Friday, 28 May 2021

Children’s reading news update

hungry caterpillarSo sad that the legendary Eric Carle has died. His wonderful, ground-breaking books have lit up the lives of generations of children all over the world.

It was wonderful to hear Marcus Rashford talking about his belief in the power of books and reading and his mission to get children reading on Channel 4 News last week. I also loved this snippet from a Zoom call between him and Barack Obama, in which they discussed the magic of books. ‘Rather than someone telling me to do this and do that, books allowed me to do it my own way’ said Rashford.

The latest PISA report ’21st Century Readers’ has important and interesting findings, including lots about the need for critical reading skills and the extent to which these are taught and learnt across OECD countries, and about reading gaps relating to gender and to socio-economic background.

New research indicates that children read more challenging books in lockdowns.

‘Literacy by stealth: How video games can make a difference’ is well worth reading.

‘The Benefits of Reading for Fun’ demonstrates the academic impact of reading for pleasure. Making sure students have rich and varied reading diets and can exercise choice are key.

If you haven’t yet come across it yet, do take a looks at this useful Reading for Pleasure padlet.

The new Decade of Diversity initiative is a campaign to advance diversity and inclusion in schools. One of its aims is to ensure 25% diverse literature in schools by 2030.

Finally, a pleasing suggestion in the Guardian: as online social interaction has been found to help protect older people against dementia, reading bedtime stories to grandchildren over Zoom has even more benefits than we knew.