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Share a Story - Shape a Future 2010: A Blog Tour for Literacy

Posted by Jen Robinson on March 15, 2010 at 6:00 AM in Literacy News
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It_takes_a_village_2.jpgAs Pam mentioned on Thursday, the Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour was held last week. Share a Story is an annual celebration of literacy and reading - a cross-blog forum for idea-sharing and community-building. Share a Story was founded last year by Booklights contributor Terry Doherty. This year's theme was "It Takes a Village to Raise a Reader". [Image created by Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook, at]

I hardly know where to begin telling you about this year's celebration. There were amazing giveaways (such as two sets of RIF's collection of 50 multicultural books), interesting daily writing prompts (to allow a wide range of people to participate), and contributed posts on topics ranging from The Many Faces of Reading to Creative Literacy to Nonfiction to Reading through the Ages. I hosted Day 5, Reading for the Next Generation, with a dozen parent-friendly articles from reading advocates from around the Kidlitosphere.

Here's a quick tour through the posts from Share a Story that I thought would be of the greatest interest to Booklights readers (though of course every post is worth a look, if you have the time):

Terry_readingtubfinal_1.jpgStarting on Day 1 (hosted by Terry Doherty), The Many Faces of Reading, Lee Wind shares Dads! The 3 Secrets to Reading with your Daughters at I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell do I Read. He talks about overcoming one's aversion to "Sparkle-Fairy-Pixie-Dust-Pink-Glitter" books, coping with the child's desire for repeat readings, and treating reading together as a shared experience. Great stuff, well worth a read for Dads or Moms. Also on Day 1, Dad Greg Pincus from Gotta Book has a lovely post about how sharing stories together is the gift that lasts a lifetime.

Still focusing on The Many Faces of Reading, we return to the topic of "social reading". Back last summer, I did a couple of posts here at Booklights about the power of social reading (here and here), wherein kids spark each other's enthusiasm for reading. Those posts were inspired by discussions from Sarah Mulhern at The Reading Zone. Last week, Sarah presented more detail on her thoughts and experiences with social reading, including some specific tactics for capturing social reading in the classroom.

BookChookLogo.jpgHeading on over to Day 2, Literacy My Way (hosted by Susan Stephenson) we find a post from Joyce Grant at Getting Kids Reading with tips on getting active kids reading. There's also a fun post by Danielle Smith of There's a Book about using activity and sticker books to promote literacy, and another from Jen Funk Weber of Needle and ThREAD about using math, word and logic puzzles to engage young readers. And, in a useful, tip-filled post, Amy Mascott of teachmama shares some clever ways to sneak literacy learning into your children's daily routines.

it-takes-a-village-pink.jpgDay 3, The Nonfiction Book Hook (hosted by Sarah Mulhern) includes a host of recommendations for using nonfiction to reach readers who might not be as interested in fiction. Many of the posts include book recommendations. There's also an interesting article from Dawn Little at Literacy Toolbox about doing "real world reading" with preschoolers, as well as some tips from Natasha Maw at Maw Books about selecting nonfiction for early readers. [Image created by Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook, at]

ShareAStoryLogo-color.jpgDay 4, Reading through the Ages (hosted by Donalyn Miller), talks about balancing old classics and new favorites on the quest to hook today's kids on reading. Donalyn's contributors ask readers to share favorite childhood books, and favorite first lines from books, as well as suggesting new titles and new methods for reading with today's kids. For those looking for book recommendations, Tess Alfonsin, offers classic and contemporary favorites at The Reading Countess, while The Goddess of YA Literature, Teri Lesesne, suggests several new titles for tweens that have classic themes. [Image created by Elizabeth Dulemba for Share a Story - Shape a Future]

jkrROUNDUP.jpgNow we come to Day 5, Reading for the Next Generation. For this part of Share a Story, I sought posts about the disconnects that can arise between parents and kids on the way to growing young bookworms. My contributors tackled practical issues like what to do when you struggle with reading to your kids, or you have trouble finding time for reading, or you feel silly reading animal sounds aloud, or your kids are obsessed with videogames or Princess books. Our collective goal was not to tell anyone what they "should" do. Rather, we wanted to provide some concrete help for parents and teachers looking to encourage young readers, but struggling with particular issues.

Really, I think that all of the posts from Day 5 should be of interest to Booklights readers, and I hope that you'll click through to see the full list. But, if you read nothing else, I do want to direct you to MotherReader's post, in which she asks moms to give themselves permission to sometimes find reading with your kids ... less than stimulating, and Esme Raji Codell's entertaining piece about ways to keep older kids engaged in family read-aloud time.

We also had a particular focus during Day 5 on a topic that's been addressed before here at Booklights - letting kids read the books that they enjoy, instead of pushing them towards ever-more-advanced titles. This important topic was discussed in different ways by Dawn Little, Melissa from Book Nut, Mary Lee Hahn, and Kate Messner. All of us here at Booklights feel that the key to reading kids who love books lies in making reading an enjoyable experience for them. All of these posts offer help with that.

Thanks for checking out my quick tour of Share a Story - Shape a Future 2010. I hope that you found some useful links, and discovered some kindred spirits.


Terry Doherty writes...

Wow, Jen! You've nailed it all. When you put it all together it really does take your breath away ... in a good way!!

Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

Thanks, Terry! It was certainly quite a week!

amy @teachmama writes...

WOW, Jen!! You put together an incredibly concise post on a week filled with wonderful ideas, great articles, and helpful resources.


Jen RobinsonAuthor Profile Page writes...

Thanks for the feedback, Amy! I hope people find it useful - there was so much excellent material out there last week - I just want people to be able to find it.

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