeared with it. It turns out that he’s the husband of the local chapter president, Allie Germaine, who insists on his innocence. But if Bob Germaine didn’t pocket the check, who did? And where is Bob now? Since needle work shop owner Betsy Devonshire has broken her leg horseback riding, solving the latest crime will have to be a group project.
Being a black man with a funny name all of a sudden isn’t quite the same burden it once was. Ex-boxer, hard drinker, in a business that trades mostly in cash and favors-Leonid McGill’s an old-school P.I. working a twenty-first century Manhattan that’s gotten fancy all around him. Fancy or not, he has always managed to get by-keep a roof over the head of his wife and kids, and still manage a little fun on the side-mostly because he’s never been above taking a shady job for a quick buck, no questions asked. But like the city itself, McGill is turning over a new leaf, “decided to go from crooked to slightly bent.”
Joe O’Laughlin finds himself in the unenviable position of talking a naked, confused woman down from a suspension bridge. Despite his best efforts, the woman turns to him and says, “You don’tunderstand,” then jumps to her death. The woman had been talking on her phone, and now a guilt-ridden Joe has a new obsession-discovering who was on the other end of the line.
England, 1176. Beautiful, tranquil Glastonbury Abbey-according to legend the last resting place of King Arthur-has been burned almost to the ground. The arsonist remains at large, but the fire has uncovered two hidden skeletons, a man and a woman. the skeletons’ height and great age send rumors flying-could they be the bodies of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere?
T.C. Boyle’s account of the life of Frank Lloyd Wright, as told through the experiences of the four women who loved him, blazes with his trademark wit and invention. Wright’s life was one long, howling struggle against the bonds of convention, whether aesthetic, social, moral, or remantic. Despite the overblown scandals surrounding his amours and the financial disarray that dogged him, he never let anything get in the way of his larger-than-life appetites and visions. Wright’s triumphs and defeats were always tied to the women he loved: the Montenegrin beauty Olgivanna Milanoff: the passionate southern belle Maude Miriam Noell; the spirited Mamah Cheney, tragically killed; and his young first wife, Kitty Tobin.
Ethan Gage just wants to enjoy the fruits of victory after helping Napolean win the Battle of Marengo and end an undeclared naval war with the United States. But a foolist tryst with Bonaparte’s married sister and the improbable schemes of a grizzled Norwegian named Magnus Bloodhammer soon send our adventurer on a new ahunt that will have him dodging scheming aristocrats and hostile Indians on America’s frontier.
When Philadelphia debutante Lorinda Jameson’s bankrupt father commits suicide, the infamous Black Hand mafia is dispatched to collect his debts-or her head. the young orphan rechristens herself “Etta Place” and goes west to earn her keep as a waitress in a remote railroad outpost. But fate and murder soon intervene, and Etta joins forces with Butch Cassidy’s notorious gang, the Wild Bunch. In their hideout at Hole-In-the-Wall, Wyoming, Etta meets Harry Longbaugh, a.k.a. the Sundance Kid and begins the passionate and tragic romance that will be the greatest of her life.
In the vein of John le Carre and Graham Greene, this contemporary international thriller follows Milo Weaver as he is drawn into a conspiracy that links riots in the Sudan, an assassin committing suicide, and an old friend who’s been accused of selling secrets to the Chinese. Once the CIA and Homeland Security are after him, the only way for him to survive is to return, headfirst, into “Tourism”.
Thirteen-year-old Caroline has been raised and homeschooled by her father in a rigid code of behaviour that allows them to survive, homeless, on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, wash in a nearby creek, use a makeshift septic system, and tend a garden. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries, attend church, and otherwise merge with the civilized world. Yet, despite their every precaution, one small mistake allows the authorities to discover them. Their forced relacation is only a brief respite in their flight from a world that can’t understand them.
Bei Bei the Panda is asking all library patrons to Stick One In Your Ear!
Bei Bei is a huge fan of audio books and uses Playaways to entertain himself while hanging out in the library. Playaways are a small self contained MP3 player that have preloaded books on them. You may use your own earbuds or buy a pair at the circulation desk for $1.00. The controls are on the player so you may use it anywhere and are not limited to listening while you are in the car. Adults and kids alike are loving them. Try one out at the library and say hello to Bei-Bei!
Thanks to Kelly for the temporary loan of her precious bear.
Rising from humble beginnings through hard work and shrewd dealings, Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, and Sid Richardson forged the Lone Star State’s wealthiest oil dynasties. their influence shifted the balance of power in American politics, sending three Texans to the white House and bankrolling the modern conservative movement. While hobnobbing with presidents and movie stars, the Big Rich created the legend of the swaggering Texas oilman with island hideaways, sprawling ranches, and long-horned Cadillacs.
At the posh New York City’s Explorer’s club, ford anxiously awaits the arrival of Barbara Hayes-Sorrento, a U.S. senator serving on an important congressional intelligence subcommittee-and a potential love interest. While she’s exiting her limo, ford witnesses the unthinkable: a group of men brazenly kidnapping her. Rushing to her aid, Ford foils the attempt, but not before the criminals abduct a teenager touring the city with the senator. Hours later, a ransom order arrives. The kidnappers want recently seized documents belonging to Fidel Castro. And if they don’t get them, the kidnapped young man will be buried alive.
When successful memoirist Cassandra Fallows returns home to Baltimore in search of her next best-seller, the starts exploring the story of a childhood friend accused of killing her infant son. but as she digs deeper into her friend’s life, Cassandra unearths secrets about her own past that cast her dearest memories in a new light. Now Cassandra must decide if uncovering the truth is worth the pain of revealing what really happened on that forgotten day.
Charlotte O’Keefe’s daughter is born with brittle bone disease and faces endless suffering. Confronting unthinkable medical costs, Charlotte considers a troubling solution. she might win a large enough financial settlement to cover a lifetime of expenses-if she goes to court and says she would have terminated the pregnancy had she known of her daughter’s condition. but the emotional ramifications of such a claim may be too great a price to pay.
As Genghis approaches a strange new territory, he confronts obstacles and enemies more formidable than anything or anyone he’s ever faced. Rocky mountains tower around him. the arid plains offer no respite. and most daunting of all, Shah Ala-uh-Din Mohammed opposes Genghis with thousands of passionate Arab warriors. Amidst all this, a sibling rivalry reaches the boiling point, as two of Genghis’ sons compete for their father’s favor-and the right to succeed him.
When Sylvia Bergstrom Compson discovers a stash of letters in the attic of Elm Creek Manor, she traces a remarkable tale back to 1859. Then escaped slave Joanna spent a brief period at Elm Creek Farm until she was captured and returned to bondage, leaving her son in the care of the Bergstrom family. Now, if Sylvia is to determine the ultimate fate of Joanna and her son, she must rely on one important clue-the meticulous heirloom quilt Joanna stitched and left behind.
Set in Greenwich Village, Harlem and France, among other locales, Another country is a novel of passions-sexual, racial, political, artistic-that is stunning for its emotional intensity and daunting sensuality, depicting men and women, blacks and whites, stripped of their amskes of gender and race by love and hatred at the most elemental and sublie. In a small set of friends, Baldwin imbues the best and worst intentions of liberal American in the early 1970′s.
In this intimate biography of the Prince of Soul, David Ritz provides a candid look at a star and a friend. Ritz had been collaborating with Marvin Gaye on his story for several years before the singer’s tragic death, and had conducted a series of extraordinary interviews in which Gaye discussed his deepest secrets. What emerges is a full-scale portrait of a charming, but tortured artists, a brilliant singer with a divided soul.
Shadow country is Peter Matthiessen’s re-imagining of the legend of E.J. Watson, the Everglades sugarcane planter and notorious outlaw of the wild Florida frontier. Vividly capturing the American hinterlands at the turn of the twentieth century, it traces the story of Watson through eyewitness perspectives as he drives himself relentlessly toward his won violent end at the hands of neighbors who mostly admired him.
Wealthy, cultured, and respectable, the Finney family is the epitome of gentility. Irene Finney has brought her four grown children to the Manoir Bellechasse, an idyllic lakeside retreat, for a special memorial to pay tribute to their lat father. but as the summer heat gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface.
This week librarians across the state have the opportunity to investigate social networking through our class, Wyoming Get On The Bus.
What is your favorite social networking site? I have written about facebook, librarything, flickr and the advantages and fun associated with those sites. YouTube is also a networking site, allowing sharing and friends and favorites and communication. Our class was asked to find a favorite video and post it to our blogs, so, although not library related, and just for fun, here goes:….