California School Library News

September, 2014

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LAUSD's students need better libraries, not iPads

By REBECCA CONSTANTINO

Like Supt. John Deasy and others in the Los Angeles Unified School District, I am concerned about the educational civil rights of the district's students. While the iPad-for-every-student controversy has gotten much media coverage lately, a long-term problem has gotten very little attention: the lack of equal access to a quality school library. A 19-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights concluded in 2011 that thousands of LAUSD students were being denied equal educational opportunities, which included libraries with sufficient books and staffing.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics made news in June when they announced that doctors will begin dispensing some new advice to parents of young children. During well-child visits, pediatricians will inform parents and caregivers that reading aloud on a daily basis contributes to brain development and kindergarten readiness. Read Aloud 15 Minutes is a nonprofit organization that is working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care. During the 2014 Campaign Year their goal is to add non-profit and commercial partners nationwide who are willing to raise their voice and spread the word that reading aloud to a child from birth is the single most effective thing a parent can do to stimulate a child’s brain and promote early language acquisition and literacy skills.

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Nonfiction books for celebrating Hispanic heritage

National Hispanic Heritage month is observed from September 15 to October 15. Click here to read about children's books featuring Hispanic heroes and works that showcase the Latino culture in the United States.
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Kids and screen time: What does the research say?

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles. The study, published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, found that sixth-graders who went five days without exposure to technology were significantly better at reading human emotions than kids who had regular access to phones, televisions and computers.

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What's right with Hermione

14-year-old Naomi Horn says the heroine of JK Rowling's Harry Potter series remains a depressingly rare example of a fictional female respected for her education and intelligence. In Hermione’s world, being smart is what makes her important.

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LEGO Storystarter

Is there a student on Earth who doesn’t love LEGO? StoryStarter, from LEGO Education, taps into that enthusiasm with a language and literacy product that combines an inviting tub of LEGOs with thoughtful lessons and user-friendly writing and comics software. LEGO Education describes its new Common Core-aligned kits, designed for group or classroom use in grades 2–5, as “Hands-on Literacy.” Students use LEGO pieces to demonstrate understanding of story elements, practice summarizing skills, enhance knowledge of genres, and create scenes to accompany creative and nonfiction writing assignments.

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Barbara Jeffus was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame

Barbara Jeffus served as school library consultant for the California Department of Education (CDE) for twenty years, advocating on behalf of libraries at both the state and national level. Through her efforts and guidance, the State Board of Education adopted the Model School Library Standards for California Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (MSLS) in 2010.

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California School Library Association

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