September 28, 2005

Guys Read

"When it comes to boys and reading, a lot of boys are having trouble reading." Author Jon Scieszka is one very cool dude. He's got this very funky website dedicated to getting young guys to read. He points out the following data:

* The U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.

* Eighth grade boys are 50 percent more likely to be held back than girls.

* Two-thirds of Special Education Students in high school are boys.

* Overall college enrollment is higher for girls than boys.

As part of his important mission he says he wants to:

1. Make some noise for boys. We have literacy programs for adults and families. GUYS READ is our chance to call attention to boys literacy.

2. Expand our definition of reading. Include boy-friendly nonfiction, humor, comics, graphic novels, action- adventure, magazines, websites, and newspapers in school reading. Let boys know that all these materials count as reading.

3. Give boys choice. Motivate guys to want to read by letting them choose texts they will enjoy. Find out what they want. Let them choose from a new, wider range of reading.

4. Encourage male role models. Men have to step up as role models of literacy. What we do is more important than all we might say.

5. Be realistic. Start small. Boys aren't believing that reading is wonderful. Reading is often difficult and boring for them. Let's start with here is one book/magazine/text you might like.

6. Spread the GUYS READ word. Encourage people to use the information and downloads on this site to set up their own chapters of GUYS READ, and get people thinking about boys and reading.

Check out GuysRead.com to learn more about what this inspired man is doing for boys. He is definitely one of my heroes.

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