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Posts tagged literacy

UK National Literacy Trust appoints Frank Lampard as reading ambassador
January 25, 2015 | 2:48 pm

UK NGO the National Literacy Trust has appointed Frank Lampard, star footballer and currently mid-fielder for Manchester City Football Club, as a new ambassador for the Trust, "supporting our ongoing work to raise the profile of literacy in the UK and motivate disadvantaged children to read – an ambition he shares in his work as an author." Lampard said: "I am delighted to take up the role as an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and help to further their work in supporting disadvantaged children across the UK to discover the joy of reading and develop their literacy skills. Reading should be a...

Lib Dems make late, paltry promise to tackle UK’s obscene illiteracy levels
January 20, 2015 | 10:25 am

Clegg The UK Liberal Democrats, coalition partner and fellow-traveler with the current Conservative-led government, have made a public commitment "to end child illiteracy by 2025," according to a weekend announcement by party leader Nick Clegg. "The plans mean that every child born in 2014, who will leave primary school in 2025 will be able to read and write at a standard identified to lead to success in secondary school and beyond," the announcement claims. "Unlike the Conservatives and Labour, the Liberal Democrats have a clear plan to protect the education budget from cradle to college." There's already considerable skepticism abroad over the details, the...

Iceland celebrates the most bookish Christmas going with Jólabókaflóð
December 24, 2014 | 4:25 pm

For yet another year, Iceland is on track to cement its reputation for being the most literary society in Scandinavia's already hugely literate constellation of nations and peoples, with Jólabókaflóð. That, when you've finished trying to wrap your tongue, or even your eyes, around it, is Iceland's annual "Christmas book flood," when Icelandic publishers release a tsunami of new publications onto the local market in time for Christmas. This can make for what sounds like the perfect Christmas for book lovers and writers elsewhere. According to one source, "the book is still the most popular Christmas present in Iceland,” and Publishing Perspectives...

Library A to Z shows how to crowdfund library advocacy
November 21, 2014 | 2:25 pm

One of the more heartening initiatives by advocates of the UK's library system in the face of devastating - and ideologically dictated - "austerity" cuts, is the Library A to Z, which "has created a visual A to Z celebrating the wide range of services, resources and facilities that make libraries so fantastic." The site contains: "materials, including illustrations, book, posters, cards and other advocacy materials that you are free to share and re-use,"as well as "links and information about what you can do to support libraries." But its own story is almost as important and encouraging as the resources...

James Patterson wants Amazon to do more to promote reading
November 20, 2014 | 7:16 am

Salon Magazine has an interview with bestselling author and literary franchise James Patterson that is refreshingly free of the anti-Amazon rhetoric that has characterized both institutions of late. At least they’re not currently trashing Amazon for what it’s doing. They’re complaining about what Amazon ought to be doing but isn’t. And I can’t say that I necessarily disagree. Patterson is planning to launch a new public awareness campaign to encourage reading, following on the heels of his $1 million in grants to bookstores. The campaign will include a TV ad featuring a public book-burning (a bit of a cliché,...

Russell Brand to give Reading Agency lecture
October 14, 2014 | 10:25 am

The ever-more-serious UK comedian Russell Brand will deliver this year's Reading Agency lecture, "'a manifesto on reading" and the third lecture since the inception of the series in 2012, as well as the first one to be open to ticket-holding members of the public. "The Reading Agency lecture is a fundraising event, proceeds from which support the charities' core mission, to get and keep the nation reading," as The Reading Agency's materials declare. Previous speakers in the series were Jeanette Winterson and Neil Gaiman, who gave a highly praised talk also on the importance of reading. Brand couched the theme of...

Canada’s National Reading Campaign shows reading is good for your … body?
October 10, 2014 | 12:30 pm

infographic-reading-saves-lives Canada's National Reading Campaign has partnered with CBC to pull together an infographic to show the bodily benefits of reading, as if improving your mind wasn't reason enough. For most, I'm sure that point is obvious enough, but it's good to see - literally - graphic proof that a healthy mind means a healthy body - as well, apparently, as a healthier mindset and more socially responsible attitude....

How cell phone book clubs could help get young people reading and change their lives
September 10, 2014 | 2:25 pm

BertelKingNote: Although David Rothman posted the article, he says the author is really Bertel King, Jr., SF/fantasy novelist and a journalist. Read about Bertel at the end of his cogent essay. Go here to learn how to start your own cell phone book club. Also check out related essays here and here. In 2008, I graduated from Southampton High School, which did an admirable job of preparing me for college. I say “admirable” because at the time I had no idea just how disadvantaged my county was compared to the wealthy suburban schools of Northern Virginia and Richmond that populate most...

Karen Brodie joins UK Reading Agency
August 9, 2014 | 10:33 am

According to a press release, Karen Brodie, a former British Council senior official in the field of arts and literature, has just joined the UK literacy charity The Reading Agency as its new new head of publisher partnerships. The Reading Agency states that Brodie began her professional career in the rights departments of Harper Collins and Penguin before joining the civil service, where "for the last five years, she has lead strategic programmes and partnerships for the Iran team at the British Council and she has recently returned from a two-year posting in Istanbul as head of arts." At The Reading Agency,...

The roots of English stupidity
July 28, 2014 | 2:25 pm

dunce.jpgThe roots of English anti-intellectualism and willful ignorance are long, deep, and twisted. The consequences you can see all over, in terms of literacy levels, reading habits, social order, and even prison numbers, and many other metrics that TeleRead tracks, but the causes are buried in the English past. Just every so often, however, it helps to lay them bare to explain just what the hell is going on in England, and what kind of hope, if any, there is for the country. The odd thing is that most Protestant countries outside the Anglo-Saxon sphere are renowned for their high standards...

Cell phone book clubs: A new way for libraries to promote literacy, technology, family and community
July 17, 2014 | 12:25 pm

textgirl2A friend of mine in his 40s is about to start teaching in Houston, Texas, and he recently shared a discovery. Many teenagers in Houston tote cell phones, but don’t know they can read library e-books for free on their phones. This would jibe with a 2012 poll showing similar ignorance among Americans at large. A bigger issue also comes up. Just how much do young people care about books in the first place? Americans 15-19 spend only about four minutes reading for fun on a typical weekend day. Too bad. Students who love books are more likely to excel in school....

UK rejoices as Gove goes
July 15, 2014 | 4:22 pm

mr-gove-cover Good news for UK teachers, pupils, readers - and incidentally, fans of American literature. Michael Gove, the much-despised UK Education Secretary dismissed by Professor Simon Schama at last year's Hay Festival for his "insulting, offensive" attitudes, and by author Patrick Ness as "appalling, ignorant and damaging" and "massive, arrogant egotist who can’t see anyone else’s opinion,"  has been moved to a new post as Chief Whip, in charge of internal discipline for the UK Conservative Party in the House of Commons, as part of a cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister David Cameron. According to David Cameron's official Twitter feed, "Michael Gove...