Read Your Way To The Top

As we come towards the end of our solid campaign, we reflect back on the importance of installing a reading culture among youngsters.

The problem is far worse than we realise, where even with the popularity of young adult fiction like Harry Potter and Twilight the problem still remains. Throughout our campaign, we have shown the reasons behind youngsters not reading and also the ways by which if incorporated can help stop the decline of the reading habit.

‘Read your way to the top’ isn’t just a random message but is sincerely targetted towards the reality of what can happen if you follow it. There is no shortcut to the solution but requires the involvement of people to raise this concern on the behalf of making a smart world in the future. We would want our leaders, innovators and artists to be technically sound and mentally gifted. Books are an important catalyst in establishing such a role.

Everyone especially parents and teachers has a bigger role to play in making this younger generation lose their mindset regarding reading, and cultivate an open viewpoint towards such a habit.

We also urge the people following our campaign to get involved by creating a difference by preaching the benefits and making others aware of the dire need to make a change before it is too late.

Before we sign off, we would like to thank our readers for their immense support and endless love, now its time we use our learning and strive together to make a peaceful reading world.

-Paras Agarwal

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HELP IS ON THE WAY

There are a number of programs and organizations that are providing enough resources to help build a love of reading among children.

Here are some notable mentions.

 

PREMIER’S READING CHALLENGE

The Premier’s Reading Challenge is a literacy initiative developed by Australian state governments. It is set not as a competitive event, but rather as an individual challenge to each student, as well as to promote a love of reading books. The challenge is run in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria. It has been embraced by more than 95% of public, private and religious schools.

The guidelines to the program in each state differ slightly, but students must generally read a minimum of books within a certain amount of books, within a certain amount of time. In some states, these books must be a combination of personal choice books and other books from a pre-selected list of approved literature.
For more information on the program, visit their sites.

 

ZIPTALES

Ziptales is an online literacy “library” designed for school and home use. Ziptales has been a leader in the field of online literacy for more than 12 years. It is based on the latest research about how children develop and sustain a love of reading. The Ziptales “library” was built by trained teachers with the express purpose of making reading a pleasurable and lifelong experience.

How does it work?

Kids usually login to ziptales from school or home, where they get a database of hundreds of stories and activities to choose from. They have the option to read with or without animated voiceovers.

BRIGHTLY

Brightly is a resource to help moms and dads raise lifelong readers. Launched in partnership with Penguin Random House, Brightly features book recommendations from all publishers for every age and stage, reading tips and insights, seasonal inspirations, author essays, contests, gift guides, and more.

 

If you find this information useful, please leave a like or comment.

 

-Paras Agarwal

 

 

 

 

READING ROLE MODELS

Parents know how to inspire a love of books in babies and toddlers, but as kids get older and go to school, reading can be seen as work rather than fun — and kids, especially teens, may stop reading for pleasure.

Here are few tips that can help parents to become a reading role model that their child needs.

 
1. KEEP THINGS REAL

Make explicit connections between your child’s ability to read and her future options in life. If your child is thinking about college or a career path, have open, honest discussions about the ways reading might be necessary for her success. Just be careful to discuss, not preach. Encourage your child to brainstorm with you and to generate some of the ideas you discuss.

2. LET THEM CHOOSE

The best way to encourage your child to read is to allow them to read whatever they find engaging, whether it’s comic books, cookbooks or romance novels about vampires or zombies. The books they are drawn to might not be your favourites but don’t discourage their preferences. Reading is reading. Avoid any urge to censor her choices.

 
3. MERGE MOVIES WITH BOOKS

Hollywood is turning to teen lit for ideas more than ever. Offer your child the print version to read before or after a big film adaptation comes out, and talk about the similarities and differences between the two. Check out our list of Books to Read Before They’re Movies in 2016.

4. MODEL READING

The best way to create a culture of reading in your home is to read as much as possible. Read at home where your teens can see you. Talk about what you’re reading, and express your enjoyment. Always take a book or magazine along when you go to the beach or face waiting in a long line. Send your teen the message that reading is a pleasure, not a chore. The more your child sees you reading, the more likely they will follow suit. This doesn’t change once your child enters high school. Teens are even more resistant to any message that implies do as I say, not as I do.

5. TIE READING TO SOCIAL MEDIA

If your child likes texting friends and posting on social networks, you can give them mini-assignments that use those interests. For example, encourage them to start following a blog and to read interesting posts aloud to you occasionally. Or you could ask them to be on the lookout for interesting abbreviations people use in texts and get them to make a cheat sheet or to quiz you on what these abbreviations stand for.

6. KEEP READING MATERIAL AROUND

Kids who grow up with lots of books around tend to read more. Stock the bathroom, car, dining table — wherever there’s a captive audience — with comic books, graphic novels, and magazines geared to your teens’ interests; first books in hit young adult series; or classic sci-fi and mysteries.

7. LEVERAGE THEIR INTEREST IN CURRENT EVENTS

Highlight the ways that your high-schooler can use reading to keep tabs on what’s happening in her world. Encourage your child to pick up a newspaper or subscribe to a magazine. For teens with learning and attention issues, reading might seem frustrating or boring. But if your child is interested in sports, politics, celebrities, music, you name it, there will always be something they might want to read!

Please leave a like and comment with other useful tips.

-Paras Agarwal

201: How to read books efficiently

Have you ever wondered, how much you remember from a book?

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Usually, we forget half of what we read after 2 weeks and 90% after 2 months.

A great place to start with book retention is with understanding some key ways our brain stores information.

IMPRESSION

When you are very impressed by something (an idea, a picture, a sound, a face, a text, a situation), the probability that you will remember it is much higher. For example, if as a child you were left alone lost in a mall for a while, you might remember the whole situation very accurately. Same with your book: if you are very impressed by something the main character did in his journey, the chance you will remember this aspect becomes higher. The good thing is that you can increase the strength of this impression yourself while reading.

For example, you can stop reading one second and picture the situation in your mind, exaggerating some features of the situation in order to enhance the impression of your mental image, by adding violence, greatness, or anything to shock yourself. You can even add yourself into your mental picture, imagining that character thanking you for your help or kicking your butt or anything memorable. This will make the impression stronger.

ASSOCIATION

If you can link something you read to anything you already know, the probability of remembering it becomes even stronger—sometimes incredibly strong. For example, if your favourite character from the book was born on the same day as you, you would find it very easy to remember this because you linked the data you read to something you already know for sure and will not forget. It is like tying something new (the data you read, like birthdays) to a tree (a piece of data you know, your own birthday). That is why the more you know about a topic, the easier it is to learn more and more.

Linking the text to something you already know and prior knowledge, is a great way to build the association.

REPETITION

If you read a book 10 times you will remember more. Same for anything, a recipe, a route between two locations, the lyrics of a song, phone numbers, etc. The more you repeat, the more you remember. When reading a book, if you do not want to read it several times, you can highlight a few parts that you want to remember and re-read only those parts several times. You will remember these segments much better. And you will see that they will also help you remember the rest of the book.
In summary, impress yourself with powerful mental images, make associations with what you already know (and make sure you learn the basics before you learn more), and repeat this exercise several times. Work to become better at remembering and you will become better at remembering everything you want.

Survival of the Fittest

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Lately, in the past decade, there has been a surge of movies based on books especially children/young adult fiction books. Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight, Chronicle of Narnia, The Polar Express have all not just been movies adapted from books but have been highly successful in terms of revenue collection.

This brings us to two important questions –

Why read a book when you can watch it as a movie?

 

Can watching movies increase the determination in youngsters to read books?

These are two questions that are quite contradictory and yet go hand in hand. There are statements and arguments on both sides where some could argue that teenagers are more fascinated with the visual material than literary but many also believe that movies are the building block for reading books. On one hand, the book-based movie provides reinforcements for a struggling reader as it enhances the reading experience and allows the reader to visually connect with the words, allowing them to make necessary connections and help them comprehend what they normally wouldn’t be able to due to the low reading comprehension skills. But on the other hand, for an avid reader, the movie adaptation ruins the imagination and makes the reading experience uninteresting which contributes to the failure of having a deep attention span when reading that book. The risk factor involved in a movie adaption is also high as it could potentially damage the even slightest inclination for people to read the book if that movie turns out to be bad because it was poorly adapted from the book.

Let’s look at the stats.

In 2001, NPD Funworld found that seventy-nine percent of children ages 6-17, and seventy-one percent of adults who have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone planned on seeing the first Harry Potter movie (NPD). It is evident and quite logical that the majority of children and adults who have read books will definitely go and watch the movie adaption. But the question lies in whether these movies can make readers out of students that are reluctant to read. According to the book sales figures, children’s book-based movies bring interest to the books upon which they are based. The Polar Express normally sells approximately 200,000 copies every winter holiday season, but the movie release in November 2004 led to three million copies sold during the 2004 holiday season. Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting also sold more than six times more the year it appeared on the big screen. If one were to look at just the book sales it would appear that book-based movies do generate an interest in the books.

The notion that movie adaptations are bad for the reading culture is debatable, where it might influence the audience’s preference for choosing the medium to digest the story, however, it also opens up the possibility and curiosity among viewers to explore more in depth narration and characters through books.

Tell us your favorite movie adaptation in the comments below.

Also get involved by encouraging children and offer words of wisdom on social media, use the hashtag #risethroughreading.

-Paras Agarwal