From my very first post I wanted to pay homage to the speech which inspired the title of my blog, Ain't I a Woman? by Sojourner Truth. Such a beautiful speech, such a beautiful name, such a beautiful woman. It is one of my favorite pieces. I strive to emulate this style in my own work. Poetic and powerful. Honest and unafraid. Memorable. And I like brevity. It too is beautiful. This is the standard I wish to be held to as I explore the question with you ~ ain't I a writer?
"Obliged to you for hearing me, and I do have a few things more to say..."

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

This morning's column...

Nancy Hill: 'This is a city that loves and nurtures the arts' | SeacoastOnline.com
Later we'll talk about use of the pronoun I....

Monday, April 4, 2011

Children's Literacy: See Spot Surf the Web


     I read an interesting piece in the Sunday Boston Globe yesterday about the death of the printed book. This is not news to anyone of course, and something we've all seen coming, and some of us have been anguishing over, for a long time. I find these reports distressing and depressing most of the time. What I liked about the piece yesterday (I'm sorry I have forgotten the author) was that I was left with one very hopeful feeling. The author said that children's books were not on death row, that the creation and sales of good children's literature was and will remain strong. I needed to hear that having long been a proponent of the myriad joys and benefits of reading to small children (as well as a writer of children's stories). Hearing that did my heart a world of good.
     Follow that this morning by this interesting piece from NPR about the changing world of children's literature;

http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134663712/childrens-book-apps-a-new-world-of-learning

     The conclusion I have come to is that the situation is really the same as it is for adults, it is just far more important to understand the consequences for children. The fact is we are talking about two different kinds of literacy. All children, every single one of them, need to be both print and digitally literate. Each is a different set of skills that requires exposure to an abundance of quality literacy of both types, the printed word and the digital word. Each requires the brain to operate in a different way, and both are best learned in developmentally appropriate ways during early childhood. One will never replace the other, and never again will only one suffice for later success. Mastery of digital literacy always has been and always will be dependent on print literacy making the picture and early story books more important than ever, but the importance of digital literacy for children probably can not even be imagined by the confines of what we know today.
     My stubborn attitude of refusing to even look at an e-book is actually a childish indulgence no child can afford, or be asked, to make.