The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with a warning not just for low-income parents but also the well-off variety. Read to your young child daily, given the serious academic risks of not doing so.
Just three-fifths of the children of parents with incomes 400 percent above the poverty level benefit this way. The statistic for families below the poverty line is only 34 percent. Among other things, the AAP urges parents to hang up “posters that promote reading.” That, of course, could apply to kids of all ages, especially in the era of electronic books.
Ideally the AAP can also call major attention to apps such as Screen Time Parental Control. Parents can limit children’s access to YouTube and the rest while letting them spend as much time as they want on e-reading. Not all “screen time” is the same.
Another strategy is to give your child an E Ink device or other book-oriented gizmo that is not great for, say, Facebook. The grandson of Kindle Chronicles host Len Edgerly owns, yes, a Kindle (photo used from the show’s Web site with permission).
In a segment that starts 15 minutes and 56 seconds into last week’s podcast (stream here, download here), you can hear eight-year-old James interviewing Edgerly and talking up the benefits of e-reading on the Paperwhite he received for Christmas. He is deep into highlighting and word look-ups and other glories of E, along with the Horrid Henry series.
James’s mother, Sarah—I don’t know what her last name is—uses the Kindle’s FreeTime capability to restrict James to mom-approved titles.
Next Sarah weights in with her experiences. She works as a literacy coach and reading specialist in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school system. Her students are not James’s age, but she consulted with teacher friends to find books for him to read. Still ahead: trying out library e-books. Meanwhile Sarah reports that James reads as quickly and happily off the Kindle as off paper books, which he still enjoys. There was some adjustment time, but that’s past now.
Related: Meg Griswold, a Tennessee English teacher, tells Edgerly how she uses e-books and social media to enrich her lessons. Also see her blog, and check out Miles Young’s just-published TeleRead article on the pros and cons of e-books for children.
Housekeeping: The LibraryCity post on the use of tablets at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, will appear later this week, complete with a library angle. And next week LibraryCity will run a detailed proposal for library-organized “cell phone book clubs” to foster literacy, technology, family and community.
- With so many U.S. kids in poverty, a national digital library and hardware program could be a godsend for children’s e-book publishers
- Survey shows young people’s fast-growing interest in e-books
- More ammunition for a national digital library system playing up early childhood education and a family literacy approach? Thanks, Messrs. Kristof and Friedman!
- The wealth gap: A tale of two school libraries
- An e-smart family literacy approach for Rockford, Illinois? Back to the future?