Research at New York University School of Medicine shows that reading to a baby adds..

Reading with children starting in infancy gives lasting literacy boost | Reading Rockets

New research at the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting shows that reading books with a child beginning in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of elementary school. “These findings are exciting because they suggest that reading to young children, beginning even in early infancy, has a lasting effect on language, literacy and early reading skills,” said Carolyn Cates, PhD, lead author and research assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine.

Children should learn ‘digital literacy’ alongside the Rs, peers say

Teaching children about the internet should be as important as the three Rs, with youngsters given the skills to keep safe online, a committee of peers has recommended. {Read more at this link:}

The Essential Elements of Digital Literacies

Dr. Doug Belshaw is a Researcher/Analyst at JISC Advance where he researches and advises on issues around open education and innovation. A former teacher and senior leader with experience of all sectors, Doug is also co-kickstarter of Purpos/ed which aims to encourage and sustain debate around the purpose(s) of education.
Doug recently completed his doctorate on digital and new literacies which, as an open practitioner, he has shared online since he began writing it.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.


Empathy Anyone? 15 Books that Teach Empathy

  • 15 books with a short description
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  • Teach Thought is an excellent and informative website with practical, topical, and useful ideas on 21st Century learning

Often confused with sympathy and compassion, empathy is, put simply, the ability to feel what another person is feeling. Unlike sympathy or compassion, empathy doesn’t require you to feel for them, though it can lead to those emotions. Empathy, rather, is a starting point for understanding both ourselves and other people from the inside out.

In “How To Teach Empathy,” Terry Heick said that “empathy is both a cause and effect of understanding, a kind of cognitive and emotional double helix that can create a bridge between classroom learning and ‘real life’ application.”

Since storytelling is such a powerful tool to communicate the human condition, we’ve created a list of 30 stories that do exactly that. Each of the following books in the collection we’ve created below were selected for the ability to provide an especially apt demonstration of, or opportunity to learn, empathy.

Most of the books are useful to teach empathy to almost any student of any age. In fact, it could be argued that a student doesn’t need a story at all–music, the news, art, film, YouTube videos, and other media forms are also useful here. It’s also true that they don’t necessarily need a “empathy story.”

Most literature, by design, promotes empathy with characters in stories, especially when told through a first-person narrator. Still, a book created expressly to showcase empathy can be an even more precise teaching tool. Though the list below tends towards K-8, there are many that would work well in a high school classroom as well.

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15 Of The Best Books To Teach Children Empathy


30 Books To Teach Children Empathy | El Deafo1. El Deafo

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.

The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

2. Wonder

30 Books To Teach Children Empathy | Wonder

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

30 Books To Teach Children Empathy | Fish in a Tree

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in. “Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”




4. 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Precepts

In Wonder, readers were introduced to memorable English teacher Mr. Browne and his love of precepts. This companion book features conversations between Mr. Browne and Auggie, Julian, Summer, Jack Will, and others, giving readers a special peek at their lives after Wonder ends. Mr. Browne’s essays and correspondence are rounded out by a precept for each day of the year—drawn from popular songs to children’s books to inscriptions on Egyptian tombstones to fortune cookies.

5.The One and Only Ivan

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.


6. Same Sun Here

With honesty and humor, the main characters bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of being and having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.


7. Inside Out and Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author’s childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration.


8. Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall

Cerulean is on the brink of collapse. The decay wasn’t fast, it wasn’t obvious, but now the world stands on the precipice. Woven forests floating on an ocean around a star, Cerulean’s once vibrant treescape has grown dim over generations of arboreal life, and the creatures of the forest have forgotten the light.



9. The Family Under the Bridge

This is the delightfully warm and enjoyable story of an old Parisian named Armand, who relished his solitary life. Children, he said, were like starlings, and one was better off without them. But the children who lived under the bridge recognized a true friend when they met one, even if the friend seemed a trifle unwilling at the start. And it did not take Armand very long to realize that he had gotten himself ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than the bridge.

10. Hannah Coulter

Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war and the lives of others were mourned. In her seventies, Nathan’s wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In Wendell Berry’s unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulter’s children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors “live right on.”



11. Brown Girl Dreaming

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.


12. Island of the Blue Dolphins

Island of the Blue Dolphins’ is an adventure of the spirit that will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down. Karana’s quiet courage, her Indian self-reliance and acceptance of fate, transform what to many would have been a devastating ordeal into an uplifting experience. From loneliness and terror come strength and serenity in this Newbery Medal-winning classic.



13. Jayber Crow

Jayber Crow, born in Goforth, Kentucky, orphaned at age ten, began his search as a “pre-ministerial student” at Pigeonville College. “You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers. You will have to live them out—perhaps a little at a time.”



14. Paperboy

Little Man throws the meanest fastball in town. But talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering—not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend’s paper route for the month of July, he’s not exactly looking forward to interacting with the customers. But it’s the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, who stirs up real trouble in Little Man’s life.


15. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible

This, the only memoir published by a former Schindler’s list child, perfectly captures the innocence of a small boy who goes through the unthinkable. Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow.




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Being a parent could ADD two years to your life

Parent reading to two children.

In a Swiss study likely to be met with skepticism by bleary-eyed parents, health experts are claiming that parenthood may be the secret to long life – because children go on to provide vital support.

Swedish health experts found people with children tended to live longer

The suspected reason is children provide vital support when parents are older

        At 60 years old, fathers can expect to survive another 20.2 years

Mothers at 60 can be expected to live a further 24.6 years

The question: How many years per child are added? Do I reach the inevitable law of diminishing marginal returns? Magic Number?

Read more:



PBS Kids

The beloved Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has been providing educational and informative programming for many years for youth and adults, and now there is a creative site and app just for kids to explore the great shows that they see every day. Full episodes of Arthur, Dora the Explorer, and the amazing, Sesame Street, can be viewed through the site and app on a host of mobile devices.

The shows and games cater to children of all ages, and knowing that your child is watching educational programming is a breath of fresh air for parents. Kids can get into viewing not suitable for children with Youtube (and Youtube Kids is sometimes a little too exploratory), but PBS Kids is an extremely controlled site and app that is entertaining, educational and a great help on a long car ride!

~Ms. N. Powell


Helpful Websites for Writers

A passionate writer on a couch

Writig is an interesting art that allows individuals to share their thoughts on paper. If you’ve ever written an essay or even a journal entry, you know that sometimes your thoughts run faster than your pen, resulting in grammatical errors, words being left out of the sentences, and the list goes on and on.

If you’ve ever experienced this, have no fear; HELP IS HERE!
Here at Read to the World, we love Grammarly and Grammar Girl.Grammarly website logo and bannerGrammarly is an amazing app and system that you can download to your PC or Apple device and instantly check your grammar. It highlights errors and explains how to correct them. There is a free option and a paid option for users who want more information.

Quick and Dirty Tips website banner

Grammar Girl is a unique website that answers all of your grammar questions and actually talks to you! Yes, you read correctly. There is an option to have the explanations read to you.n

Both of these websites offer users a better understanding of the sometimes complex world or grammar and writing. For more information, visit and (Grammar Girl).


3 Ways to Get Kids to Read

Many parents who love to read and others who understand the importance of reading have concerns with ways to convey their feelings to their children. It’s necessary to study your child to determine the reason for his or her aversion to reading. A mother reading to her son and daughter.The following questions will help you gain a clearer view of the true issue.

  • Is there a gap in understanding or comprehension?
  • Does he or she have trouble with pronouncing words and get discouraged?
  • Is he or she not motivated because of an overwhelming use of electronic devices?

Be sure that you don’t automatically go to the thought that your child is just lazy. This could be the case, but in many instances, there is a deeper issue. Once you identify why your child is not motivated to read, address that particular concern directly and add these tools to your improvement strategy.

  • Initiate a family reading time. Children learn from their parents’ examples. What better way to teach than by leading. Carve a certain amount of time each day or week and read to your child or with your child, where each person has his or her own book.
  • Create a reading challenge. Set up a challenge for your child to read a certain amount of books per week or month, and reward him or her with a dinner at his or her favorite restaurant, a new toy, or something that would really make your child smile.
  • Get your child his or her own library card. This will create a priceless smile that fosters a sense of independence, growth, and responsibility. Make regular visits to the library so your child can proudly display and use the new library card.

Motivation comes in a variety of forms, and what works for one child may not work for another. Try all of the tools above to improve your child’s reading, and stick with what works for you.

~Dr. Wayne T. Holmes


WEBSITE Quick Review: English For Everyone


This is an awesome High School students in a for learners of all ages, from the preschool student to the high school student or adult learner! It has a variety of FREE lessons and handouts for parents or teachers to print and share with students. One of the components that we love here at Read to the World is that the site combines reading and writing skills! Oftentimes, people who struggle with one area have a similar concern in the other. Other topics include: reading comprehension, phonics, verb tenses, and much more for grades 1 – 12.

With this site, there’s no need to go from one source to the next: the information is all in one convenient location.

Check it out for yourself, and you’ll be very glad you did!

~Dr. Wayne T. Holmes


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