Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Reading is not work!

Hello Everyone!
Did you know that 1 out of every 3 boys in American schools is in remedial reading by the time he is in 3rd grade? Michael Sullivan, author and reading expert, tells us that one reason this is true is because we (parents and educators) turn reading into WORK! How do we fix that? Here's one suggestion - take a break from reading levels. Reading harder books does not guarantee improvement and it may cause frustration. There is only one factor that determines improvement as a reader: PRACTICE. Therefore let children read what they want! Let them have fun with books!
Here at the Literacy Alliance, one way we encourage reading fun is through our teen storytelling group called the Book Busters. This group began in 2003 and has included 48 local high school students. Every fall and spring semester five to six teens practice for over a month to create a new program which is performed at Seminole County daycares, elementary afterschool programs, and special events such as PTA Literacy Nights and the UCF Book Fair. Each 30 minute program includes book-based puppet shows, skits, magic, science tricks, and songs which connect books with fun.
The Spring 2012 group is just beginning their season. We applaud these energetic teens who are making a difference in our community and helping children discover that reading is not work, but rather it is FUN! For more information on this program, visit our website or email 

How do you make reading fun?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Are You Curious? We are!

Did you know that only half of all parents with children ages 3 to 5 read to them on a daily basis? This helps explain why 40 percent of students enter kindergarten behind where they should be. We know that parents have busy, demanding schedules. The Literacy Alliance wants to help!
Our goal is to put the fun back into reading. We go out into the community using creative methods, such as puppet shows, fun experiments, books with songs, and live action, to captivate our pre-K and elementary school audience. We provide dramatic readings called “booktalks” to middle and high school students. It is important to us that the children and teens participate in our programs, connect reading with fun, and leave wanting to know and read more. As developmental neuroscientist Bruce Perry said, “If children are restricted too much or told not to ask so many questions their curiosity will diminish. The less-curious child is harder to teach because he is harder to inspire, enthuse, and motivate. A less-curious child will make fewer friends, join fewer social groups, and read fewer books.” Looking at the picture to the left, are you curious as to what they are looking at? It’s a rocket! It goes really high! It’s easy to build! Want to know how? Read Stomp Rockets, Catapults, and Kaleidoscopes by Curt Gabrielson.
To ensure we all remain curious, we will be blogging highlights and discussing literacy topics that will be helpful to you. We will be posting upcoming projects and events, as well as previous events and our impact in the community! We hope you join us on our adventure in making a positive difference and empowering our youth through educational fun. We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, hearing your feedback, and maybe even motivating you to adopt one of our ideas into your own community.
Speaking of feedback, what do you think of a “less curious child”? Do you know a “less curious child”?