Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Novel Way To Develop Reading Habit In Students

Want to be Shri Library ? - Kranti Vibhute

Stung by low attendance in the library, Podar College of Commerce and Economics at Matunga has introduced a novel way to attract more students. Starting from June this year, the student making optimum use of the college library will be conferred the titled ‘Shri Library’ for the academic year 2006-07.

Says chief librarian Santosh Patil, “With the introduction of this novel scheme, we expect the number of library users to increase to 500 from the existing 400.”

The principal of Podar College, Ranjani Upadhyaya says the scheme will surely revive the reading habit among students. “We will keep a record of those students who visit the library regularly and draw up a list of potential winners,” says Upadhyaya.

“Our library has 90,000 books, 75,000 titles, 80 journals, and 650 CDs on various subjects. We obviously want our students to make use of them.”“

The winner will be allowed to borrow more than one book at a time. They will also win a trophy and a commendation certificate,” adds Upadhyaya.Says Priyanka Parmar (20), an SYBcom student, “I prefer visiting the library to purchasing notes. I would love to be called Shri Library.”

However, Pratik Shah (17), an FYJC Commerce student fears that the libraries will get overcrowded if such a scheme is introduced.


This Idea Deserves Kudos.

Shaping reading

Shridhar Balan

When books first appeared in the e-format (electronic version) to be read on the computer screen, there was a feeling that this might spell a decline of the printed format book.

However, more recent inventions have suggested that reading can indeed take place in a wide variety of places and formats. While these would serve to strengthen the reading habit, books need not be the only medium for this.

While MP3 and iPod players have profoundly changed the way people listen to music, it was hoped similar devices would affect the way people read. The invention of the rocket handheld Reader, a device which could download books from the net with an in-built memory for storage, did not quite revolutionise reading. There were not that many books on the net then and there were limitations on storage. It did not have page-turning software and reading was a downward linear progression, causing strain to the eyes .

There are now great expectations from the Sony Reader unveiled recently at the consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. This iPod-like device resembles a large electronic organiser. Its memory chip can hold up to 100 books at a time. These can be either downloaded from the net or the memory chip can be used to store digital versions of books for readers. It has an in-built page turning software where pages can be turned at the touch of a button. While the prototype at Las Vegas was said to cost around $300, its commercial version is likely to be launched later this year.

Publishers have welcomed the new technology that would strengthen reading, and, inter alia, for content. Major publishers are now making digital versions of their books for record, storage and for putting out in the electronic format. A copy of the digital version could easily be used for onloading onto the Reader. Sony has already signed agreements with leading publishers such as Random House and HarperCollins. Buoyed by the response from publishers, Sony is already working on new devices that will download books straight on to the Reader without using a computer. Knowing that price and content will be the key factors in the Reader’s success, Sony has realised that downloadable books have to cost less and readers must have access to a wide variety of books. It has plans to create a niche for electronic books on its website and is negotiating rights with publishers.

In the automobiles market, BMW has tried to gain an edge over others by using books and a love of reading by its customers. The popularity of MP3 has lead to the creation of BMW Audio Books which will only be available as free downloads. Leading authors from Random House like Karin Slaughter and Don Winslow have been specially commissioned to write 45-minute books. Each audio book features a different BMW car. The books complete are feature stories. Available as podcasts, the car is integral to the story. The book lasts for the intended length of the average car journey which is for 45 minutes.

Don Winslow's The Beautiful Ride has already been launched and Karin Slaughter’s Cold Cold Heart is expected. BMW hopes to launch a new book every two weeks and authors like James Flint and Simon Kernick are already in the pipeline.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Lack of reading habit should be studied

Lack of reading habit should be studied

MADIKERI: ‘Serious research has to be conducted on the lack of reading habit among children and adults,’’ said Sahithya Kendra, Mangalore, manager K Ratnakar Kulai.

Speaking to this website's newspaper on the response and sale of books in the book exhibition being held in Madikeri for the last one week, he said, ‘‘Since children spend most of the time at school, the influence of teachers on them would be greater and they can create reading habits among students.’’

He said that many schools in Dakshina Kannada give prizes to students in the form of books and this has helped inrease reading habits among children.Instead of giving glasses, plates and momentos as prizes, students should be given prizes in the form of valuable books. This will install discipline and curiosity among them, says Ratnakar.Ratnakar, who has been associated with the Sahithya Kendra Trust for the past 19 years, said he derives lot of satisfaction from his job as he has been a book lover from childhood onwards.

Sahithya Kendra Trust, Mangalore has completed 25 years in conducting various programmes and activities and has taken up sale of books as a social service.The book exhibition is being conducted for the second consecutive year in Madikeri. Ratnakar informs that the sales and response has been good so far.

Exhibitions were also conducted in Gonikoppa, Virajpet and Somwarpet but due to various reasons, the response was not up to the expected level, he added.He also announced the publication of a new newsletter called ‘‘Saraswathi,’’ which will provide important book reviews and details of new arrivals.

The Sahithya Kendra has also experimented door delivery of books called ‘‘Mane Manege Pusktaka’’ and has got good response throughout DK, Uttarkannada and Udupi districts where it has covered more than 150 villages, Ratnakar added.Books on personality development, philosophy, cookery, designing, tailoring etc have been on display during the exhibition.He said this time more women and students turned out at the exhibition.

Along with the Sahithya Kendra, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kodagu Kendra, ISKCON, Madikeri and Sri Aurobindo Kali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture,(SAKSI), Bangalore has also put up stalls.Sreenivas Kulkarni from SAKSI, said: ‘‘The institution is seven years old and has brought out 101 books so far. We have come to Madikeri to bring awareness on Vedic literature and philosophy of great men like Sri Aurobindo,’’ he said.

Kulkarni also said that it was the idea of Dr RL Kashyap professor at Purude University, USA, to provide reading material on Vedic literature and other deeper themes in philosophy in all the languages of India.Kulkarni also lauded the efforts of the administrator and one of the trustees of the institution, RV Jahagirdar who too penned many books for the institution to make popular the vedic literature and other philosophies.He said that books like Rudra Mantragalu,

Pranayama and books on mantras are in great demand.Kulkarni also informed that stalls have been put in other ‘sahithya sammelans’ and various parts of Bangalore.


Thursday, February 09, 2006

Teaching Good Habits Early

Most of the school entering children dont realise that they have about 12 more years ahead of them but what a lot they will learn in that time going from ABC to algebra.

Our childrens education doesnt stop at the school gates though, and in addition to all the other things our kids will learn, one of the best skills we can teach them is responsible money management.

While the idea of being financially independent is appealing to most people, the fact is we have one of the lowest saving rates of developed nations, and this is leaving many households financially vulnerable.

As parents we have the opportunity to protect our children from this situation by teaching them some valuable money basics.

The use of pocket money is a good starting point for teaching money concepts though it works best when the kids actually have to work for the money.

A few simple chores can be sufficient but it is important to teach kids that money is a reward for effort.

And just as adults can earn overtime, you may want to give your children a modest increase in their pocket money if they take on and complete more jobs.

All children seem to grasp the concept of saving, though for very small children the introduction of a piggy bank can be a helpful teaching tool.

This allows them to watch the money physically accumulate, rather than trying to fathom numbers on an account statement.

As children get older they can be introduced to the concept of earning interest, and at this point the piggy bank often loses its charm.

There are plenty of savings accounts available designed especially for children, and while some offer marketing gimmicks like stickers or comics, its best to encourage children to focus on the
main game of earning a decent interest rate.

The other thing to be mindful of is accounts charging high fees. Adults often find it difficult to understand why their bank fees are so high, but for children bank fees can be downright counterproductive, turning them off the idea of entrusting their savings to a financial institution.

As a starting point, online bank accounts can be great for kids. It lets them do their banking on the home computer, they have the potential to earn decent interest, and many online savers are fee free.

Paul Clitheroe is a founding director of financial planning firm ipac, host of Channel Nines Money reports and chief commentator for Money Magazine.


Reading Buddies Program

Reading Buddies - Handley Sophomores Visit John Kerr Wednesdays to Read to 1st-Graders

By Daneesha R. Davis The Winchester Star

Six-year-old Lizzy Bacha pulled the large picture book into her lap and pointed at the page.
“I spy three carrots,” she said, touching them with her finger.

Toni Ivanova, 16, smiled and leaned over the book to help Lizzy, a first-grader at John Kerr Elementary School, find a candle, keys, and other objects scattered across the page.

Toni, a Handley High School sophomore, is part of a group of 10 to 15 10th-graders who spend Wednesdays at John Kerr reading to first-graders.

John Handley High School sophomore Kelly Kinsey reads to John Kerr Elementary School first-grader Cameron Johnson during Reading Buddies program at John Kerr.(Photo by Jeff Taylor)

“I thought it would be really interesting,” Toni said. “It’s really cute to see how excited they get.”

The Reading Buddies program was started this year by Elise Delmerico, president of Handley’s sophomore class.

“I wanted to do projects that reached out to the community,” Elise said. Elise, who wants to be a teacher, said she thought the project would be good for bridging the gap between elementary and high school students.

After getting permission from school administrators to proceed with the program, it started the second week of September and has been highly successful, Elise said.

Handley students are dismissed at 3:15 p.m. John Kerr students are released at 3:20 a.m.

The Reading Buddies program lasts from 3:30 to 4 p.m.

Each Handley student teams with about two or three children. They pick a corner or comfortable spot and hunker down to read for half an hour.

Sometimes, the children read to the high school students.

“It’s a positive role model situation for them,” Elise said.

Toni, Lizzy’s reading buddy, said if students get in the habit of reading early, they’ll do better in school.

Sometimes, Elise throws in a few reading comprehension questions when reading.

Sophomore Steve Berkenkemper was reading a book about spacecraft and birds of prey.

“I really like kids and I thought it was about time I started working with kids,” he said about joining the program.

Steve’s reading buddy, 7-year-old Nealon Davis, asked Steve to talk about math.

So Steve gave him some multiplication problems to solve.

“I’ll give you a brain-buster,” he said. “What’s 12 times 12?”

Nealon said he liked math better, and then he became silent while trying to figure out the answer.

Brady Spaid, 6, said he likes being read to, especially if it’s from a Clifford book.

He sat watching and listening to Handley’s Elizabeth Barley read “Cinderella.”

Elizabeth said she’s having a lot of fun reading with the children.

“I’ve loved reading since I was little,” she said.

“Hopefully it will brush off on them too.”

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