Inspiring Boys to Read for Life


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Presentation for SWFLN on boys and literacy and how libraries can meet their needs and inspire boys to become readers for life.

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  • Attitudes toward reading become more negative as children grow older (McKenny, Kear, Ellsworth, 1995)
  • 95% of us read & understand printed word. Very small % are able to use it at complex levels… Boys are 1.5 yrs behind girls in reading by middle school, up to 3 years behind by high school 85% of of “special ed” students are boys 5 out of 6 children/adolescents diagnosed with ADD/ADHD are boys Boys are 2 – 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with a reading disability. 83.4 % of children’s librarians are female, only 18% of teachers in elementary AND middle school are men (BLS 2009) Mothers are 10 X more likely to read books, where dad’s are 10X more likely to read newspapers Only 1/3 of school libraries carry the genres boys prefer (2003 data)
  • Reading literacy is an acquired skill We learn to read by reading LOTS!
  • Important, then for libraries to support family reading and help parents and grandparents learn how to make reading FUN for their kids.
  • As young as age 2, boys show a preference for scary, violent fairy tales whereas girls prefer romantic ones. (Collins, 1996)
  • We have ti undersatnd boys and their differneces and their preferences. We have to support families and schools We have to have the right materials We have to reach out and design programs that meet the needs of boys and encourage the support of men…
  • Assumptions can sting…be careful Reading levels and grade levels do not take into account the developmental differneces between boys and girls Interest will always trump ability
  • Telling vs. Doing in story…
  • Games associated with reading Wall murals or crafts Sports clubs Chess club Martial arts clubs
  • Single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.
  • Have them build a model, role play plot, make a craft, discuss, etc. Avoid routine
  • Inspiring Boys to Read for Life

    1. 1. Inspiring Boys to Read for Life
    2. 2. Real Men Read with Kids: Inspiring Boys to Read for Life <ul><li>Deb Hanson </li></ul><ul><li>Four Circles Learning </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>For Southwest Florida Library Network Fall 2010
    3. 3. There is only now… Open
    4. 4. Thinking about Boys <ul><li>Boys tend to ______________ when it comes to reading. </li></ul><ul><li>I usually recommend ______________ to elementary aged boys. </li></ul><ul><li>When teen boys come to the library, they _____________________________. </li></ul><ul><li>When I see boys in the library, I _____________________________. </li></ul>Connect
    5. 5. What are little boys made of…. Learn
    6. 6. Boys like… Action
    7. 7. Boys like… Adventure
    8. 8. Boys value reading less than girls.
    9. 10. Fast Facts…
    10. 11. Think about the numbers… 95% ~15% 2 to 3 X more 5:6 85% 1.5 yrs 3.0 yrs 83.4% 10 X only 1/3 18%
    11. 13. How this story began…
    12. 14. Critical Connections for becoming a reader… Reading Literacy must be continually Practiced Volume (the more you read, the better reader you become) So, PLEASURE in reading becomes an important motivator Those who ENJOY and are GOOD AT reading, end up getting the most Practice !
    13. 16. Key Factors in reading for Pleasure CONTROL CHOICE (especially during voluntary leisure time)
    14. 17. Out of school reading is very important
    15. 18. What do boys want in books?
    16. 19. Visuals Graphic Violence Scary Horror Action Plot Short Relevant to me NOW
    17. 20. Not just a book, anymore… <ul><li>Web-based books & activities </li></ul><ul><li>Social media </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive blogs/websites </li></ul>
    18. 21. Books with online resources…
    19. 22. What can you and your library offer?
    20. 23. RA for Boys “ You do not do reader’s advisory to get the boy a book. You do reader’s advisory to make the boy a reader.” - Michael Sullivan, librarian & author
    21. 24. DO <ul><li>Listen – a lot </li></ul><ul><li>Get him talking </li></ul><ul><li>Ask open-ended questions </li></ul><ul><li>Find out why he wants a book </li></ul><ul><li>Honor non-book reading </li></ul><ul><li>Connect the boy with plot </li></ul><ul><li>Give him what he wants </li></ul>
    22. 25. DON’T <ul><li>Make any assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Stereotype </li></ul><ul><li>Talk too much </li></ul><ul><li>Ask what grade or reading level he’s in/on </li></ul><ul><li>Judge </li></ul><ul><li>Give him what you think he should have </li></ul>
    23. 26. Covers Matter
    24. 27. Plot Matters
    25. 28. The Power of Non-Fiction <ul><li>“Non-fiction reading is more likely to prepare a reader for social and financial success.” </li></ul>Source: Cited in Michael Sullivan’s book, Serving Boys Through Reader’s Advisory Original source: Denise Abilock. “Sex in the Library: How Gender Differences Should Effect Practices and Programs” - Emergency Librarian , May/June 1997
    26. 29. Practice: <ul><li>Scenario 1: Boy 10: “I need a mystery book.” </li></ul><ul><li>Scenario 2: Boy, 7: “I can’t find any good books. Can you help me?” </li></ul><ul><li>Scenario 3: Boy, 15: “I want a book about basketball. Got anything good?” </li></ul>
    27. 30. Programs “ NO GIRLS ALLOWED” Club – Natrona Public Library
    28. 31. Reading Aloud is #1
    29. 32. Boys need to DO SOMETHING related to their reading after they read…
    30. 33. Key (often missing) Ingredient: Male Reading Role Models
    31. 34. Sharing the Sunday comics… Adult male role model + humor
    32. 36. And a challenge… Host a Real Men Read with Kids event and get men to be reading role models for kids…
    33. 37. Time for Action What will you do now?
    34. 38. How will we start them off?
    35. 39. How will they end up?
    36. 40. Contact me: <ul><li>Deb Hanson </li></ul><ul><li>Four Circles Learning </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
    37. 41. Sources <ul><li>Reading Don't Fix No Chevy's by Smith and Wilhelm </li></ul><ul><li>Serving Boys Through Reader’s Advisory by Michael Sullivan </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Matters: What the Research Reveals about Reading, Libraries, and Community by C. Ross, L. McKechnie, & P. Rothbauer </li></ul><ul><li>Boys and Reading: Strategies for Success - </li></ul><ul><li>Reading is for the boys (and girls)! - h ttp:// </li></ul><ul><li>Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often - </li></ul>