This CBS Sunday Morning segment called "Beyond Books" aptly describes the new focus of today's libraries. After watching, I was filled with pride that I serve on the board of the O'Fallon Public Library (Illinois).
MELP executive director Linda Mitchell joins Deedra Amsden and Megan Hall on the Dauntless Grace podcast to discuss the fire burning in her heart: literacy. Linda tells her family's own literacy journey and how it shaped her own determination to see every home filled with books. Her motto is "literacy is liberation," and she uses her education and experience to bring literacy access to book deserts and to partner with communities who need resources.
This puzzle stumped me with the letters B and N. But I learned a new word!
All educators should hear this video. Dr. Tron Young shares his tips for engaging the youth in reading. He knows from his own experience how to get youth engaged in reading versus playing video games. You'll see why he won the Illinois Middle School Principal of the Year Award.
When did your education stop? Was it when you graduated from high school? College? Graduate school? Truth is, your education should never stop. It should be perpetual. You may not be in a formal classroom any longer, but you can continue learning. The world changes so fast that it is imperative that you continue learning so you can keep pace. Technology is one of the biggest accelerators of change. If you have lived long enough, you have already seen how technology has invaded almost every aspect of our lives. Emerging technologies have been the catalyst for change in grocery shopping checkout lanes, banking transactions, online education, exercise equipment, and much more.
Think about your life today. How has technology changed your way of life? How did you learn to navigate the changes? It is all a part of your perpetual education. One of the nice things about perpetual education is that for many of us, it is right at our fingertips. We have access to the Internet which abounds in tutorials, master classes, cooking demonstrations, TED Talks, etc.
Here is a short list of ways I continue to learn:
What are some ways you engage in perpetual education? Drop a comment and share with the readers.
Linda M. Mitchell
Has a salesclerk ever approached you in a store and asked to help you and you responded, "No, thanks. I'm just browsing." Most likely, we have all had this happen before. What you meant is you were looking around to see if there was anything interesting enough for you to stop and take a closer look. Dictionaries define browsing as casual looking or reading; window shopping; scanning, glancing, and thumbing or flipping through. You get the idea. We browse through stores, museums, neighborhoods, and websites. Browsing helps us notice and find things.
Coffee table books are excellent vehicles for browsing and learning about a subject. They are large, usually hard-covered books with illustrations and photographs. They are meant to inspire, delight, and spark conversation. I've seen stunning coffee table books on a wide variety of subjects. It was my choice to read the accompanying text or only look at the images. In either case, I learned something by browsing through the book. Even if a person can't read well, we know that a picture is worth a thousand words. People can still gather information and knowledge through the power of browsing.
Coffee table books are more expensive than normal trade books. Sometimes people keep their coffee table books for years because they are so sturdy. They may read their coffee table books once or twice, and like other books they own, they never open them again.
The Metro East Literacy Project (MELP) is asking you to donate your forgotten coffee table books. If they are no longer interesting to you, they may be a delight to someone else. Clean out your attics, basements, and bookshelves and donate your coffee table books to us. We will give them to underresourced families in our communities.
Several coffee shops in the St. Louis area are partnering with MELP to collect books. Scan the QR code to see the list. Don't see your favorite coffee shop listed? Reach out to the owner or contact MELP and let us know. We would love to have many more coffee shops take part in this community literacy service.
If you don't have a coffee table book to donate, you can support this collection effort by giving a donation. Click #HelpMELP to give a donation of any amount.
Thank you so much for helping people live better lives through literacy.
The Christmas gifts I remember the most as a child are the books my siblings and I received. I still remember a red hardback riddle book that I read over and over until it fell apart. Another favorite was my first reference book, a kids question and answer book that covered just about any topic that might interest a kid. Q & A books are great to give to kids to stir their curiosity. I believe consistently getting books as Christmas gifts sent a message to me that reading was important.
I think the Icelandic people got it right. They have a celebration on Christmas Eve called Jolabokaflod. That roughly means "Christmas Book Flood" in English. Everyone in the family receives a brand new book and they sit by the fireplace sipping hot cocoa and reading their book. Doesn't that sound lovely and peaceful? It's no wonder that a 2013 study showed that 93 percent of Icelanders read at least one book a year and 50 percent read more than eight books a year. Sounds like Iceland is intentional about building a reading culture. Why not start a reading culture in your home by giving your children books for Christmas? It's a gift that can last forever.
DECEMBER READING CELEBRATION--Read a New Book Month
While you are feasting during the holidays, don’t forget your brain food. Check out my Penny Press Puzzle Lady channel where I share tips and strategies for solving puzzles.
From the pressure to assimilate to the motivation to build a bridge for embracing Latinx culture, Ernesto Saldivar Jr. speaks eloquently about how literacy is valued in his community. As a teacher of language acquisition and literacy, Ernesto gives several examples of literature that have impacted his life, family, and his students.
Disabilities Don’t Have to be a Barrier to Literacy
Blind people can read. Deaf people can hear. Dyslexics can decipher and understand words. Today’s technology has opened up a world of hope and possibilities for people with reading challenges. They no longer have to be labeled or cast aside as they were decades ago.
It’s a new day for literacy equity and justice. Literacy is available to all. Well, not quite. There’s still a lot of illiteracy in the world. But devices used to help people read have become more widespread. For example, the blind can read text with the OrcamMyEye device. Neosensory devices help the deaf and hard of hearing. Dyslexics can use assistive technology such as text-to-speech scanning pen.
The 2021 calendar of world disability days are too numerous to mention, but here are a few celebrations to note that enhance literacy.
*World Blind Day, October 5–Creating awareness about eye health
*Dyslexia Awareness Month, October—Creating awareness about reading disabilities in adults and children
*World Usability Day, November 11—Creating awareness about how designers can develop products for diversity and inclusion
Let’s all be kind and considerate of people who have challenges with reading. And if you can help, please do so.
Listen to this remarkable story about a blind man who become a lawyer and judge long before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990. How did Dana LaMon overcome literacy barriers to achieve his dream?