Posts in "Literacy" tag

Child Literacy on the Rise

Tim Green Syracuse - Child Literacy on the Rise

As somebody who has dedicated a huge portion of his life to children reading and child literacy, I understand the importance of child literacy. The ability to read has always, and will always be, an incredibly important skill in adulthood. As the author of multiple children’s and young adults books, I have always pushed for child literacy. And that work is paying off.

 

According to a recent report from USA Today, child literacy is far better today than it was ten years ago. According to a test conducted over the course of 12 years at Ohio State University, students who are in kindergarten are learning now what they used to in first grade. This more robust, earlier learning has directly resulted in higher reading proficiency.

 

The study surveyed hundreds of thousands of students from thousands of schools in 44 states. After being tested in both basic and advanced literacy skills, the researchers realized that today’s children are challenged much earlier than before.

 

Professor of Teaching at Ohio University, Emily Rodgers noted the staggering difference in literacy rates, stating, “Children are better prepared when they enter first grade than they used to be. Kindergarten is the new first grade when it comes to learning reading skills.”

 

The test found low-performing children’s basic understanding increase in a variety of skills, ranging from letter identification to print awareness.

 

While this news is incredibly heartening to advocates for child literacy, unfortunately there is still much work that needs to be done. Jerome D’Agostino, a co-author of the study believes that there is a “missing link” between teaching low-performing students literacy skills and having them implement those skills in reading. Rodgers believes that we are focusing too heavily on the basic skills instead of offering “opportunities to actually read text.”
Regardless, I am incredibly happy to hear that child literacy rates, in any capacity, are improving. I am confident that, as we continue to study and adapt our literacy curriculums, we will one day achieve near universal literacy levels.

Tim Green Speaks at Illinois Reading Council

Tim Green Syracuse Speaks at Illinois Reading Council

Last month, Tim Green visited the Illinois Reading Council conference in an effort to continue his campaign for literacy. An already established author, Green has dedicated much of his time, visiting over 1,000 schools and speaking to more than 500,000 students, in order to demonstrate the power and importance of reading.

Held in Peoria, Illinois, the Illinois Reading Council conference is one of the largest literacy conferences in the country, lasting three days and featuring dozens of speakers and advocates for literacy.

Green had two panels during the conference, both focused on how reading is like weightlifting for your brain. With only 20 minutes of reading a day significantly boosting character development and academic performance, it is one of the best possible activities for not only children to practice, but adults as well.

The conference was attended by local Lostant Community School faculty members, Melissa Einhaus and Ruth Ann Bruzgis. Of all of the speakers at the conference, Einhaus was particularly interested in Green, noting his influence on children’s drive to read.

In a recent article from the Tonica News, Einhaus stated, “he’s responsible for getting a lot of boys to read. Kids that are into sports, he can really hook them into reading.”

Both Einhaus and Bruzgis admired Green’s star power. “We were kind of star-struck,” Einhaus said. “We went by his room and we were like, ‘Is that who I think it is?’”

Other notable speakers at the conference include award-winning author Steven Layne, Newbery Honor author Joan Bauer and Project CRISS director Dr. Debra Franciosi.

According to DoSomething.org, ⅔ of students who cannot read proficiently by the 4th grade are likely to end up in jail or on welfare, and students who cannot read by the 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. This is why conferences such as the IRC are integral to raise awareness of the importance of reading to a child. You can expect Tim Green to attend similar events, and continue to do his part in making literacy amongst children a number one priority.

17 Reasons Why Reading is Important for Children and Adults

17 Reasons Why Reading is Important for Children and Adults by Tim Green

 

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers. – Charles W. Elio

Reading is a crucial element of every child’s education, yet when our children begin struggling with the subject, many parents and kid’s alike get frustrated and give up. All too easily they accept that they’re just not that interested in reading or worse, “don’t see the point.”

This can be especially common when the parent themselves never formed a strong bond to reading when they were growing up. But reading skills, and moreover, a love for reading, have so many benefits to minds of all ages.

Before you decide that reading just isn’t your child’s strong suit (or maybe your own!), consider the following benefits of reading, both now and in the future.

Benefits during childhood

Reading develops and expands language skills. Even before a child is ready to read on their own, children begin developing critical language and enunciation skills by listening to others speak and read. Time spent reading to your child helps them by reinforcing the basic sounds that form language. As that child grows up and begin reading on their own, the more they read the more words they will gain exposure to. This enhances not only their comprehension of reading, but their everyday vocabulary making them more article and well-spoken. Reading books is also vital for learning new languages which allow non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context.

Reading exercises your brain. Reading to the brain is what physical activity is to the body: it’s exercise! The more you exercise your brain, the better it gets at completing the task. Seems common sense, but many find it difficult to push through the initial phases of learning where they are still struggling with basic comprehension. The good news is: practice really does make perfect, at least when it comes to reading. The more a child reads, the better they will get at it. And no, TV, not even the best educational shows, are as good at exercising for your brain as reading.

Reading improves concentration. When children regularly practice sitting still and focusing on a story, they develop the ability to do this for longer periods.

Reading improves memory. Many don’t realize that when they are reading a book, they are actually practicing using their memory a lot. To understand the story, you have to be able to remember an assortment of character names, their backgrounds, motivations, history, and personality traits, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave together the larger story.

Reading improves analytical thinking skills. If you’ve ever read a book and found yourself predicting what could happen or who could have been responsible for some mystery, you’ve experienced how reading can challenge your critical thinking skills. Not to mention the analytical skills you need in order to critique the plot, writing, character development, and storyline.

Reading exposes us to different parts of the world. Through reading, children are able to learn about people, places, and events outside their own set of personal experiences. They are exposed to ways of life, ideas, and beliefs about the world which may be different from or even challenge those around them. Reading opens the door for discovering new passions and interests and further educating themselves in anything they are interested in.

Reading improves your imagination. When we read, our brains translate words into pictures. We’re imaging not only how scenes look, but how the characters feel. We connect these images to our own experiences and ask ourselves how we would feel in a similar situation.

Reading develops empathy. When we use our imaginations to understand how characters are feeling, we are also engaging with our sense of empathy. As with reading, the more we practice empathy, the better we get at being able to identify with and feel with others.

Reading makes kids do better at all aspects of school. The benefits of reading aren’t limited to subjects like English and history. Children who read tend to do better at all subjects, and they do better all the way through school. Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education. Think about it, if a student struggles to put together words and sentences, how can he/she be expected to grasp other subjects written out and explained in texts books as they discover new subjects?

Reading is fundamental in developing a good self image. Nonreaders or poor readers often have lower opinions of themselves and their abilities than their literate classmate counterparts. This can be isolating, discourage kids from learning altogether, and consequently, behavioral problems can surface.

Reading is a fun form of entertainment. Aside from the benefits to performance, reading itself is really fun. Immersing yourself in a story, feeling suspense as the storyline unfolds, and getting emotionally attached to the characters you watch develop are all parts of reading that keep avid readers come back for more.

Benefits in adulthood

Reading is fundamental to functioning in modern society. Many adults today lack crucial literacy skills. This can prevent them from properly performing a number of important, everyday tasks that are expected of adults, including: reading/understanding instructions on a medicine bottle, acquiring/filling out applications, reading warning signs on the road, or even following directions on a map. Day-to-day activities that many people take for granted become a source of frustration, shame, and fear.

Reading is vital to finding a good job. Most of today’s well-paying jobs require reading as a basic skill to properly perform the functions of the job. Instructions, reports, and memos all need to be read, understood, and properly applied. Poor reading skills can slow or even halt your professional development.

Readers enjoy art and do good things in the world. A study by the NEA found that people who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who do not to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work. Readers are more active participants in the world around them, and do more for the well-being of others.

Reading makes you more interesting. With all the knowledge that readers acquire from books, they tend to have more subjects they can participate in during conversations, both casual and academic. This also allows you to engage with a wider variety of people and conversations, which in turn improve your knowledge and conversation skills.

Reading reduces stress. Many studies have shown that reading reduces your stress levels. In fact, in one study done by consultancy firm Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, they found that subjects only needed to read silently for as little as six minutes to begin experiencing a slower heart rate and less tension in the muscles.

Reading builds new brain connections and strengthens existing ones. Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated through reading and similar mentally challenging activities can slow the progress of (or possibly prevent) cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Final Thoughts

Reading is a crucial skill that better prepares you for professional success and personal happiness. Never be afraid to reach out for additional help if you or your child are struggling with literacy skills. The extra steps you take to improve them will create a lifetime of greater opportunities.

 

 

 

 

Tim Green Attends BookSpring’s Annual Storybook Heroes Luncheon

Kay Gooch and Tim Green at Storybook Heroes Luncheon for BookSpring.
Kay Gooch and Tim Green at Storybook Heroes Luncheon for BookSpring.

Since 2008, BookSpring has been inspiring young children in Texas to fall in love with reading. Originally built as a merger between local affiliates of two acclaimed national organizations, Read Out and Read and Reading Is Fundamental, BookSpring has continued their missions while tailoring their approach to suit the unique needs of Central Texas, especially in regards to tackling the early literacy gap.

Through their dedicated outreach across schools, childcare centers, medical clinics, and community partners, they are able to reach an average of 40,000 children with over 140,000 books each year, not to mention hundreds of hours of motivational activities aimed at inspiring a lifelong love of reading. The work they do is invaluable to the community, and Tim Green is thrilled to contribute to their cause.

Each year, BookSpring holds an annual Storybook Heroes Luncheon to celebrate those who help spread their message. This year, attendees included ‘reading rock star‘ librarian, Kay Gooch, volunteer Mindy Reed Gomillion and Keller Williams Realty International. Also along for the fun, of course, was Tim Green, who loved the chance to speak at an event so closely tied to his life’s work and passions.

Back while Green was still in the midst of his career in the NFL playing for the Atlanta Falcons, he began pursuing another childhood dream: becoming a writer. He published his first book while still playing for the Falcons, and although now retired from football, he has continued to publish books ever since. His most prolific work has been his sports-themed books for middle readers. To date, he has published more than 30 books for adults and youths, most recently being the hit novel ‘Home Run’ about a young boy trying to help his family by winning big with his traveling baseball team.

More than just writing books, Tim Green has been inspiring young readers across the country, visiting schools and library’s all over the United States in order to spread the importance of reading, physical fitness, and being nice. He makes about 100 visits to schools a year and has spoken at over 800 schools to date.

Moreover, he donates books wherever he goes. In fact, he uses any money collected as speaker fee’s to go directly towards buying books for kids who less fortunate.

Emily Ball Cicchini, the Executive Director of BookSpring, shares Green’s passion for literacy and the belief that all children have a right to an education and to a love of reading. Her goal: provide 20 books each for all 75,000 needy kids in Central Texas. Click on the following link to donate to BookSpring and help support their cause.

Tim Green is an author, lawyer, former NFL player, Coach, and TV personality. To learn more about his life and career, please visit Tim Green‘s website.

Tim Green Visits Parkside Elementary School in Atlanta

Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Tim Green reads to students at Parkside Elementary School in Atlanta on Dec. 2, 2015. Marlon A. Walker/marlon.walker@ajc.com
Former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Tim Green (center) reads to students at Parkside Elementary in Atlanta joined by current players Joey Mbu (left) and Vic Beasley Jr. (right) on Dec. 2, 2015.

In December, Tim Green stopped by Parkside Elementary School in Atlanta to share his love of reading with the local youth, read excerpts from his latest novel, and encourage students to get a good education and stay fit.

The 75+ students assembled in the library at Parkside Elementary School continuously asked Tim Green to keep reading from his book “Kid Owner” even after Green asked them multiple times if they were ready for him to stop.

Green is a New York Times best-selling author with nearly three dozen books written. His last 16 have been focused on young readers. “Kid Owner” is his 16th children’s book, published by Harper Collins, and has become a new favorite amongst his young fans.

After reading, the students made their way down the hall for an hour of rope climbing, football throwing, running and other activities as part of of the NFL’s “Play 60” program, which Tim has been taking one step further by adding “Read 20” to the recommendation.

Launched in 2007, Play 60 / Read 20 advocates for kids to have 60 minutes of physical activity each day to keep their bodies healthy, along with 20 minutes of reading to keep their minds sharp (added by Green.)

As Tim Green told myAJC, “I’m not curing cancer or creating world peace, but it’s my own way of giving back.”

“Teachers have been saying for years that reading for about 20 minutes a day enhances a child’s skills,” he went on. “The idea that all you have to do is play for 60 minutes a day to be physically fit, that’s something the NFL is promoting across the country. Kids can also read 20 minutes a day and make themselves stronger mentally and build their character.”

As a former NFL player and world-class athlete himself, it makes sense that Tim Green would promote fitness and reading in a single program.

The NFL has contributed more than $325 million to Play 60, allowing them to give more than 73,000 schools new programs that positively affect more than 38 million students.

As Tim Green tours the country speaking with students, some of his tours get funded by the schools themselves. When that is the case, he uses whatever he gets to buys books for those at less-fortunate stops along his journey.

As he describes, “I love seeing that reaction to know that kids are enjoying my stories. I do well enough to where I don’t have to ask them to buy books.”

The NFL’s Play 60 program has made a huge impact on young students lives, and it continues to grow in may ways:

• The NFL and American Heart Association recently released an updated version of the free NFL PLAY 60 app, where users can virtually race through “Super Bowl 50.”

• Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan will be appearing in videos leading middle-school students through workouts in order to inspire activity.

• The NFL and Shriners Hospitals for Children have teamed up to create a free NFL PLAY 60 All-Ability Guide, which includes activities to help children with physical disabilities live active, healthy lives.

• The NFL and the National Dairy Council launched Fuel Up to Play 60 en español, extending their resources to Spanish-speaking communities.

Green was in town for several reading engagements over the course of his stay, including two events in cooperation with the National Football League’s Play 60 program.

Tim Green Featured in Briarcliff Daily Voice

Tim Green was featured in Briarcliff Daily Voice for his time discussing the importance of reading with Todd Elementary School. To view the original article written by Frank Mojica, click here, or simply read below.

 


 

 

Former NFL Player, Author Encourages Literacy In Briarcliff School Visit

Former NFL player and sports author Tim Green offered students advice for learning to love reading and becoming kind and encouraging people.
Former NFL player and sports author Tim Green offered students advice for learning to love reading and becoming kind and encouraging people.

 

BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. — Former NFL player and sports author Tim Green recently visited students at Todd Elementary School to promote a love for reading.

“The PTA and I invited Tim Green because he has great sports novels; and because he has powerful messages for kids that tie directly to our Habits of Mind Todd School initiative,” said librarian Tara Phethean. “[Green] promotes persistence, kindness and the Golden Rule, and we hope that those ideas resonate with the students.”

Green gave two presentations to students in third through fifth grades about his passion for sports and reading, as well as the importance of a quality education. He earned a law degree while still playing football.

“Now is the time to make yourself the best you can be – tolerant, forgiving, generous, kind,” Green said to the students. “The reason books can make us kinder is because when we read, we put ourselves in other people’s shoes.”

Green advised students to put down a book if they didn’t love it after five chapters, unless it’s for a school assignment. After sharing a story about his wife’s battle with cancer, he assigned students to find someone who is a little different and not a friend and say something kind to them.