Friday, October 26, 2012

Thank you New Haven CT!

Talking about a story is the key to children becoming good readers.
Read a book. Ask a question. Start a conversation.

I want to thank everyone I had the pleasure to work with in New Haven this past week.  The parents, teachers, providers and caregivers I met at New Haven Reads, Gateway Community College, All Our Kin, Covidien, and West Haven Community—all of you brought great enthusiasm and determination to my presentations. You understand that wanting the best for children translates into making sure children develop strong literacy skills.  You are all part of the team that will make sure the doors to literacy open. You know this will make the biggest difference in the life of a child.  I hope Reading Together and Conversational Reading continues to inspire you. 

The most important outcome is not how many books children read,
but how many conversations they have about them. “

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diane shares tips with WTNH TV on how to teach children to LOVE to read.

Talking about a story is the key to children becoming good readers. Read a book. Ask a question. Start a conversation.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Complicated Honor

Chinese Mo Yan (a pen name meaning ‘Don’t Speak’ is the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize for literature. He is the first Chinese citizen to win this award.  In 2012 another Chinese citizen, Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize but was denied the right to receive the award.  He was serving an 11-year prison sentence, was not permitted to travel and accept his Nobel Peace Prize. It was the first time in 74 years the prestigious $1.2 million Nobel Peace Prize was not handed over.

Both incidents offer the opportunity to have a conversation with children about freedom of expression, censorship and human rights and could not be better timed. They come on the heels of celebrating the week of ‘Freedom to Read’ Sept. 30 - Oct. 6, 2012.

Here are several questions to jump-start your thinking. 

~ Is there such a thing as a little bit of censorship? 

~ Are books banned in the United States?
~ Should a country have the right to deny an individual the right to accept an award? 

~ Can a best seller be a banned book? 

~ Do you have a favorite book that is found on the list of challenged books and what might be some of the reasons the book found itself on that list?

Here are several links that offer fodder for that conversation:
ALA Frequently Challenged Books

Mapping Censorship. This map is drawn from cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project

Friday, October 12, 2012

“My best friend if a person who will give me a book I have not read.” Abraham Lincoln

Pictures are worth a thousand words. On November 16, Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated movie, “Lincoln” will be released. This is the perfect opportunity to entice your children to read some amazing book about Lincoln. This pre election season puts us in the right mind set to meet some of my favorites books about this amazing personality,
~ Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship, Russell Freedman
~ Lincoln: A Photobiography, Russell Freedman
~ A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary, Candace Fleming

Good biography allows us to eavesdrop on the lives of others; travel to new places; and learn about the past. Illustrated biographies tap into a child’s inquisitiveness and showcase information that could easily be in an encyclopedia (but how enjoyable is it to read an encyclopedia?)