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Tag Archives: literacy

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank Named Recipient Of 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award

Cleveland Kids' Book Bank co-founders, Judy Payne (center) and Judi Kovach (right) receive their 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award. Margaret Bernstein (left), director of advocacy and community initiatives for WKYC, introduced the women to each other. The Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank is a juggernaut. Less than 20 months after its founding in March 2016, it had distributed 848,583 free books to underserved children in Cuyahoga County. And as hard as it is to visualize that number – even standing in a warehouse staffed by 3,000 volunteers – the number of titles is shifting upward, faster than the weekly update on its website can track. For this tsunami of success, the Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank is the recipient of the 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Memorial Award, $25,000 given each fall to a... Read More →

“Thirty Million Words” Initiative Empowers Parents To Use Everyday Conversation As A Tool To Build Strong Brains

The Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges famously said, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Bibliophiles might say amen, but books are barriers, not passports, for the estimated 36 million adults in the United States who can’t read above a third-grade level. In Cuyahoga County, 400,000 people — almost half the population — read and calculate below an 8th-grade level, which bars them from standard job training; while 67 percent of Cleveland kindergarteners arrive “not fully prepared to start.” Into this grim turf – so far from Borges’ Paradise – rides a short woman, Dr. Dana Suskind, who founded the Thirty Million Words Initiative in Chicago. She came to Cleveland as a guest of the Literacy Cooperative, arriving with a PowerPoint and... Read More →

Rita Dove Brings Focus To Literacy In Akron, Delivers Stunning Poetry To Inspire A New Generation

When former poet laureate Rita Dove graced the stage of the Akron Civic Theater October 16, she took a minute to give thanks to her hometown.  "It's wonderful to be back home," Dove told the crowd, adding that she was thankful for the opportunity to "give back what was given to me." The Anisfield-Wolf juror was the headliner for Project Learn of Summit County's annual "Night of Illumination," a fundraiser to improve literacy. The figures are sobering: an estimated 18 percent of the adult population in Summit County read at less than a fifth grade education. For more than 30 years, Project Learn has worked to improve literacy rates among adults, offering free classes and workshops. During the afternoon, Dove met with 30 students from these classes for an intense writing session. Two of... Read More →

Take A #LiteracySelfie To Mark International Literacy Day — And Tag A Friend

How can a book lover mark September 8—International Literacy Day? Here's a notion from the Literacy Cooperative of Cleveland, which has teamed up with the Cuyahoga County Public Library and Cleveland Public Library, to enlist social media's stickiness in the cause: Just snap a picture of yourself with a book you’re enjoying and post it on all your channels---Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtag #literacyselfie. Along with the visuals, organizers hope you will chat about the book itself and its appeal. Cleveland State University President Ron Berkman and WKYC News Anchor Russ Mitchell will be sharing selfies, as will other high-profile Clevelanders. Cleveland could use the boost: Most incoming kindergartners are unprepared for school, and a quarter of residents older... Read More →

Can Reading For Fun Go Viral?

A quiet crisis in literacy has hold of Cleveland, Ohio. A staggering 80 percent of incoming kindergartners are unprepared for school. Twenty-five percent of residents over 25 lack a high school diploma. A full 40 percent of third graders are not reading at grade level.  "When we're out and we're talking about these numbers, people's jaws drop," said Robert Paponetti, executive director of the Literacy Cooperative, a small Cleveland nonprofit working to improve literacy.  "We really needed to have an answer when people asked, 'What can I do to help?'"  Here, a dad reads to his newborn as part of the #CLELiteracy social media campaign The Cooperative's top 10 list is a start. Released last month, it is an accessible call to action for Northeast Ohioans to commit to improving... Read More →

“Books Through Bars” Program Gives Inmates Hard-To-Access Reading Material

Three times a week, a group of strangers gathers in the basement of an independent New York City bookstore. Their purpose? The volunteers—sometimes including tourists—pack more than 200 books a month, shipping them to prisons in 41 states. They belong to a collective called Books Through Bars, which provides reading material to inmates at their request. Begun in Philadelphia roughly three decades ago, the collective sprouted chapters across the country, all operating on the same model: Books are donated to a partnering bookstore and volunteers match donations with requests. A supporter's trunk after a Books Through Bars packing session. Courtesy of the BTB Facebook page ABC No Rio, an artist's community center in Manhattan's Lower East Side, started the work in 1996. Victoria Law... Read More →

Pledge To Read Every Day For The Month Of April

Did you know that fewer than half of U.S. families read to their kindergarten-age children on a daily basis? That children who grow up with books in the home score better on standardized reading tests? That childhood literacy is closely linked to adult literacy? This is part of the reason why it is so important to instill in children a love of reading early on.  Sydney's Book Club, a Pennsylvania-area nonprofit dedicated to early literacy, has kicked off its 20-4-30 literacy challenge for April. Every day, parents should read to their children for 20 minutes a day for the entire month of April.  The Sydney Book Club has hit upon a promising approach to increase literary rates in the United States. Participants can use this opportunity to introduce multicultural literature to their... Read More →
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