The Five Pillars of Family Literacy are evidence-based statements about literacy that have been curated from a school principal, poverty expert, renown reading expert, economists and a social mobility study. The Metro East Literacy Project activities are based on these pillars. Let's look at Pillar Three.
A mountain of recent evidence suggests that teacher skill has less influence on a student’s performance than a completely different set of factors: namely, how much kids have learned from their parents…if these home-based inputs are lacking, there is only so much a school can do. --Economists Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, authors of Think Like a Freak (William Morrow)
Reading a bedtime story. Exposing a child to different experiences, such as going to a museum. Setting up a regular time and space to do homework. Getting a public library card and visiting often. Showing an interest in what the child is learning in school and talking about it. Having books in the home. Talking to the child about the words they see around them, such as a stop sign. Enrolling the child in a book club. Reading books in front of the child for your own education and entertainment. Taking advantage of teachable moments from media. Viewing educational television. The list goes on. What can you add?
Teachers are extremely valuable. They work hard to give children the tools they need to be successful in school and in life. I know. I was a teacher. Schools focus on school-based solutions to tackle sticky educational problems like low third grade reading proficiency because they have no sway over the homes. But the home is the powerhouse and the first seat of literacy transformation. Parents are the first and most influential teachers. I am not naive enough to believe that every home is able or willing to engage in home-based inputs. But as economists Levitt and Dubner stated, if a teacher has less influence than a parent, educators should encourage parents as much as possible to do home-based inputs.
In this video snippet, Ruth Ezell, a popular Nine Network television personality in St. Louis, talks about the home-based inputs she grew with. For the full interview, visit the Literacy is Liberation! YouTube channel.
Above everything, parents must allow their children to see them reading. It is one thing to tell children the importance of reading, but it is quite another thing for them to actually see their parents enthusiastically gaining new information and insight from the printed page. In other words, parents must serve as the models that they want their children to become. --Principal Baruti K. Kafele, author of A Black Parent’s Handbook to Educating Your Children (Outside the Classroom) (Baruti Publishing)
Kids are not reading well because there is no reading culture in the home. Oftentimes little kids will mimic or imitate what they see their parents do. We have all seen how a little kid will play in a pretend kitchen and copy what they’ve seen the adults do. I remember being a little kid and there was a popular candy called candy cigarettes. What were we thinking? What a terrible product! But as kids we knew how to pretend we were smoking the candy cigarettes because we imitated our parents. What if we imitated our parents reading books? Even if parents can’t read, they can browse through books, magazines and newspapers. That’s what my illiterate grandmother did. Later on, when my mom and uncle grew up, they learned that Momma couldn’t read, and they helped her. Kids watch what their parents do. Parents can create a culture of reading in the home by reading themselves, and maybe, the little kids will copy what they see.
The Five Pillars of Family Literacy are evidence-based statements about literacy that have been curated from a school principal, poverty expert, renown reading expert, economists and a social mobility study. The Metro East Literacy Project activities are based on these pillars. Let's look at Pillar One.
Reading is at the very heart of education. The knowledge of almost every subject in school flows from reading. —Jim Trelease, author of the New York Times bestseller The Read-Aloud Handbook
Who is your favorite singer?
When Dr. LaTisha Smith was bussed from her inner city neighborhood to a school in the suburbs, she experienced culture shock. But what she saw and heard set her on a literacy journey that impacted her career as an educator, challenged her thinking, and launched her as a writer and entrepreneur. Please subscribe to the Literacy Journeys with Linda YouTube channel. Thank you!
As a teacher and literacy advocate, I like to help people discover ways to keep their brain healthy and have fun learning at the same time. The Penny Press Variety Puzzles magazine does the trick. In this video, the Penny Press Puzzle Lady, AKA Linda M. Mitchell, will be showing you how to solve a Puzzler puzzle from the Penny Press Variety Puzzles magazine. Use the eight clues to fill in the missing letters. You can probably do this puzzle in five minutes or less. Come on! Let's shake up our brains and test our word knowledge. You'll enjoy a wonderful feeling of satisfaction and achievement after you have solved the puzzle.
Get ready for some good, cheap fun. And I do mean cheap compared to other brain boosting programs. One issue of a Penny Press Variety puzzles magazine can cost only $5, and it may last for days, weeks or months. You will find Penny Press Variety Puzzles magazines at most drugstores and bookstores. For more information about Penny Dell Press Variety magazines or to have puzzles sent to your computer, visit Penny Dell Press at https://www.pennydellpuzzles.com/variety-puzzles/
Check out the following articles from Parade magazine and Sharecare.com about how doing crossword puzzles is good for your brain.
How to Shave 10 Years From Your Mental Age
Is Being a Couch Potato Bad for Your Brain?
Vivian Gibson says she accidentally became an author in her retirement. Scraps of paper she sifted through after her mother passed away eventually became an award-winning memoir. In her memoir, The Last Children of Mill Creek, she tells about how she grew up in a segregated, but thriving community in St. Louis that no longer exists. It was razed when she was a child to build a highway. Highways take us on journeys, and in this video you'll hear about Ms. Gibson's literacy journey along a highway filled with nurturing people who saw her potential.
Many kids feel nervous and anxious about going to the dentist. In celebration of National Children's Dental Health Month in February, a pediatric dentist and an orthodontist discuss how they calm children while treating them at their practices and how they coach parents on how to prepare their kids for a dentist visit. For more information about Dr. Loretta Smith of Chicago and Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson of O'Fallon, Illinois, please visit their websites listed below.
What is this series about? How Are You Today? A Celebration of Children's Emotions by Linda M. Mitchell is the springboard for this video series. Experts from a variety of fields give their insights and explanations for several of the emotions depicted in the book, such as competitive, talented, sick, sad, nervous and more.
0:49 Introduction of Dr. Loretta Smith, Pediatric Dentist
10:18 Introduction of Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson, Pediatric Orthodontist
Dr. Loretta Smith Pediatric Dentistry Chicago, Illinois https://www.lorettasmithdentistry.com/
Dr. Lauren Hood-Olson Olson Orthodontics O'Fallon, Illinois https://www.olsonbraces.com/
This Is How Reading Rewires Your Brain, According to Neuroscience Reading doesn't just cram information into your brain. It changes how your brain works.
This Is How Reading Rewires Your Brain, According to NeuroscienceReading doesn't just cram information into your brain. It changes how your brain works. BY JESSICA STILLMAN@ENTRYLEVELREBEL
Another line of research shows that deep reading, the kind that happens when you curl up with a great book for an extended period of time, also builds up our ability to focus and grasp complex ideas. Studies show that the less you really read (skim reading from your phone doesn't count), the more these essential abilities wither.
But what about the long-term? What does all that time spent mastering your letters as an elementary school student do to your brain? A recent article by The WEIRDest People in the World author and Harvard professor Joseph Henrich sums up the answer to these questions nicely.
The whole piece offers an account of how the Protestant reformation led to a huge increase in literacy rates. You don't have to care about the historical details (the research is super interesting if you do) to find Henrich's explanation of how learning to read permanently rewires our brains fascinating:
This renovation has left you with a specialized area in your left ventral occipital temporal region, shifted facial recognition into your right hemisphere, reduced your inclination toward holistic visual processing, increased your verbal memory, and thickened your corpus callosum, which is the information highway that connects the left and right hemispheres of your brain.
No one is going to quiz you on brain anatomy, so you probably don't need to memorize the specifics here. But the overarching picture is worth remembering.
Reading isn't just a way to cram facts into your brain. It's a way to rewire how your brain works in general. It strengthens your ability to imagine alternative paths, remember details, picture detailed scenes, and think through complex problems. In short, reading makes you not just more knowledgeable, but also functionally smarter. Which is why the only thing that everyone you admire can agree on is that you should read more.