Dyslexia and Comedy by Liz Miele

 Credit To: http://dyslexicadvantage.org 

Comedian Liz Miele talks dyslexia and thinking differently in this inspirational talk at the Dyslexic Advantage Conference on Dyslexia and Innovation 2015. 


 credit to: 


Curtis “Wall Street” Carroll overcame poverty, illiteracy, incarceration and a lack of outside support to become a stock investor, creator and teacher of his own financial literacy philosophy.


 CREDIT TO: https://www.readingrockets.org/article/family-literacy-tips-z

Encourage literacy in your home and community! Here are a few tips to start everyone on the road to reading.

Ask your child questions about the story you're reading to ensure comprehension.

Book family time to read with your children every day.

Create a special reading place in your home, with your child's favorite books within reach.

Donate funds to a literacy cause.

Encourage children to read words on TV, street signs, mugs and T-shirts.

Find new stories to read with your children every week. Vary their length and subject matter.

Give your time to read aloud to a child.

Have a child read a book to you.

International Literacy Day is held on September 8 every year. Celebrate the day by picking up a book and reading to a child.

January 27 is Family Literacy Day in Canada and November 1 in the United States. Find out how to create an event in your corner of the world.

Keep teens reading. Give them books, newspaper articles and magazines about things that interest them – music, movies, TV and computers.

Let children count out the change when making a purchase. Reinforce the importance of math in everyday life!

Make every day a learning day. Ask your children to make a shopping list, read recipes together or help them make a calendar of their weekly activities.

Newborns benefit from reading too!

Organize a children's book club with friends in your neighborhood.

Pick one night a week to make a regular visit to the library.

Quiet, cozy reading spaces are good places for your child to read independently.

Remember that children learn by example – if you recognize the importance of reading, your children will too!

Start early! It's never too early to read to your children.

Treat a child to a story a day.

Use reading time to create a special bond with a child.

Volunteer your time. Family literacy groups in your community could use your help with tutoring adults, reading to children and helping out with administrative tasks.

Write a letter.

X-ercise your mind! Reading ability is like a muscle, if you don't exercise it often, you will not maintain the same level of reading ability as you get older. So – "use it or lose it"!

You are the key to improving a child's reading ability by placing a high priority on reading in your home.

Zap off the TV - pick up a book instead!


Original Post Date: March 2021

Excerpt Credit To: https://ideas.ted.com/how-literature-yes-literature-can-help-you-better-connect-with-others/

How do books pull off their magic trick of transporting us into another person’s body? 

Taking a look at the brain — specifically, the multiple regions that engage and coordinate when we read — gives us a clue.

One of my favorite authors is Jane Austen, and in one of my favorite studies, literature PhD students were given a Jane Austen novel to read — but not on a couch. Instead, they read the Austen inside a fMRI Machine, which depicts brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. Natalie Phillips, the literary scholar who worked on the study, hypothesized that the subjects, while reading, would experience an increase in blood to the areas of the brain responsible for processing language. 

To her surprise, the students experienced a dramatic global increase, with blood flowing to areas that have nothing to do with processing language.Say you read a passage about running through a forest. You’d expect the left temporal lobe, the area responsible for language processing, to light up. It does — but so does the frontal lobe’s motor cortex, which coordinates the body’s movements. In fact, it lights up in the same way it would if you were actually running. Say you read the words “lavender” or “coffee” or “cinnamon.” You’ll experience the activity we’d expect in your left temporal lobe but you’d also have activity in your olfactory cortex, which lights up in the same way it would if you were actually smelling those scents.

This kind of activity doesn’t happen with fact-based nonfiction, such as political journalism, movie reviews or Ikea bookshelf assembly manuals. That Ikea manual might result in a cool bookcase, but if you want to light up your brain like fireworks on the Fourth of July, you need to stock that bookcase with Jane Austen (and read it).






AUGUST 13, 1952 - MAY 31, 2022

"It is such a blessing to think about the many, many ways that Charlie served the children and families of our community and the impact his life has had on thousands of people." 

How I 'learned' to read as an adult by Nicole Phillip

Original Post Date: February 27, 2022

Credit To: https://theweek.com/books-to-read/1010618/how-i-learned-to-read

I secretly hated reading. Then I learned to love it.

I didn't learn how to read until a few months ago.I don't mean "learn" in the strict sense of sounding out words, understanding syntax, and comprehending meaning. I'm a journalist, so I spend most of my days reading articles to stay informed or to support fellow writers.

My issue was "learning how to read" more than 1,400 words without the threat of a failing grade (or fear of filing a badly supported article to my editor) pressuring me to find every symbolic reference for "rebirth" or profusely annotate the diction. Unless I had an assignment to finish, I just couldn't find a reason to read books. And when I tried, I quickly lost steam after rushing to meet an imaginary deadline.

Eventually, I stopped pretending, but I would soften the landing by saying "I don't have time to read" whenever it came up. Which is true. In my view, an opportunity to read was also the perfect time to finish a show, run an errand or take a nap, and when presented with those options, I never chose reading.

After years of trying and failing to read more, I knew I was taking my ability to understand difficult prose for granted. And I wanted to experience the joy of getting lost in a narrative that I heard about from others.

I needed to figure it out.

So I was intrigued when, a few months ago, a friend approached me about a total-body fitness challenge called "75 Medium." In addition to a few other commitments including exercise, the program challenges you to devote 10 minutes a day to reading or "personal development" for 75 days.

I'm not into "self-help" podcasts so I immediately decided against "personal development," but I had been stuck on page 25 of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab since 2020.The book has the modern fiction style and language that I assumed the reader-version of myself would like. But not even the case of a French woman in New York City doomed by an evil god to be forgotten for an eternity had been enough for me to read it from cover to cover.

Nevertheless, I gave it another shot.

The first day I sat down in my reading nook (a part of my office I decorated just for show), I took note of my start time assuming it would be the only way to ensure I completed a full 10 minutes. And I read much slower than my usual race-to-the-finish mindset allows so I could fill time. I got through fewer than 5 pages, taking in every word, re-reading lines that struck me so they could hit harder the second time, reminiscing about New York and imagining France in the 1700s — and when I looked at my phone, I saw 20 minutes had passed.

It used to be that, whenever I did manage to make a dent in a book, I went into it like I "had a term paper due," as a friend once put it. I'd calculate how many pages I needed to read each session in order to finish as soon as possible.

This time, I'd only read a couple of pages, but I didn't feel anxious about being nowhere near the end. I had 75 days to finish, so why rush? And not only did I take my time, but I also enjoyed the ride.

Days turned into weeks and my 10-minute reading sessions soon became 30 minutes to an hour-long. It turns out that reading is easier when you're not approaching it as though you have to write a paper about it in two weeks.

And while 10 minutes isn't actually enough time for a nap, a show, or to run an errand, I've found it is the perfect amount of time to slow down and get lost in a good book.

Learn more about Nicole Phillip at http://theweek.com/authors/nicole-phillip    


Original Post Date: April 2022

Credit: https://youtu.be/6A1ksPGbRxs 



Original Post Date: 

Credit To: (therealdealofparenting) https://therealdealofparenting.com/7-books-for-your-teenager-to-read/


As the parent of a high school student there are a lot of issues to deal with. It can be easy to forget about the importance of reading in the life of your teenager, but this activity can be a way for the two of you to connect. It can also be the perfect opportunity to help your child deal with the unique struggles he or she is facing at this stage of life.

Many of the novels your child enjoyed (or maybe didn’t find the time to enjoy) in middle school are still perfect for him now that he’s a few years older. This is also a great time to introduce your child to the classics, books that he otherwise might not choose to read.

There are more books for your child to discover than he will ever find time to read. I think it’s important that he still reads for the pure joy of it. I hope the rigors of education have not stolen this experience from him. I hope he doesn’t equate reading with book reports or tests. But, even if he does, these final years of high school can be a chance for you to help him rediscover the thrill of reading he experienced so long ago, when books were simply a way to engage his imagination. After all, that’s what books should be for all of us.


There are many books I could put on this list, but here are seven for your high schooler (and you) to enjoy:


This story will take your high school student on an adventure where he will fight alongside the characters as they struggle with good versus evil, usually in the form of the characters they will, most likely, recognize from their own life experiences. Great Expectations is an excellent story, but it’s more than that. It allows us to explore different personalities, explore love and what that word means, and explore the struggle to overcome obstacles.

THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak

Historical fiction is a way to learn about more than just our past. It’s also a chance to think about human nature, including our own. This story, set in WWII, shares the importance of words, the sacrifices of friendship, and how to overcome impossible difficulties. This is an excellent book to read before or with your child as it lends itself to meaningful discussions. And who doesn’t want an excuse to talk to your teenager more often?

LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott

Your teenager will quickly identify with the four March sisters as they travel, over the pages of this story, from childhood to adulthood. This time of transition is one your child is experiencing too. Reading Little Women will bring about an appreciation of the way the characters interact with their mother, with those who are less fortunate than them, and with the all-too-familiar friend/love interest. Some things in life never change. This book will help remind your child that those from the past aren’t so different from them and what they are experiencing today.

A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness

This fantasy book deals with the death of a parent. This novel, complete with illustrations, will encourage your child to empathize with others. It also is the perfect choice to explain to him how hope can follow great loss. Although this book would be considered a middle school choice, it is one that your young adult will enjoy as well. This story shares the important message of how life is not free from pain while exploring how it can be overcome.

THE HOBBIT by J.R.R. Tolkien

This novel will introduce your teenager to complex characters, a quest of heroic dimensions, and growth through adversity. This series, technically only two books, also includes other books from J.R.R. Tolkien which take place in the fantasy world he created for his readers. This story, with elements similar to the fairy tales your teenager is most likely familiar with from his childhood, offers an engaging world for him to get lost in.

HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

There are many popular dystopian novels for your teenager to read, but the Hunger Games trilogy (along with the newly released prequel) is especially hard to put down once the first page of the first book is opened. These stories are more than just a chance for your child to go on an adventure with the characters. They explore the themes of sacrifice, friendship, love, and survival.


This allegory of the life of a Christian will take your teenager on an important journey with the protagonist. While they travel together, your child will experience the obstacles and trials the protagonist, Christian, faces. He will also enjoy triumphs along with Christian as he makes his way toward the Celestial City. At this point in your child’s life, when he is on the very cusp of adulthood and ready to venture out on his own, this book is a good reminder of what life is really all about.

Audiobooks are a great option

The days of taking your child to a story hour at the library are long gone. He most likely no longer asks for money to buy books at his school’s book fair. In fact, reading may not be a subject he discusses with you at all. But this stage in his life is the perfect time for you to open up the world of reading for him. Don’t forget that books don’t have to be made of paper. Audiobooks and ebooks are both great choices for readers of every age. Reading is reading; no matter how it happens.

Read more of Sandy's work on her blog at sandybrannan.com.


Original Post Date: 2.20.2022

Credit To: (therealdealofparenting) https://therealdealofparenting.com/seven-books-for-your-upper-elementary-middle-school-reader/

If you’re the parent of an upper elementary or middle school student, your child is most likely either a bookworm or a reluctant reader. If your child loves to read, this list of books will be a welcome addition to his bookshelf. If your child claims to be a nonreader, this list will provide a variety of options to pique his interest in reading.

When a child has acquired the skills needed to be a successful reader, he needs to be surrounded by books he enjoys, books to keep him interested in reading. There are tons of great books for these young readers to choose from. The trick is to find the ones your child will enjoy, the ones guaranteed to have him reaching for a book daily.

I would caution parents of upper elementary or middle school students to not focus on reading levels. The most important gift you can give your child at this crucial point in his reading journey is to allow him to read what interests him as you present reading as something to enjoy rather than a chore to suffer through. This attitude will go a long way toward helping your child become an adult who reads.

Here are some books for you and your child to consider.


Hatchet is the first book in Gary Paulsen’s five-book series Brian’s Saga. If your child loves adventure or the outdoors, this book will be compelling. While it deals with real issues such as divorce and survival, readers will enjoy experiencing the main character’s transformation. These books are long enough to deliver an excellent story while being short enough not to overwhelm a reluctant reader.


Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham is an excellent mystery with a thirteen-year-old protagonist that young readers will be able to relate to. Readers will be drawn into this story as well as the others in this series. These books are well-written, providing plenty of intrigue which will keep the reader turning page after page until he reaches the end of the story.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio is the perfect book for this age group because it deals with the insecurities experienced by most middle school students. This book, through excellent storytelling, gently teaches its reader the importance of kindness and the power of empathy as he reads about the unique struggles of the protagonist.


Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is an exciting book for older students in this age group. Originally released as a trilogy, there is now a fourth book which is a prequel to this futuristic world. Each book will take your child on a dystopian adventure. Its teenage protagonist reveals her true character as she is forced to make tough decisions. This futuristic genre has been widely duplicated, so your child will have plenty of other reading choices once he finishes this trilogy.



Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick has everything a middle school student enjoys. Your child will read about annoying sibling troubles, friendship issues including a first crush, and the everyday life experienced in a typical middle school setting. What sets this book apart is the changes that takes place in the heart of the protagonist as he experiences his brother’s cancer diagnosis. This book will hold your child’s attention as he gets drawn into the world of this family Sonnenblick has so masterfully created.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is the perfect segue to more sophisticated reading material. The size of this book might intimidate most young readers, but more mature children will quickly get drawn into this historical fiction story. Sharing about what life was like for a child who lived through a difficult time in our history, this expertly written novel will open up a world of reading your child may have never experienced before. It would be an excellent book to read at the same time as your child, giving you opportunities for meaningful conversations as the two of you get lost in the same fictitious world.


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the first in the seven-book world created by C.S. Lewis. This series, The Chronicle of Narnia, will take your child through a fantasy world which will share Christianity with your child. This first book takes your reader on an adventure with four siblings who find themselves in a new and exciting world. These books are a perfect way to introduce the excitement of reading a series to your young reader.

There are numerous excellent choices when it comes to helping your child decide which books he wants to read. Please don’t forget about graphic novels which most definitely count as reading. Audiobooks are another great choice for your multi-tasking child or the reader who doesn’t enjoy sitting still while holding a book in his hands.

It’s easy to assume your child will no longer enjoy you reading aloud to him at this age. While he may be too big to climb into your lap for you to read to him these days, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much both of you will enjoy a routine of a chapter a night together.

To learn more about North Carolina author Sandy Brannan visit



 Original Post Date: 2.23.2022

Credit To: (therealdealofparenting) https://therealdealofparenting.com/7-books-for-your-early-reader/

It can be tempting to want to replace all your child’s toddler books with chapter books once he becomes an early reader. Please don’t. Those familiar stories are still a great way to read with your child as he develops the vast array of skills necessary to become a fluent reader.

It also can be tempting to expect your early reader to know how to read every book you share with him, but reading is actually a series of steps which build upon each other. Your child needs to know his alphabet, learn how to connect sounds to letters (phonemic awareness), and have a solid understanding of phonics before learning to decode CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, recognize sight words, and learn rules such as short vowels versus long vowels.

The good news is your child doesn’t have to learn it all at once. There’s also a lot of fun to be had while your child masters all he needs to know to become a fluent reader who comprehends what he has read. In fact, keeping the fun in reading is the best gift you can give your child.

There are seven books you need to include on your bookshelf to ensure your child has fun while finding success as an early reader.

1. Wordless books such as A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog by Mercer Mayer are important for your early reader. 

When you share a wordless book with your child, have him look at the pictures as he tells you the story. This encourages the important skills of predicting and making inferences. It also encourages your child to use his imagination.

2. BOB books by Lynn Maslen Kertell are the perfect way to teach and reinforce pre-reading skills as well as early reading skills. 

These mini-books are a just-right fit for your child’s hands, and the short text and simple pictures won’t be overwhelming for your young reader. Whether your child is mastering the alphabet or practicing CVC words, these books are a great choice for your child’s bookshelf.

3. Dr. Seuss books such as The Cat in the Hat are a delightful read for all ages, but beginning readers especially enjoy them. 

The simple text coupled with engaging illustrations are sure to captivate your child as he first listens to you read and later learns to decode the words for himself.

4. Mo Willems books, such as We Are in a Book! featuring Elephant and Piggie, are perfect for introducing the adventures of characters and how their interactions affect the outcome of the story.

These simple stories will make your child laugh as he follows these characters through the beginning, middle, and end of their easy-to-understand plots.

5. Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton and other “I Can Read” books provide your child with a character he will enjoy getting to know. 

With several selections to choose from, your child will want to read them all. The text is designed with the beginning reader in mind, allowing him to use his decoding skills as well as practice the sight words he has learned.

6. National Geographic Readers: Weather, and the other Level One books in this series, are a wonderful way to introduce nonfiction to your young reader.

Children are naturally curious and nonfiction books not only teach your child about the world around him, but they also are a good way to introduce new vocabulary.

7. A great way to introduce chapter books to this age group is the Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo. 

These books, including Mercy Watson to the Rescue, have very short chapters with delightful illustrations. Each chapter ends with just enough of a cliffhanger to make your child want to read more without leaving him frustrated.

As you think about which books to buy your child, don’t forget the importance of audiobooks. You can play these while driving in the car or hanging around the house. Listening to these with your child will allow for the opportunity to engage in conversations about the stories which is an important component of critical thinking and comprehension. Listening will also aid your child with his own fluency as a reader.

No matter how many books your child can read on his own, it’s important to still read to your child. Not only will this give you the opportunity to model successful reading, but this time together is priceless as you are making memories you both will cherish.

To learn more about North Carolina author Sandy Brannan, visit 



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