July 27, 2021
AASL SmartBrief
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Learners and Literacy
Analysis weighs benefits of print, e-books
Children ages 8 and younger often understand more of what they read when the book is in print, according to an analysis by Natalia Kucirkova of the University of Stavanger in Norway and the Open University in the UK, and Adriana Bus of Leiden University in Amsterdam. However, the researchers noted benefits of certain enhancements that come with some e-books that help support students' comprehension.
Full Story: Education Week (7/22) 
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An Ohio school district's inaugural Books and Buckets summer program has brought together local celebrities and other adults with rising fourth- and fifth-graders to spend two hours twice a week playing basketball and reading books. Students, who receive a basketball and collection of books when the program ends, were urged by veteran NBA player Kosta Koufos to work hard at school.
Full Story: The Repository (Canton, Ohio) (7/20) 
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Early-childhood education center Next Door -- which includes the Books for Kids program -- shifted gears during the start of the pandemic to provide necessities such as meals and diapers. The Milwaukee center is shifting again -- back to early-literacy outreach by focusing on its book program as it celebrates three decades of reading initiatives.
Full Story: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (tiered subscription model) (7/25) 
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Improving Teacher Wellness and Self-Care
As teachers prepare to head back to the classroom, many are looking for ways to manage and protect their mental and emotional health, especially after what has been an incredibly taxing past year. Join SmartBrief on August 26th as mental health experts offer practical tips and ideas to help teachers and school leaders. Register Now
Today's School Libraries
The Hawaii Department of Education is distributing thousands of free books to schoolteachers and librarians. The books, made available through a donation, are available to all teachers and librarians, and there is no limit.
Full Story: KHON-TV (Honolulu) (7/22) 
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Professional Leadership
Texas teachers train with unified literacy curriculum
One unified instructional framework for literacy is being implemented in the Fort Worth Independent School District in Texas, as educators and officials work to improve reading scores of third-graders, says Jerry Moore, the district's chief academic officer. More than 600 district teachers have attended a science-of-reading academy to train on the framework's emphasis on phonics instruction and more time spent working on reading with students.
Full Story: Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (7/23) 
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There are 10 key principles for teaching phonological awareness that Louisa Moats focuses on in her book, "Speech to Print." In this blog post, Stacy Hurst, an assistant professor of teacher education at Southern Utah University, outlines the principles that can support early literacy instruction.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Education (7/26) 
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Policy Update
How 2 states encourage reading with federal relief funds
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Federal coronavirus relief funds are being used in Delaware to provide teachers and preservice teachers with professional development on teaching literacy and the science of reading while giving students free access to digital books from public libraries. In Nevada, some federal funds are slated to support free access to the digital library for students who benefited from the state's earlier broadband initiative.
Full Story: District Administration (7/20) 
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Underconnected, slow internet a problem for students
Millions of students in the US remain unable to get online, despite having at-home internet access, because they are underconnected, according to a survey by researchers at New America. Of the 84% of low-income families with devices and internet access at home, 56% are underconnected -- primarily because of slow internet speeds -- researchers found.
Full Story: EdSurge (7/23) 
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The AASL National Conference, taking place Oct. 21 to 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the only national conference specifically for school librarians and their unique role as leaders, instructional partners, information specialists, teachers, and program administrators. School librarians can add a complimentary administrator registration to their full conference registration. Register today here!
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Summer is a great time to catch up on your professional development. The AASL Learning Library is a repository of webinar archives and other digital resources from AASL, including issues of the association's journal, Knowledge Quest, and articles from its refereed research journal, School Library Research. ALL is a central location to collect and manage your eLearning -- on your time and at your pace. Engage with your colleagues around the largest library of AASL Standards-based online learning.
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