Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Tips for parents:

Tips for parents:
Getting boys to read

"If you are going to get boys to read, you must recognize the things that make boys different," says librarian and educator Michael Sullivan. Sullivan, author of the book "Connecting Boys with Books: What Librarians Can Do" recently presented a workshop through the Washington-Saratoga-Warren-Hamilton-Essex (WSWHE) BOCES on how to encourage boys to read.

The seminar was attended by several Guilderland Central School District librarians, who shared some of Sullivan's findings:

Did you know?

  • On average, boys read 1.5 years behind girls

  • A recent study out of Great Britain showed that girls read 15.6 hours per week versus boys, who typically read only about 2.3 hours per week

  • 60% of A's in the classroom go to girls; 70% of D's and F's go to boys

  • 80% of high school dropouts are male

Sullivan offered all educators, including parents, a challenge: reach out to boys on their turf; that is, find out what makes them tick and connect them with books that appeal to their interests.

Practical strategies

Sullivan also offered some additional strategies:

  • Finding and promoting male readers as role models

  • Use active learning - adding physical stimulation to reading time (boys' brains learn better with music, movement, etc.)

  • Using the power of challenging (and competitive) activities

  • Reaching out with stories that resonate with boys at each particular age

  • Talking about books in ways that make boys listen

  • Read to boys; tell stories

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