06 Sep

Our littlest angels are learning to read and write. 

Reading nooks are great for young learners.

Reading nooks are great for young learners.

We are all teachers and learners, together.

In celebration of Labor Day weekend, my goal is motivate and inspire you. Beginning Sept. 8, International Literacy Day, spotlight shines on the development of literacy, U.S. and worldwide. Our hopes and dreams for children everywhere highlight the intense need for literacy.

Individuals and grassroots movements gain momentum. I’ve never been prouder.

According to RIF (Reading Is Fundamental), 65% of fourth graders read at or below basic level in reading. So what we do in the schoolhouse and at home, really matters!

Recently, I have been reading about gifted kids not being challenged to their capabilities because of national standards. The intensely focused, Common Core curriculum and assessment may not be kind to the top scholars. Although, I do believe all children are gifted, in one area or another.

Regardless, basic foundational reading skills must be achieved before we’re going to see a huge shift in reading skill. According to Reading Is Fundamental: (I am repeating this, via my Tweet)

Despite curriculum and assessments designed to upgrade children’s skills, literacy needs are greater than ever. SAT scores continue a downward spiral over the last ten years.

According to a recent article High School and Beyond (Education Week), “Students in the class of 2015 scored an average of 1490 on the SAT- the lowest since the  2400 scale was developed nearly a decade ago.”

The College Board just released news a couple days ago that only 41.9 were college ready. Good news is in the works- a new SAT and ACT developed to better reflect what kids are actually learning should encourage an upward trend.

Solutions are obvious. Teachers are skilled professionals and technology experts. Parents in partnership with schools or teaching at home, makes a seamless perfection.

I believe in a bright future for literacy because we are joining one another in celebrating the joy of reading by modeling, loving to read and raising readers. Unique people and programs are quietly happening, world-wide.

Babies and young children learning to read is the most special joy imaginable. This is where literacy and love of reading starts, right at the beginning.

Keep that same joy of the emerging reader, bursting with book love. Special people encourage this same joy of reading to kids of all ages. There’s the story of the barber, one of my favorites of many inspiring stories about literacy.

Barbara Bush’ Foundation is amazing, and Project Literacy spreads the word about neighborhood projects designed to help kids.

Extraordinary people and programs are getting books to kids in unusual ways, especially those in ”book deserts”, meaning having no access to books.

Here’s another great inspiring lesson of hope for kids.

Be sure to check out my archived blogs, FB page and Twitter @RitaWirtz for more great resources and stories. I’d love to hear from you!

Leaving footprints on your reading hearts, Rita

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