Avoid the Summer Snide

No, that’s not a typo! Before I go on, I want to be clear that summer slide is a very real thing. Learning is a skill and like any other skill, it takes regular practice. Just ask Michael Phelps – when he doesn’t practice, he doesn’t finish races with new personal best times. Even in the breast stroke (which he r-a-r-e-l-y swims). The Summer Slide In a report released earlier this spring, Reading is Fundamental outlined some of the very real reasons for summer slide. Two Key Findings in Read for Success: Combating the Summer Slide in America stood out.  A child’s access to books (the study focused on rural / impoverished areas) is critical. Engaging – and guiding – parents in working with their children is equally … Read more

Screens & Screen Time: a Precarious Balance (Soapbox Series #10)

The Soapbox Series is a periodic post that allows me to vent, share, or comment on ideas, experiences, and topics that may or may not relate to the literacy and reading mission of the blog. When I was a girl, there was only one kind of screen: television. It was for spending our leisure time. It gave us a window to “outside worlds,” the ones beyond our neighborhood. Most of the time it was turned off, and we were outside, or playing games, or reading, or drawing … finding other ways to fill our days. Now screens are a “necessary” part of our daily lives and those of our children. We’re using or “on” our screens almost nonstop. Just as … Read more

Soapbox Series: What is Philanthropy? (Soapbox Series, 8)

I wished we lived in a world where no one contracted diseases that deprived them of life at 3 months or  6, 56, or 71 years of age. Steve Jobs’ death is a very public reminder that we never know how many opportunities we will get to make a difference. Millions of moms, dads, sisters, brothers, friends, classmates, and neighbors feel that visceral reminder every day. They just don’t have quite the level of media coverage for sharing their grief. So how do we measure making a difference in the lives of others? There is an interesting piece in this morning’s Washington Post about Steve Jobs’ philanthropic efforts … more specifically the lack of public documentation of them. I don’t … Read more