language arts

The Evolving Role of Race in Children’s Lit, From ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘The Hate U Give’

Most people can recall a book that changed their life. For Ebony Elizabeth Thomas—as for many people who came of age in the 1990s and early 2000s—it was the Harry Potter series.

Reading Fuels Empathy. Do Screens Threaten That?

Reading changes our brains. Beyond allowing humans to gather and synthesize new information, research shows it is key to cultivating empathy in individuals, too. One study finds this to be particularly true for fictional stories, which allow readers to imagine themselves as other people, in other worlds, with different ideas and challenges.

This Father Built an App to Level the Playing Field for Struggling Readers

Venkat Ratnam developed WhizRead, a multisensory reading support program, out of pure fatherly love.In 2013, a realization washed over Ratnam and his wife. While they both had successful careers, they were paying a cost. Ratnam wanted to spend more time with their two children, then ages nine and five years old—particularly with his son, who was struggling with learning difficulties. “How could we let our children grow without much support?” asks Ratnam.

If You Want Equity in the Classroom, Above-Average Readers Need Intervention Too

I think every child needs to have some kind of reading intervention.Michael Ballone, director of curriculum for the K-8 Marlboro Township Public Schools in New Jersey, has a clear idea of what most literacy instruction gets wrong: it only serves struggling readers. “I think every child needs to have some kind of reading intervention,” says Ballone, a former seventh-grade English teacher. “It might mean acceleration or it might mean remediation.

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