Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers

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Reading Rockets: Launching Young Readers
Writing and Spelling
Literacy Launchers
Roots of Reading Roots of Reading
Sounds and Symbols Sounds and Symbols
Fluent Reading Fluent Reading
Writing and Spelling Writing and Spelling
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Becoming Bilingual
Reading and the Brain
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Toddling Toward Reading Toddling Toward Reading

One way to motivate students to write is to give them a purpose for doing so. For many kids, pen pals – especially e-pals – are just the excuse they need to write without feeling like they have to. If you're Internet savvy and willing to set up and monitor such a project, e-pals give students a lot of experience organizing and writing their thoughts, using the computer, and building friendships along the way.

This "Literacy Launcher" idea is just one of the basic, straightforward ways you can promote literacy and make a difference in your community.

Today's pen pals can be e-pals
Pen pals can be organized between students in classes located across the hall, across town, or across the world. It's up to the coordinator of an e-pal project to suggest topics of discussion, to explain what is safe and appropriate to write about, to monitor the messages, and to help make communication across cultures a little easier. You don't have to set up the process from scratch – the website, for example, offers a safe way for classes to write to each other.

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Maybe you have other ideas for how to encourage reading in your community. If so, send them to

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