How are you?
Thank you for subscribing to the Irby Review and sharing your thoughts with me each month. Here are some interesting articles I read that I think would be of interest to you during these challenging times.
How Students Benefit from a School Reopening Plan Designed for Those at the Margins
Before a typical school year, teachers would gather by grade level and map out lesson plans. But as we all know, 2020-2021 will be anything but ordinary. The author of the article and The Ronald L. Mace Universal Design Institute discuss the challenges schools are facing to meet the needs of all students during distance learning through the concept of “universal design.” A design challenge hosted at UC Berkeley for educators, asked the participants to assume two students are completely mismatched. While adhering to COVID health guidelines, what resources and strategies would be suitable to teach all kids; gifted children, children with disabilities and those whom come from poorer families? The writer tells educators they must reach out to students and families in the “margins” to get their input, find out what they want, and then tap into the teachers’ skills and experiences to develop effective and flexible lessons. I think we can all agree the districts need to be better prepared this school year than they were in 2019/2020. Read More
Dinnertime Storytelling Makes Kids Voracious Readers
Most of us are spending a lot of time at home eating with and cooking for our families. Mealtime with the family is a great opportunity for quality conversations with kids! Years of research from the Home-School Study of Language and Literacy Development have shown children who have regular family dinners, and engage in extensive conversations and storytelling with adults, evolve into strong readers. Children who have sophisticated vocabularies from listening to adults tell an anecdote have an easier time learning to read. Encouraging the young ones to relay their own story and answer open-ended questions builds narrative and reading skills as well. Add some fun staying at home by allowing books to prompt special meals like “Dragons Love Tacos” and “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.” Read More
Young Milwaukee Man Looks to Open Book Store to ‘Ignite’ Black Literacy
22-year old Thomas Leonard of Milwaukee has a goal; open a book store to energize the literacy of Black people in his city. Thomas is temporarily set up in his mother’s salon where he is receiving donations of new and used books. He looks forward to shortly opening up pop-up locations or partnering with non-profit. In addition to encouraging reading, this inspiring young man wants to emphasize the importance of supporting Black owned businesses. Read More
Wake Up, Libraries: Curbside Pickup is NOT the Answer / Reimagining Libraries
Your library was closed due to the pandemic. Your library is now open for only the curbside pickup of books. Can libraries offer more to their neighborhoods? The ”COVID-19 Reimagining Youth Librarians Project”, a small study of 150 librarian staffers, revealed the necessity of resources and pertinent information for local residents during a crisis. Problem: Librarians currently do not know how to find out what the needs are, and how to deliver “goods” and services. Interviews with activists, non-profit managers and others in the study affirm the libraries can be relevant if they were part of a coordinated community effort to:
– Address insecurities- food, housing, racism
– Support formal learning
– Support youth employment- develop job skills
– Encourage activism
– Help access health information
COVID cases continue to climb and racial tensions are high. The authors of the article offer a new and transformative approach to library services requiring a strategic plan that truly focuses on those who need help in the community. Read More
The BLM Movement is Inspiring A Boom in Diverse Children’s Literature
The Cooperative Children’s Book Center released an annual report on the number of children’s and young adult books by and about BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) “Of 3,700 books in 2019, roughly 12 percent were about Black/African characters (the most represented minority group).” The Black Lives Matter Movement has inspired a new awareness and interest in books that reflect experiences of racial minorities. Read More
Please share your thoughts by replying to this email. I’d love to hear your thoughts about any of these articles and how you are coping during the stay at home orders.
Founder & Chief Reading Inspirer
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