March 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for September 2008

Ed Tech Leaders to McCain, Obama: Make Modern Classrooms a Priority

Four leading education associations have launched a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign urging federal support of education technology. A new 30-second radio PSA will complement One Giant Leap for Kids, a print campaign which urges the Presidential candidates to make K–12 student access to education technology and modern learning environments a top national priority.

The PSAs, which were developed by the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the National Education Association (NEA) and […]

A Killer Story: An Interview with Suzanne Collins, Author of ‘The Hunger Games’ | Under Cover

Suzanne Collins’s ‘The Hunger Games’ has plenty of blood, guts, and heart

Thanks to a cruel futuristic government, 24 children are chosen by lottery to compete in the annual Hunger Games—a fight to the death that’s televised live. How did you come up with that idea?

It’s very much based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, which I read when I was eight years old. I was a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology. As punishment for displeasing Crete, […]

Too Much Information? | Scales on Censorship

Philip Pullman is opposed to putting age recommendations on books

I read that Philip Pullman and many other children’s book creators have taken a strong stance against publishers putting recommended reading ages on book covers. I depend on that information when I’m selecting titles for our library. Why are so many writers and illustrators against it?

Librarians and parents have long depended on publishers’ age-guidance recommendations. It’s helpful information, as […]

Fab Web Sites on the 2008 Presidential Election

The 2008 Presidential race has kids psyched. To help teachers harness the excitement, log on here.

Teachers live for the “teachable moments”—those opportunities to connect their subject content to events taking place beyond the classroom. They can occur spontaneously, lucky occasions to bring the curriculum to life grabbed on the fly. In other instances, a teachable moment looms large. In hundreds of thousands of classrooms nationwide, we will share such an extraordinary opportunity this fall—the 2008 presidential election. While our students […]

It’s Showtime! | First Steps

There’s one preschool program that parents can’t resist

Our colleague Yvonne has two passions—storytelling and young children. Meeting with 20 children twice a week for a month, Yvonne transforms a classroom of children into a theatrical troupe performing such favorites as Swimmy by Leo Lionni and Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin Jr.

During the fun of performing a favorite book, children’s early literacy skills—especially their narrative skills, vocabulary, and print motivation—are strengthened. Yvonne’s teeny tiny theater is the nearly perfect […]

Elections: Getting Out the Vote | Focus On

The 56th U.S. presidential election will be the first one in which both of my children (ages 18 and 20) will vote. Since only three people have held the office in their lifetimes, this will be a momentous occasion for them along with millions of other young voters who will join them at the booths on November 4th. History shows, however, that a large number of eligible voters will not participate, especially the youngest ones. According to the 2008 Statistical […]

Three Spokane Moms Save Their School Libraries

How three women from Spokane saved their school libraries and created an advocacy model for the rest of us

One of the most successful campaigns in the history of libraries actually happened by chance, over an order of tofu pad thai. In May 2007, Lisa Layera Brunkan stopped by a Thai restaurant for lunch on her way back from teaching a yoga class at a nearby Air Force base in Spokane, WA. It was there that she picked up a copy […]

In a League of Their Own | Nonfiction Booktalker

The Negro Leagues raised the bar and broke many barriers

Most kids won’t believe it if you tell them that African Americans were not welcome in major league baseball for much of its history. They’ll think you’ve gotten your facts mixed up. But, of course, you don’t. Booktalks on the not-always-so-wonderful olden days of our country’s national pastime make for an entertaining and educational session.

Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Jump at the Sun, […]

The Link Between Public Libraries and Early Reading Success

Is there a positive relationship between public library services and early reading success?

Storytimes, lap-sit programs, and other services for young children area major part of most public libraries’ missions. And, according to children’s librarians, these services play a significant role in preparing children for success as readers. But is that really true?

Of course it’s true, most readers would respond. Just look at the well-used collections of books, audiobooks, and videos—all chosen to encourage the love of reading—that libraries provide. Or […]

Things Have Gotta Change | Consider the Source

Our understanding of the past keeps changing—and so should kids’ books

I was cleaning up around the house the other day when I came across John Brewer’s review of Boyd Hilton’s A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England 1783–1845 (Oxford University, 2008) in the New York Review of Books. The book, which examines how Britain regained its world prominence after losing its American colonies, sounds fascinating, but what really caught my interest was the news that Hilton’s work is part of […]

Connecting with Teens | The Gaming Life

Professional reading for librarians and teachers

Today’s youth are technologically savvy, and many are avid video gamers. These recently published books are great professional development tools. They offer a broad look at video gaming and provide important insight into teen culture. Librarians and teachers interested in incorporating video games into their programs and lesson plans will find a treasure trove of information, and don’t be surprised if your high school students ask to borrow these titles.


How to Win Over a Reluctant Reader