At NPR Education, Byrd Pinkerton looks at the emergence of children’s literacy and literature, starting with 17th century learning primers through to the late 20th century’s complex young adult literature, all of which have helped define the idea of “childhood” through the centuries....more
Posts Tagged: literacy
Finland tops the charts for most literate nation, with the United States coming in seventh. A new study looks not just at literacy rates but at literacy behaviors. These behaviors include counting libraries, newspapers, and years of schooling. Ranking nations based on reading assessment only would result in a very different list of top readers....more
If you’ve ever wanted an unfiltered glimpse into the inner life of your favorite author, celebrity, or athlete, new philanthropic project Read by Famous gives you that chance. Artist Josh Greene, the project’s organizer, has gathered more than 100 copies of well-read, well-loved, and much commented-in books by authors such as Junot Diaz and Eileen Myles, as well as CEOs, celebrities, athletes, famous Canadians, and more....more
For The Millions, Kate McCahill reflects on illiteracy in the modern world and checks her privilege for growing up “book-rich”:
Books, I realized sharply, suddenly, are too expensive. They’re a luxury item, designated for the rich, for the privileged. Guiltily, I remembered the crammed shelves of my childhood.
The project brings physical books back into the public’s routine, and in some ways obviates the debate over the necessity or function of the print object.
The Ploughshares blog recently featured an innovative project by a Brazilian publishing house to promote literacy on the subway: issuing books as subway tickets!...more
At The Awl, Annie Abrams gives the history of a 19th-century newspaper, Di Anglo-Sacsun, and its editors’ attempts to make literacy more available to the public, by developing their own phonetic alphabet that the newspaper was written in. Abrams also dives into the controversy surrounding the name of the paper:
Andrews and Boyle pointedly explained that they did not choose the title “in a partisan or national spirit, or with a view to render prominent the dysfunction between the different branches of the human brotherhood,” but instead “because it seems to us to contain a proper allusion to the language which it is our primary object to reform.”
Twenty homeless shelters serving NYC families will be getting their own libraries as part of a new initiative from the Departments of Education and Homeless Services. The project, supported by Scholastic and a number of literacy organizations, aims to address the needs of the city’s growing population of homeless children; last year there were over 76,000 homeless students in K-12 schools....more
In addition to boasting one of the most beautiful subway systems in the world, Moscow commuters now stand to become the best-read. Per the Guardian, over 100 titles from authors including Pushkin, Chekhov, and Tolstoy are now available for download, simply by scanning a QR code in the station....more
Joining the distinguished poets and children’s authors of the realm, Dave Gibbons is set to become the UK’s first Comics Laureate. In the Guardian, the artist behind the Watchmen comics shares his vision for a future where graphic novels play a central role in English literature and are put to good use by schools and parents, inspiring children to become lifelong readers....more
Only 20% of children in the neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens, New York, can read at grade level. That number is astoundingly low, but three enterprising young individuals hope to change that through a new non-government organization. They’ve created an Indiegogo campaign to raise money for things like after-school and weekend programs, as well as obtaining their 501(c) non-profit status....more
3D printing has all sorts of unique applications, and the most recent of these is making it possible for blind and visually impaired children to read classic children’s books like Goodnight Moon and Harold and the Purple Crayon. The project, started by researchers at the University of Colorado, uses printing technology to create pages with raised illustrations....more
The reading skills of American adults are significantly lower than those of adults in most other developed countries, according to a new international survey. What’s more, over the last two decades Americans’ reading proficiency has declined across most age groups, and has only improved significantly for 65-year-olds.