From the category archives:

Reading for Life

Reading for Life: Boys and Books

by Rhonda H. Lauer November 10, 2010
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For years, one of the biggest gender-gap issues in education concerned girls and STEM—the educator’s acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. Boys seemed to have an advantage over girls in these fields. Fortunately that’s changing, but now we have another gender-gap issue, and this time it’s the boys who are coming up short.

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Reading for Life: The Poverty/Illiteracy Connection

by Rhonda H. Lauer October 20, 2010
Reading for Life: The Poverty/Illiteracy Connection

According to recent US Census Bureau reports, more than 20% of children under 18 years of age live in poverty, the highest child-poverty rate in 15 years. That’s 15.5 million children.

Unfortunately, poverty and illiteracy are closely connected. Nationally, 1st graders from low-income families have 50% smaller vocabularies than their peers from higher income families. Before they even enter school, children living in poverty face a host of challenges that their wealthier peers do not: food and housing insecurity, poor health care and unsafe environments, limited exposure to books and language.

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Reading for Life: A Multidisciplinary Approach

by Rhonda H. Lauer September 22, 2010
Reading for Life: A Multidisciplinary Approach

Through my work with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections initiative, I hear many wonderful stories about children who are making great progress with reading. Recently, I learned about a little girl at one of the sites, a rising second-grader named Fernanda. This year, Fernanda attended her school’s summer learning camp and received extensive literacy intervention.

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English Language Learning, Afterschool Style

by Rhonda H. Lauer August 25, 2010
Rhonda H Lauer

Enormous opportunities exist for literacy development in afterschool time. A similar opportunity exists in afterschool time to develop language skills in English Language Learners (ELLs). Here in Philadelphia, Superintendent Arlene Ackerman has a reform plan, Imagine 2014 that is intended to dramatically improve the quality of education for all students in Philadelphia.

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Reading for Life: Literacy and Extended Learning

by Rhonda H. Lauer July 21, 2010
Rhonda H Lauer

Our kids can’t read. Across the country teachers, parents, employers, and policy makers agree that our kids are drastically unequipped with the literacy skills they need to succeed in higher education and the workplace. The school day is not long enough to develop many key literacy skills – including forging a deep connection to and love of the written word – our kids need. Nor is the day long enough to help struggling readers catch-up to their peers. Extending the traditional school day is not the answer. By the time the bell rings at 3:30, kids need something that looks very different from the school day.

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Reading for Life: Investing in Adolescent Literacy

by Rhonda H. Lauer June 23, 2010

Why is early literacy so important? (1) Half of the children in this country do not read on grade level, even though we know that 95% of them can, given proper instruction and support. (2) 73% of children who enter fourth grade with first- or second-grade reading skills never catch up.

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