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Two Great Resources on Literacy
May 30, 2002

"The day I did not sweep the house, there came to it one I did not expect." —Spanish proverb


President George Bush, Jr. is promoting a campaign to increase the literacy of America's children. A variety of approaches to increasing the reading skills of children are being promoted with the debate raging on the appropriate strategies to achieving this end. Two excellent books shed light on this debate:

Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley. Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., 1995. www.brookespublishing.com. Examining the daily lives of 1- and 2-year old children in typical American families, the authors found staggering contrasts at the extremes of advantage -- and within the middle class -- in the amount of interaction between parents and children. These differences in early family experiences translate into striking disparities in the children's later vocabulary growth rate, vocabulary use, and IQ test scores -- critical measures of an individual's ability to succeed at school and in the workplace.

Catherine E. Snow, M. Susan Burns, and Peg Griffin, Editors. Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1998. www.nap.edu. This book draws upon the expertise of psychologists, neurologists, and educators to establish clear recommendations on several prominent educational controversies. It explores in detail how to foster literacy from birth through kindergarten and the primary grades, including the evaluation of philosophies, systems, and materials commonly used to teach reading.

If you are interested in buying multiple subscriptions to Child Care Information Exchange or multiple copies of Exchange books, at discounted prices, check out the Group Sales Program at www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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