Category: Raising Readers

Children’s Book Awards

BY Meredith Flory The sheer magnitude of what has been published for children throughout the years can be overwhelming to parents or children in a bookstore or library, and book awards can be a helpful tool for finding favorite classics and currents. Perhaps the most famous of these awards is the Caldecott Medal for picture books—an award that’s been presented since 1938 and has gone to such now-beloved children’s classics as Make Way for Duckling, Where the Wild Things Are, The Snowy Day and The Invention of Hugo Cabret, all of which adorn my own children’s bookshelves.   Kim Isminger,...

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Promoting Writing Skills

BY MEREDITH FLORY When coming up with possible ideas for this column, I wanted to make sure that I covered topics other educators and parents wanted more information or encouragement on. One person I was able to brainstorm with was a former colleague, Dr. Morgan Menefee. An educator in Kansas with a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, Morgan has taught students from middle school through college, currently teaching English to grades 8-12 at a rural school.  Last year, I asked Morgan, if there was something she wanted her students’ parents to know, what would it be? And with little...

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Protecting Versus Censoring

BY Meredith Flory Banned Books Week, celebrated the last week of September, is an alliance of organizations tied to literacy, such as the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Library Association, to encourage discussion across our country regarding the problems with censorship and the need for diverse voices and topics in literature.  I was first exposed to this event as a graduate studen, and participated in an event where I read aloud from Bridge to Teribithia, an award-winning children’s book I did not have access to until I was an adult due to the banning of it...

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Raising Well-Spoken Readers

BY Meredith Flory When i was pregnant with my first child, my friend Kylie sent me several articles concerning how we talk with babies, even in the womb. Her mother is an early childhood specialist and had come across research on the importance of talking to little ones as a predictor in education and success. One of these articles, “The Power of Talking to Your Baby,” appeared in the New York Times the same month that I gave birth to my daughter, sharing powerful evidence that the act of talking to infants and small children regularly was a major part...

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Raising Resilient Readers

BY Meredith Flory As a military spouse, I’ve heard the term “resiliency” in reference to resources on post that help soldiers and families develop the skills needed to cope with the challenges of military life. Last year my husband went through the Master Resiliency Training Course in order to learn how to lead other soldiers to resiliency, and he often came home discussing ideas that could be helpful at work and home. One thing that astonished him was the idea of negativity biases—how we react more strongly and quickly to negative things than positive things—and how easily we pass our...

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