Share a Story - Shape a Future: Blogging for the Next Generation of Readers
Children's book bloggers are so passionate about literacy, they have created an international event to promote it. Share a Story Shape a Future is a week filled with discussions and ideas on ways to promote sharing stories with kids. The bloggers hope that this online celebration will encourage families to spend more time reading with their children and to work in their communities to help readers in need. This year's event will be held 9 to 13 March 2009.
February 25, 2009 (FPRC) -- We aren't born readers. We learn to read. Like many other skills shooting basketball, playing piano it takes practice. Reading is the foundation for all other learning, and it takes years of practice. Unfortunately, children in our communities don't always get the help they need to be successful readers.
The online community of children's book bloggers librarians, teachers, authors, illustrators, and literacy advocates believes that we can do more to help each other build a community of readers. Share a Story Shape a Future is their grassroots effort to promote reading.
Share a Story Shape a Future is a week-long event where people who believe in the power of reading will blog about their ideas. Their goal is to offer tons of practical advice about reading that is free of statistics and educational jargon. We don't want to point fingers and tell people they have to read. Our purpose is to offer ideas on ways reading can be part of their everyday experience, says Terry Doherty, one of the event organizers.
From March 9 to 13, 2009, blogging librarians, teachers, parents, authors, illustrators, and other people passionate about literacy will be writing about different aspects of reading. Each day has its own theme, with a host blogger and several guests. Here's the schedule:
Monday, 9 March: Raising Readers. Host Terry Doherty will cover the topics of finding time at home, making time in t he classroom, helping a reader in need (remedial readers), building strong readers, and keeping gifted readers engages. Her guests include Cathy Miller, The Literacy Ambassador and Education World columnist; Donalyn Miller, a 6th grade language arts teacher and author of The Book Whisperer column for Teacher Magazine; Sandra Stiles, a remedial reading teacher; and Tricia Stohr-Hunt, a teacher, Mom, and author of The Miss Rumphius Effect blog.
Tuesday, 10 March: Selecting Reading Material. Host Sarah Mulhern, a middle school language arts teacher and author of The Reading Zone blog. Guests include Valerie Baertz of The Almost Librarian blog; Anastasia Suen, author, teacher, and literacy consultant; and author/teacher Mary Lee Hahn, one of the co-authors of A Year of Reading blog. Mary Lee will be posting on the Stenhouse Publishers blog.
Wednesday, 11 March: Reading Aloud: It's Fun It's Easy. Host Susan Stephenson will blog on Book Chook blog about the importance of reading aloud. She'll have tips from award-winning author Mem Fox; interviews with Sarah Mulhern about reading aloud stage fright and technology; reading from a dad's perspective with Brian and Steven, authors of the Book Dads blog; author Aimee Buckner talking about moving beyond just the book; and teacher and author Donalyn Miller talking about reading aloud with older readers.
Thursday, 12 March: Eva Metnick, a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library, will host A Visit to the Library. She'll cover all aspects of using the library, from storytimes for younger readers to the multimedia content for independent readers. Guests include children's librarian Elizabeth Bird of the Children's Center, New York Public Library system and author of A Fuse #8 Production blog, hosted by the School Library Journal; librarian-turned-mom Julie Danielson (aka Jules), co-author of the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast; children's librarian Adrienne Furness of the Webster Public Library, New York; and Melissa, who blogs at Librarian by Day and A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy.
Friday, 13 March: Author and illustrator Elizabeth O. Dulemba will host discussions about reading, technology, and what the future holds. Bruce Coville of Full Cast Audio and Mary Burkey Audiobooker will talk about audio books; Harold Underdown of The Purple Crayon and Sheila Ruth of Hornbook will discuss eBooks; and Andrea Ross of Just One More Book! and author Cheryl Rainfield will talk about podcasts.
The organizers also have several giveaways planned, including a number of books related to reading. There will also be lots of free, downloadable content that includes ideas for making bookmarks and templates; links to book lists, children's book reviewers, and resources for selecting material; and tips for reading with kids and getting involved with your community.
Share a Story Shape a Future is an opportunity to share ideas, encourage each other, and spread the word about children's literacy. Ultimately, the organizers hope that participants and visitors will become more active in creating and strengthening the reading skills of children in their communities. Those of us who write, illustrate, and blog about children's books already have a passion for reading. says Terry Doherty, one of the event's organizers. We hope that this event motivates people to become models within their own communities on the importance of reading. There is so much we can do to reach caregivers and make a real difference in children's lives.
To learn more about Share a Story Shape a Future 2009, visit http://www.shareastory-shapeafuture.blogspot.com.
Send an email to Terry Doherty of The Reading Tub, Inc.