Principal to Principal: A Publication of the Scholastic Book Fairs Principals Advisory Board
Spring 2008  

  In This Issue:
  Pearls of Wisdom for Promoting Reading
  Just a Literacy Minute: Reading Tips for Parents
  Book Buzz: Reading Every Day

Pearls of Wisdom for Promoting Reading

Nancy PearlUSA Today calls Nancy Pearl “America’s most celebrated librarian.” And rightly so. She’s a widely-recognized national radio commentator about books, the winner of the 2004 Women’s National Book Association Award for her extraordinary contribution to the world of books, and there’s even a librarian action figure modeled after her! She’s also the author of several books, including Book Crush, an essential list of great reads for kids and teens sorted by topics, interests and other themes.

With her unique knack for connecting a subject, setting or character with the right reader, she’s the go-to source for reading advice and recommendations. Here she shares her four-step plan for encouraging kids to read more.

1. Introduce reluctant readers to books that match their interests. It’s about “matching the right book with the right person at the right moment,” she says.

2. Set aside a half-hour for family reading time. “I have talked to parents who continue reading out loud to their children even after they have learned to read for themselves. I’ve noticed that such children not only grow up to love reading, but also have a close relationship with their parents,” Nancy says.

Keep reading! Get more tips and recommendations from Nancy.

Printables for Principals
Resources to Use in
Your Own Newsletters
 For Families:
Set the Stage for Reading
Read Together and Bond Together
Assess Your Child's Reading Skills
If Your Boy Won't Read
Spark Your Tween's Interest in Reading
Learn Ways to "Act Green"
 For Teachers:
Tips for Tackling Book Challenges
Free Lesson Plans & Student Activity Sheets
Book Wizard: Match Kids with Books
Functions of the
Classroom Library
Funding Opportunities
Just Ask Sharon: Just a Literacy Minute!
Sharon Darling
Guest columnist Sharon Darling is the president and founder of the National Center for Family Literacy, the worldwide leader in family literacy. Here she offers literacy advice and reading tips for families. You are welcome to copy and paste this information into your own newsletters and share it with your school community.

Just a minute! How many times do parents respond to their child’s request with that well-worn phrase? And rightly so. A minute buys enough time to complete a task, take a deep breath, or prepare a response to a child’s question that caught you by surprise. But a minute also can be used to increase vocabulary, expand reading skills, and add an extra dose of fun to an otherwise routine day.

You may feel that there isn’t enough time to add more activities to an already packed twenty-four hours. But here are some ideas that will take just a minute.

While you’re waiting for the bagel to toast, have your child look for the letter B on the cereal box. Count as many as possible before the toaster pops. Or find items in the room that begin with the same letter sound as her name.
Choose a letter of the day. Look for the chosen letter in any printed materials you see: the newspaper, labels at the grocery store, street signs, billboards, or advertisements on TV. Make up a silly sentence using only words beginning with the letter of the day (Cats can cuddle. Dogs don’t drive. Amy always acts awake.)
Singing songs is certainly a literacy activity. So sing on! Try this twist. Sing short songs like Row, Row, Row Your Boat several times, leaving off the last word each time until there are no words left. This activity always produces giggles from children and parents alike. Keep reading for more tips.

Download more one-minute ideas from Sharon.

Book Buzz: Reading Every Day
Preview featured books.Principal to Principal Tip: Students at Senath-Hornersville High School are reading every day, thanks to Principal Bill Campbell. Beginning last year, Campbell took his cue from the National Drop Everything and Read Day and began asking students to do just that. Stop and read. Daily.

Now his students spend 10 minutes every day reading for pleasure from a book of their own choosing. Principal Campbell announces the regularly-scheduled reading time each day over the school’s PA system.

“It’s been very positive. Not only do students have books in hand throughout the day, many of them who never read before are reading now,” said Campbell.

–Tip courtesy of Bill Campbell, Principal, Senath-Hornersville High School

Want to know what kids are reading for pleasure right now? Check out these featured books for a list of popular, current books for young people.


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