Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Is lack of this simple skill interfering with your success?

teen reading during Teen Read Week
A photo by Circulating on Flickr
One of the best-loved and best-remembered times from childhood is story time.  Being read Treasure Island  before bed by Dad, sitting on the porch swing devouring a book over summer vacation, stretching out on a beach towel and reading with the sound of crashing waves in the background - all can evoke feelings of relaxation and nostalgia.

But for some people, reading is not fun.  It's a chore, rife with frustration and unmet expectations.  Usually when a person doesn't enjoy reading it is not a matter of learning disability, nor of intelligence, but rather a lack of strategies through which to engage with the material.

Julie B. Wise, Penn State instructor and reading specialist, is getting ready to launch her book, Reading Secrets, which is designed to teach strategies to increase comprehension and retention of reading material.  Ms. Wise works with college and high school students, and also advises reading specialists in school districts around the Northeastern U.S.  Her goal in writing the book is two-fold:
  1. To provide a resource text for teachers to use to improve reading skills in their students.
  2. To help students transform reading from an obstacle to an integral tool in their success in school, in work, in life.
Reading Secrets is based in sound reading theory, but it's not theoretical - it's hands-on and practical.  Wise demonstrates how to use tools like index cards, sticky notes, and doodling to help information sink into the reader's brain.  She talks about the styles of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and how to adapt reading style to the way in which the reader naturally best absorbs information.  Wise discusses the impact of distractions, and the importance of knowing your purpose when you read.

Skill in reading impacts educational success, which lays the foundation for work that is engaging and financially rewarding.  But beyond the obvious, reading helps to connect the reader to other people and the world.  It enables an individual to be secure in the lifelong activities and transactions that rely upon reading comprehension - loan documents, insurance policies, contracts, medication instructions.

We'll post "how to buy" information in a few weeks when ReadingSecrets has its official launch.  In the meantime, get out there and read!

1 comment:

flirtyourwaytoana said...

Hi Jim,
I have been working on finding keywords to use for my youtube videos when I discovered this blog you wrote. First let me say, excellent thoughts on the importance of reading to any career. Second, thanks for the shout out about the book. You can check out my new website at www.myreadingsecrets.com I am looking forward to seeing you at Rotary Club!