Archive for January, 2011

Literacy Website, Event, Billboard Messages: From Highway Traffic to Web Traffic

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

During January, the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven is running alternating billboard messages on Interstate 91 to raise awareness of literacy needs in the region — and how to help.  Look for the billboard on I-91 south, on the left side between exits 9 and 8.  This first month of the year is also National Mentoring Month, an appropriate time to use a highway to highlight literacy. 

The billboard messages and creation of the LiteracyEveryday website were made possible through support from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.  New Haven-based firm Group C Inc. provided professional design services at a discounted rate.

According to analytics software, yesterday marked the 400th “absolute unique visitor” to the site since tracking began August 13 soon after the site’s soft launch last summer.  Those 400 visitors have — over some five months through January 19 — visited 803 times and viewed 2756 pages.  (In the most recent month of December 13 through January 12, the figures were 162 visits from at least 99 unique visitors, and 483 page views.)  The Literacy Coalition’s continuing challenge will be to translate Web traffic to real action: to help its participating organizations to increase awareness, volunteers, and donations on behalf of their work.

Wednesday, February 16 will see the LiteracyEveryday website’s official launch at a Literacy Forum on “21st Century Learning” at the Wilson branch of the New Haven Public Library.  See this site’s home page for more information.   RSVP: info@literacyeveryday.org

Planning for Lifelong Reading

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Donalyn Miller is known as the “Book Whisperer,” with an Education Week blog by that name.  In a December 11 post, she wrote:

“Working to encourage children to read both in and outside of school, I notice that many children haven’t picked up this lifelong reading habit–making reading plans. Adult readers download books to Kindles, reserve books at the library, and pre-order books before their release dates. We pack books for trips and always keep a book in the car or in our bags. We anticipate book emergencies– times when we are stuck somewhere and might need a book. During reading conferences, my students and I discuss their current books, but I often guide students to consider what they might read next. How can their reading experiences and preferences lead them to the next book and the next? When thinking about readers, I see two types of reading plans and I guide students to consider their own reading plans with my questions:

Finding Time to Read: When do you see some downtime to read? Are you traveling during the break? How much time will you spend sitting in the car or at an airport? How can you keep up your daily reading habit over the holiday?  Considering their holiday schedules gives students an opportunity to set realistic reading goals for the break.

Choosing Titles: What books have you been reading? What books have caught your attention that you might like to read next? What are you looking for in your next book? Are you in a reading rut? How can you challenge yourself with your next book? Setting aside titles they want to read, looking back over their reading experiences, and planning to move forward, my students continue to develop their reading lives.  After looking at our holiday schedules and choosing books, my students and I record our reading plans into our notebooks–setting goals and sharing them with each other. Writing down these plans and verbalizing them to each other makes these plans concrete and real for my students. Reading isn’t something we might do during the holidays, we have reading plans!

This is what readers do; we need to read, so we plan for it.”

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