A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Reading matters: Books can make a big difference in a child’s life and school performance

By Jill Barshay The Hechinger Report Literacy experts have long known that reading to toddlers, even babies, can make a big difference in children’s reading abilities later in elementary school. But does simply giving away free books to low-income families with young children help with early reading? An analysis of 44 studies of book giveaway programs concludes that free stuff does work. Dolly Parton’s...

Kentucky by Heart: A sampling of favorites from Kentucky’s bookworms to kick off the new year

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist It’s a new year and the winter season, and for many of us, it’s a time to renew — or simply resume — our reading habit. As I’ve done previously in this column, I figured it would be fun to see what literary delights Kentuckians are tasting these days. For a change of pace, I’m reading a couple of young adult books by Lexington author Ben Woodard....

Constance Alexander: The simple gift of reading brings peace on earth during Christmas season

In Iceland during World War II, foreign imports were restricted and gift options were scarce. Even though paper was cheap, such a small country could not support a year-round publishing industry. As a result, book publishers flooded the market with new titles in the final weeks of the year, thus launching the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð. To make the Christmas Eve tradition possible, the...

National education assessment shows Ky. stalls in fourth and eighth-grade math, declines in reading

Kentucky students have lost ground in fourth-grade reading, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress released Wednesday. The percent of students meeting or exceeding NAEP proficiency standards has declined from 40 percent in 2015 to 38percent in 2017 to 35% in 2019, and the drop from 2015 to 2019 is statistically significant. Results for eighth-grade reading and fourth...

Jamie’s Bookshelf: A look at some nonfiction selections for your September reading list

By Jamie H. Vaught KyForward Columnist • “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28) is an unusual look about topics that make people think differently about themselves and the world around them. In other words, the 415-page volume is basically about universal human condition. With startling...

Henry Clay High School senior adopts ELL Camp at elementary alma mater, provides needed support

In a clever example of paying it forward, a rising senior helped support a summer program at his former elementary school. When Joseph Craven, who is in the Liberal Arts Academy at Henry Clay High School, contacted the Family Resource Center coordinator looking for an opportunity to volunteer at The Academy for Leadership at Millcreek, she paired him with July’s ELL Camp. The grant-funded, two-week...

Garrard Middle School student McIntosh wins Legends’ Hit the Books design contest

Aubree McIntosh, a seventh-grade student at Garrard Middle School, was the winner of a bookmark design contest that is part of the Lexington Legends Hit the Books reading incentive program sponsored by Waffle House. Aubree received a Legends prize pack, including Legends merchandise and a framed Hit the Books poster featuring her artwork. She also will be invited to throw a ceremonial first pitch...

‘A Pocketful of Cricket,’ recorded by Madeline Abramson, now in Ky. Talking Book Library

Madeline Abramson, wife of Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, recently recorded the children’s book ‘A Pocketful of Cricket’ for the Kentucky Talking Book Library at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. (Photo by Tim Thornberry)   If you enjoy reading and have an interest in community service, consider volunteering at the Kentucky Talking Book Library.   Madeline...