As I prepare to head off to Maine for the Heinemann Boothbay Literacy Institute tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to post out some of these saved links for your summer reading pleasure.
The first piece I want to share here is a graph of the effect of having books in the home on scores. You all know I am not huge fan of test scores driving instruction, but this is different. Here are test scores being driven by something as simple as having books in the home. Correction: having books in the home is not simple for many of our students. There is no $$$ for the purchase of books. However, I always hope schools will do all they can to place books in the home. My colleague Lois Buckman and I did some of that way back when I was working with undergrad students in YA lit classes and she was a middle school librarian.
We wrote several small grants to obtain books (and later audiobooks) to use in a mentor program between my students and hers. We knew kids did not have many books in their homes, so we could at least make sure they had access through this program. Later, Rosemary Chance and I required our children's lit grad students to do community engagement with the BETH program (Books Entering Texas Homes). We provided the books, and our students selected a family in their school, interviewed the kids, and selected 5-10 books to donate to the family. Sadly, when we went online, this was no longer feasible as the books were all in Huntsville, and our students were scattered throughout Texas and the US as well.
Sorry for the rather lengthy digression. I include it to underscore that many of us are aware of the need to place books in homes. Here, is the chart indicating the effect of doing just that.
Maybe some of you can use this to acquire some funding to put books squarely where they belong.