Hey Library Lovers, this Month is for You!

Library Lover's Month, Library, Books, Research

While the Internet has given us faster access to our queries, do you still visit your local library? Throughout the month of February, we are observing Library Lover’s Month. This vintage poster made by the Illinois WPA Art Project Chicago highlights the source of the art of continued learning. “For greater knowledge on more subjects use your library often!”

Don’t forget about those great research institutions that are free to access and where we still find a bounty of books on every subject imaginable. Many of us still remain card-carrying members of our local library. Check out a public library near you!

Happy #LibraryLoversMonth

Advertisements

The Art Of Handwriting Cannot Die!

Handwriting, Writing, National Handwriting Day, From Behind the Pen

I still love the stroke of a pen or pencil dancing on the canvas of paper like an ice-skater dances in whirls and swirls atop a layer of ice. Handwriting, a calling card to one’s individuality and creativity, seems to be a vanishing art these days. As an advocate of penmanship, we cannot allow artificial intelligence to be a substitute for the foundation of our basic learning, skills-oriented educational programs. Writing, one of the functional skills of literacy represents language and emotion depicted through inscriptions of signs and symbols. It complements speech or spoken language.

Today, as we celebrate National Handwriting Day, let us be reminded of the variety and historical nuances of writing systems that express the creation of textual or written information for communication. Graphology, the analysis of the characteristics and patterns of handwriting identify many personality characteristics and psychological traits of an individual. While some skeptics may argue that graphology is simply pseudoscience, there is a seductive appeal to this study and practice of handwriting analytics.

Happy National Handwriting Day during National Handwriting Month!

What are You Reading during National Reading Month?

Reading, Literacy, National Reading Month

Image credit: comfortandchaos.com

March celebrates National Reading Month. Reading is a complex cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning (reading comprehension). Reading is a means of language acquisition, of communication, and of sharing information and ideas. The field of visual word recognition studies how people read individual words. A key technique in studying how individuals read text is eye tracking.

Research findings outlined in a recent report of the National Early Literacy Panel, highlight the fact that literacy skills begin to develop at birth. Literacy is the ability to use the symbols of a writing system, interpret what the information symbols represent, and to be able to re-create those same symbols so that others can derive the same meaning. Illiteracy is not having the ability to derive meaning from the symbols used in a writing system. Dyslexia refers to a cognitive difficulty with reading and writing. It is defined as a brain-based type of learning disability that specifically impairs a person’s ability to read.

Get some good reads into your daily schedule. For more information on reading programs, check out www.nea.org. In the meantime, take your reading up a notch during National Reading Month!

 

Today is International Literacy Day

UNESCO, International Literacy Day, Fighting Global IlliteracyAs we celebrate International Literacy Day, during National Literacy Month, we were pleased to learn that Boston became the first city to designate an official literary cultural district in the United States. According to the guidelines of the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC), the cultural districts established within Massachusetts are defined as a “specific geographical area in a city or town that has a concentration of cultural facilities, activities, and assets. It is a walkable, compact area that is easily identifiable to visitors and residents, and serves as a center of cultural, artistic, and economic activity.” The Literary Cultural District represents one of about two dozen other cultural districts.

Boston is home to many of America’s great writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry David Thoreau. This city is dubbed the “Athens of America” and the “Broadway for writers.”

International Literacy Day highlights the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Each year, UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) reminds the international community of the status of global literacy and adult learning. On November 17, 1965, UNESCO proclaimed September 8th as International Literacy Day. Click here to learn more about UNESCO’s literacy and sustainable development. How can you help fight illiteracy in your community?

“Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.”
– Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

September is National Literacy Month

September is National Literacy Month, From Behind the Pen, National Literacy Month

Although March is National Get-Ready-to-Read Month, September rolls around with National Literacy Month. Reading is truly fundamental for continued literacy enhanced learning. Approximately 1 in 4 children in the United States grow up without learning how to read and 32 million adults in America can’t read.

Illiteracy is linked to poverty, crime, hunger, a burden on the health care system and dropping out of school. This month, join us in bringing awareness to illiteracy and making a difference to wipe out the ills that put a burden on literacy in our country! If we don’t bring an end to illiteracy, it will bring an end to us.

Advocating for Education Amid Danger

Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb, Literacy, I Am Malala, Education, Last week I finished reading the book, “I Am Malala” by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb, and it made me ask the question again, “Why are we still having a discussion these days about illiteracy in this country, when everyone has the freedom to education without suffering oppressive consequences?” Malala’s book goes into an unimaginable dialogue and recount of the horrors so many innocent people suffered in her country, simply because they were either female or female and wanting to get an education.

If you did not have the opportunity to read this book and I am not advocating that you do, it truly shows the courage this young girl recounts and documents, in spite of getting shot point blank in the head by the Taliban, simply because she wanted to go to school. This book is another reason why, I along with so many other individuals across this country, advocate for continued education and to encourage everyone to use the ability and gifts that God gives us, which we all too often take for granted.

This book touched me in a different way than it probably does with others who read it. If you read this book, I am curious to hear your thoughts or how it affected you. When leaving a comment, I do ask that you please exercise sensitivity, honesty and professionalism.

The Great Book Reading Challenge

reading, the great book reading challenge, literacy, reading habitsDo you remember how many books you read in 2013? Was it one, five, eight, twelve or more? Most writers want their work to be read, whether it’s a blog, article or book. Each television program, for the most part, have writers who make those individuals in front of the camera look informative, current and polished on the subject they are discussing.

If you don’t remember how many books you read in 2013, then let’s get started and set a goal on how many books you want to read this year. With that in mind, let’s take “The Great Book Reading Challenge!” Although the month of January is behind us for this year, let’s look to the rest of this year by increasing our reading capacity to explore and read more books, even if you are an avid reader. At the same time, if you’re in a book club or not, let’s do all we can to encourage reading regardless of age, gender, race or income.

There is value, insight and power in reading various genres, even if you have a favorite. What are you doing or planning to do in order to encourage others to read and/or write? Any suggestions for some good reads?