Teaching reading isn't just about the words on the page, but also the pleasure of books. Authors speaking at Bear Pond have all talked about the link between love of reading and love of learning - starting with the earliest picture books.
But what happens when that spark doesn't take? Or when interest in reading wanes over time - sometimes dramatically? The number of hours spent on pleasure reading declines generally as kids grow older and declines significantly more for boys than girls (see our 2014 Preview post for articles on this trend).
Pleasure reading isn't simply a nice idea. New studies are showing its importance, including one this fall that found pleasure reading to be a significant predictor of school performance, even more so than parents' level of education, as reported in the CLiF blog. As we've heard from earlier Bear Pond speakers, the curiosity to explore the books and stories around us is the same sort of curiosity to research history or experiment with science or play with numbers in math.
Our guests on January 18th will lead a discussion about how to engage
boys who are reluctant readers in trying more books, and expanding the
range and complexity of their reading. Dan Greene is the U-32 high
school librarian and Duncan McDougall is the Executive Director of the
Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF). Their ideas and strategies come
from years of working directly with children and teens in Vermont.
There are lots of possibilities to connect kids with reading for enjoyment. There's the art of choosing the right books for a particular reader's interest. There's putting stories in a larger context beyond the book and giving readers hands-on experiences to tie to what's on the page, as described in this CliF post on Reptiles, Mushers and a Gecko Named Lizzie. There's also the question of how adults talk about reading - for great insight on that topic from a younger reader, check out the CLiF column Close to the Source by Nina Cavender (particularly her post "How To Keep Pleasure Reading From Feeling Like Homework")
On January 18th we'll share lots of other tips, book recommendations, and lessons learned - so come out to the store at 11:00 am to hear what others have to say and add your own recommendations. This discussion will be useful to educators and parents. As always, it's free, open to the public and comes with a snack. There will be a 20% discount on books purchased at the event.
For more articles on this subject, check out our 2014 Preview post.
This talk is part of a yearlong series of author-educator talks at Bear Pond Books - see the full schedule here. Certificates are available for educators who can use these workshops as part of continuing education credits.
JANUARY 16TH EVENT: It's not part of our educators series specifically, but it's still exciting - young adult author A.S. King is coming to the store at 6:00 pm on January 16th. Read more about it under the Bear Pond Books events page.