Jen: Shout Out to Reading, Books, & Literacy Night

Every so often I find a book of non-fiction that speaks to me so loudly, I carry it around in my purse, to reread, to cite from, and to recom­mend to others. The Lost Art of R

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eading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David Ulin was one such book. Recently, I was delighted to discover that next week, David Ulin will be at Waverly’s Liter­acy Night, along with a panel of two other speakers.

My current non-fiction choice is a book by Made­line Levine titled Teach Your Chil­dren Well – Parent­ing for Authen­tic Success. This is the only book I have requested be carried at our Book Fair this year, and if I could give a copy to every parent at Waverly, I would. Through­out the early chap­ters of the book, Made­line Levine advo­cates for the kind of educa­tion and expe­ri­ence provided at Waverly. Encour­ag­ing parents to resist perva­sive worry­ing about early educa­tion, she says, No child is better off in front of a computer or prac­tic­ing the times tables. Child­hood is precious. It is not prepa­ra­tion for high school, college, or a profes­sion but a brief and replace­able period of time when chil­dren are enti­tled to the priv­i­lege of being chil­dren.’’ With chap­ters dedi­cated to the tasks” of each the elemen­tary, middle and high school years, Levine gives reason­able, expe­ri­ence and research-based advice. For parents of elemen­tary age students she says, master­ing content is the easier part of learn­ing. What we really need to attend to with elemen­tary age chil­dren is keeping their inter­est alive and helping them figure out multi­ple approaches to think­ing about content.” For parents of middle school students, Levine describes how the middle school brain is chang­ing in ways that cause young adoles­cents to be suscep­ti­ble to risks, novelty, and stim­u­la­tion, explain­ing that, at this point the brain is kind of like a Ferrari being driven by a twelve year old.”

There is so much more I could say, but hope­fully you will consider picking up copies of these – and many more – books at our Book Fair, Tuesday 10/35 – Thurs­day, 10/25 in the commu­nity room at the elementary school.

Liter­acy Night will be held at the Elemen­tary School on Wednes­day, October 24 at 7:00.

— Jen Dakan
Biblio­phile and Direc­tor of Admissions