In honor of National Family Literacy Day (November 1), we are highlighting some interesting links and studies available in our database on children/adolescents, health, and literacy.

  • National Family Literacy Day is an intiative by the National Center for Family Literacy.
  • There are so many public service announcements (PSAs) on smoking, drinking, drugs, and other health issues, some directed at children and young adults and others directed at adults. But what effect do PSAs about reading have, if any? This study looked at positive and negative literacy television messages and assessed children's thoughts about them.
  • If you're a parent or doctor interested in promoting early literacy and all the great health and social gains that come out of it, you might find websites like Zero to Three, Reach Out and Read, the Center for Early Literacy Learning, or UNICEF's Early Childhood website helpful.
  • Talking, singing, and reading with babies is great for the development–and markedly different from watching television with them–as this study observes.
  • That's not to say that media can't be a valuable way to help children learn. Take a look at this study on the transfer of learning from books and video, a study on media-rich literacy interventions, a study on low-income preschoolers learning to use books and television, and another study on the use of audiobooks with adolescents with dyslexia.
  • A 2008 study in our database just wanted to know what kinds of books adolescents read, when they read, and why.
  • Want some perspectives from professionals not in the health field? Take a look at the National Education Association's facts about children's literacy and their intiative Read Across America. You might also like to read about the American Library Association's stance on family literacy, including various intiatives sponsored by their ethnic caucuses and library divisions.
  • Family literacy isn't just about getting every member in the family to read. It's also about promoting positive family interactions and togetherness. Here is a study on family dinners and television to take a look at. In 2010, the New York Times found that time families spent together was increasing. Finally, the grassroots organization the Family Dinner Project offers families lots of resources for spending quality fun time together–think of all the possibilities that eating together can lead to: conversation can increase the vocabularies of babies and toddlers; children and parents can talk about the books they're reading or the things they're leanring in school; and cooking together means the potential for a much healthier meal than you might find in a restaurant.
  • Finally, take a look at this article on how mothers who are literate can help make their kids healthier.

Are you planning on celebrating National Family Literacy Day?

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