Posts Tagged ‘ reading ’

Only 1 in 3 Parents Reads with Children Every Night, Survey Finds

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Though 87 percent of parents say they read bedtime stories with their children, only one out of every three children reads with a parent every night, according to a new survey conducted by the non-profit organization Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and the retail store Macy’s.  The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Interactive, found that 50 percent of parents say their children spend more time with TV or video games than with books.  More than 1,000 families from across the country completed the survey.

The survey’s release coincides with a partnership between Macy’s and RIF to donate books to local communities.  Starting June 21 and ending July 21, customers at Macy’s can donate $3 to deliver a book to a local child. In exchange, customers will receive a coupon for $10 off an in-store purchase of $50 or more. Last year, the fundraiser helped deliver 1.6 million books to children who did not otherwise have access to books.

“Bedtime stories build the foundation for future achievement. For a decade, Macy’s and RIF have worked together to get books and literacy resources to children in need, giving children and parents tools they need to dream big,” said Carol H. Rasco, president and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental in a statement. “While much news in this survey is encouraging, there is more work to be done – work that Be Book Smart and our partnership with Macy’s will help make possible.”

Image: Bedtime story, via Shutterstock

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Boys’ Classroom Misbehavior May Hurt Grades

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Boys who act out or otherwise misbehave in their school classrooms may actually be doing themselves an academic disservice, a new study published in The Journal of Human Resources suggests.  The study found that in many classrooms, boys earned lower grades than their standardized test scores would have predicted, because their teachers hold their behavior against them.  More from NBC News:

According to the study, disruptive behavior may indeed be working against the wiggle worms of the world.

[Study co-author Jessica] Van Parys and co-researchers analyzed data from the National Center for Education Statistics involving about 6,000 mostly white, black and Hispanic students from around the country who were followed from kindergarten through fifth grade, starting in the 1998-1999 school year.

Students were given tests in reading, math and science, while teachers also rated students’ abilities in all three areas, as well as rated them on classroom behaviors. The study found that when assessing kids’ academic abilities, the teachers factored in their classroom behaviors.

This ultimately helped the girls and hurt boys. The girls scored about 15 percent higher in behavior (also called ”non-cognitive skills”), which meant they earned better grades than boys, even though they didn’t score as high on the tests.

“Our point is that teachers take into account other factors, either consciously or unconsciously, when they rate the child’s ability on all kinds of subject areas,” Van Parys said. “It’s hard for teachers to be completely objective when they’re giving an assessment.”

Image: Boy in school, via Shutterstock

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FTC Accuses “Your Baby Can Read!” of Deceptive Ads

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

It always seemed too good to be true. And now the Federal Trade Commission has filed a complaint against the man who created the “Your Baby Can Read!” program, accusing him of false and deceptive advertising.

Promoted in infomercials and on the Internet, the program was said to help babies as young as nine months old learn to read with videos, flash cards, and pop-up books.

The FTC filed the complaint against Robert Titzer, the product’s creator, as well as the company, Your Baby Can, and Hugh Penton, Jr., who served as president and chief executive officer of the company until March 2010. Both the company and Penton agreed to settle with the FTC.

The defendants began selling their program to parents and grandparents around January 2008, charging about $200 and taking in more than $185 million, the complaint says. In one infomercial for the product, a two-year-old girl is shown reading from the book “Charlotte’s Web.”

From the Associated Press:

The company, based in Carlsbad, Calif., announced earlier this year that it was going out of business. It cited the high cost of fighting complaints alleging that its ads were false.

Titzer, an educator with a doctorate in human performance from Indiana University, developed the program and appeared in many of the ads promoting the Your Baby Can Read videos and program. He was billed as a “recognized expert in infant learning.”

The FTC says he and the company did studies to back up the claims. But the agency says those studies were flawed.


Image: “Your Baby Can Read!” via The Miami Herald.

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Boy Survives Wilderness Ordeal, Cites Book Series as Inspiration

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Thirteen-year-old William Hickman is “lucky to be alive” after a harrowing incident in which he was stranded by a waterfall in Washington state.  Hickman cites the “Pendragon” series of fantasy books as having taught him the skills he needed to scramble to safety, as reports:

Hickman was hiking Saturday with his father, 9-year-old brother and friends above Wallace Middle Falls, near the town of Gold Bar about 45 miles northeast of Seattle. He wanted to cool off.

“I wanted to go in … just to wade a little bit,” Hickman said at a Monday news conference, where he was joined by the people who staged a dramatic, middle-of the night operation.

But he slipped and the whitewater swept him over a 10-foot drop into a deep pool above the waterfall.

In the water, the teen quickly thought of advice from a fantasy-novel character Bobby Pendragon of the Pendragon Adventure books by D.J. MacHale: “Go feet first, stay to the sides and kick off the rocks,” the Seattle Times reported.

He managed to scramble onto a narrow rock shelf just before the main falls.

He stayed there, cold and wet, for the next eight and a half hours, Hickman and rescuers said. His father shouted encouragement, telling him he was going to be OK. Rescue crews later tossed him blankets, energy bars and fruit snacks.

Image: Waterfall, via Shutterstock.

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Parents Avoiding E-Books for Young Children

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Parents are putting down the tablets, smartphones, and other e-readers when it’s time to read to their kids, The New York Times is reporting.  The article reveals that even parents who are loyal device readers themselves turn to old-fashioned “dead-tree” books at storytime:

This is the case even with parents who themselves are die-hard downloaders of books onto Kindles, iPads, laptops and phones. They freely acknowledge their digital double standard, saying they want their children to be surrounded by print books, to experience turning physical pages as they learn about shapes, colors and animals.

Parents also say they like cuddling up with their child and a book, and fear that a shiny gadget might get all the attention. Also, if little Joey is going to spit up, a book may be easier to clean than a tablet computer.

“It’s intimacy, the intimacy of reading and touching the world. It’s the wonderment of her reaching for a page with me,” said Leslie Van Every, 41, a loyal Kindle user in San Francisco whose husband, Eric, reads on his iPhone. But for their 2 1/2-year-old daughter, Georgia, dead-tree books, stacked and strewn around the house, are the lone option.

“She reads only print books,” Ms. Van Every said, adding with a laugh that she works for a digital company, CBS Interactive. “Oh, the shame.”

Image: Parents reading to child, via Shutterstock.

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