September 19, 2011 |
When Tamia Howard's twin daughters were born premature, at just 28 weeks, she feared they would have learning deficits all their lives. But Trude Haecker, the girls' pediatrician at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, had a suggestion: "Keep reading to them. Read aloud. Read every day," Howard recalled the doctor advising. Now 15, Tiarra and Tamairra Ferguson are high school freshmen - strong students in Philadelphia School District magnet schools, high-achieving girls with a deep affection for reading.
September 16, 2011 |
Reading lays the foundation for everything we do, and I mean everything. The reality is that without being able to read or comprehend, the quality of life folds like a deck of first-grade vocabulary cards. I'm not just saying this because I read and write for a living. (Shout-out to my pragmatic mother who instilled a love of books in me by designating the library as our second home - a free and easy form of entertainment.) Seriously, though, can you imagine being unable to fill out a job application because you can't understand it?
August 31, 2011 |
Exploring the frontiers of newfound freedom, many tweens and teens quickly embrace the raunchy, rude lingo of cyberspace, casually flinging insults, obscenities, and taunts that make chat rooms sound like barrooms. "Foul language is just what is popular," said Rachel Carrasquillo, a junior at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, Calif. "I think half of the stuff people say on Facebook they'd never say face to face. " But now, as kids head back to school, they may find more adults are paying attention.
August 23, 2011
Invincible. Amazing. Unstoppable. When I was a kid, such larger-than-life language sucked me into the world of comic books. They featured ordinary people for the most part, who through a set of bizarre circumstances acquired powers that made them superheroes. The Avenging Angel. The Diabolical Dr. Doom. And my all-time favorite, the Uncanny X-Men. The combination of great illustrations, over-the-top prose, and riveting story lines kept me spending my 25 cents each week for the next cliff-hanger.
July 26, 2011
Linda Katz, the founder and executive director of the Children's Literacy Initiative, will retire Friday after more than two decades. The Center City nonprofit, which Katz founded in 1988, said that Kelly Hunter, director of professional development, would serve as interim executive director while a national search is conducted for Katz's permanent successor. The Children's Literacy Initiative works with teachers in prekindergarten through third grade to help low-income students develop strong reading skills.
May 3, 2011 |
HELEN Wilhelmina Robinson believed so strongly that early education helps to reduce adult illiteracy, she established an award for accomplished third-graders at the schools her children attended. She named the award after her parents, William T. and Mattie B. Robinson, and it went to the most-improved third-grade reader at her childrens' schools. Helen Robinson, retired administrative assistant at the health-and-benefits management firm Towers Perrin Forster & Crosby, and a strong family matriarch and devoted churchwoman, died April 24 of complications of the respiratory ailments she endured most of her adult life.
April 15, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Even a Muppet knows how to get money. "The best way is to earn it, by working at a job!" said Grover, the perpetually 6-year-old monster, during a recent break in filming on the set of "Sesame Street" in New York. "I have a number of jobs myself! I work at Charlie's Restaurant!" he said, referring to one of his recurring skits on the venerable kids' show. Earning money is one of the financial fundamentals focused on in "For Me, for You, for Later," a new project featuring Grover, Elmo, Cookie Monster and their Muppet pals.
March 28, 2011 |
The first child to sit down to read with Prudential analyst Vinina Hawkins at her Dresher office was the tallest first grader Hawkins had ever seen. Then came a stubborn student who called reading a bore, and there was the little actress who read aloud as though she were auditioning. "I would say, 'There's no exclamation point there,' " Hawkins said. "And she would say, 'But there should be. I'm so excited.' " At lunchtime Tuesday, Hawkins was coaching her eighth West Oak Lane Charter School student in eight years - 6-year-old Moriah Taylor.
March 16, 2011 |
The Montgomery Auditorium at the Central branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia was filled to its 378-person capacity Wednesday night to celebrate the culmination of One Book, One Philadelphia with renown storyteller, filmmaker and author Sherman Alexie. About 100 more bookworms watched and listened to the speech on a screen, seated in fold-up chairs in the library's cavernous lobby. "I'm honored to be a part of it," Alexie said. "The incredible number of events-and the diversity of events-no other city does it like this.
December 14, 2010 |
Mayor Nutter on Monday named Judith Renyi as his new $130,000-a-year executive director of the Mayor's Commission on Literacy. The high-level appointment - Renyi until now was dean of the Schools of Graduate and Professional Studies at Rosemont College - is in keeping with Nutter's vow to revamp the commission to boost Philadelphia's "serious literacy crisis," as the mayor puts it. In her new role, Renyi will be the point person for expanding adult-literacy...