By Readingintheborderlands

At the Tiki Tiki blog Carrie writes about her daughter bringing home a school worksheet that features children named Juan and Rosa. She writes, “Welcome to the New Millennium, where little kids with a little bit of “something else” in their veins can see themselves reflected.”

I grew up in the 70s and I can’t remember seeing Latinos in any of the school materials I was ever given. For that matter, I can’t remember reading any books or stories with Latino characters or learning any history that featured Latinos. Wait, there was Ponce de León and Hernán Cortés. That counts, I guess. While a superficial change, worksheets like the one Carrie discusses are a step (a small one!) towards multiculturally inclusive schooling and society.

Reading Rockets Interview with Judy Blume

By Readingintheborderlands

Reading Rockets has a great interview with author Judy Blume.  Two of my favorite quotes:

If we want kids to love to read, we have to have a wide variety of books for them to choose from…. I think it’s fear of not wanting to talk about certain things with your children; it’s fear that if my child reads this, my child will know about it. If they know about it, it might happen — as if it won’t happen without your children reading about it, and this has to do with puberty, sexuality. But especially fear of new ideas — fear of ideas that maybe different from yours.

But if you can get to the place where you talk to your kids about anything, then you won’t have to be afraid of what they’re reading. You can read it, too. I always think that’s a really good thing. My daughter and I always communicated through books. She was very private; I’m not. She was very private and there were things that maybe she didn’t want to talk to me about, but through books, we could talk about these things.

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What I don’t like and what I really don’t like — intensely hate, you could say — is the Accelerated Reader program, even though many of my books are in that program, because they rate books, not on emotional content or emotional readiness. They’re rated by machine — how many words in a sentence, how long is a paragraph. Nothing to do with character, nothing to do with subject and again, nothing to do with emotional readiness. So that a book like Then Again, Maybe I Won’t may have fourth reading level. I get letters from angry parents who say, “My child read your book in Accelerated Reader,” and that’s a terrible thing. “He wasn’t ready. He’s reading on a fourth grade level, but he’s only in second grade.” Well, what do I say? I try to explain this and I encourage the parent to go to the school and explain why Accelerated Reader doesn’t work.

 

 

By Readingintheborderlands

Don’t forget! Global Literacy Grants due August 15, 2012!

Worlds of Words is excited to announce the availability of $1000 grants for literacy communities to explore the use of global literature to build international understanding during the 2012-2013 school year. Global literature provides an opportunity for teachers and students to explore understandings about global cultures that go beyond surface information to explore the values and ways of living within those cultures. The current public interest in global education creates a potential space for innovation within K-12 classrooms. Engaging in that innovation within a professional community provides support and challenge through dialogue and shared explorations. The funding for these grants was made possible by the Longview Foundation for Education in World Affairs and International Understanding

Grants are for the time period of September 2012- May/June 2013. Send your proposals to shortk@email.arizona.edu and scorapi@email.arizona.edu.