Between the Stacks

  • Friday, January 10, 2014

It’s a sad reality that as homework and assigned readings increase, recreational reading decreases for many teens. A book needs to be extremely compelling to compete with the likes of social media, gaming, and video streaming, and apps provide a lot of competition to traditional reading. So the question is, How can we get kids to want to scroll through something other than a Facebook or Instagram feed?

There’s a reason our kids should be stepping up their scrolling. Common Core Standards for ELA cite the importance of reading and comprehending literary nonfiction or informational texts at every grade level. Students may get exposure to these texts through class readings, but studies show that fluency accelerates when students are able to read about subjects that interest them.

A great way to develop interests in middle and high school students is to turn them on to specialty magazines. These publications contain a lot of technical and specialized vocabulary in a context which challenges and motivates young people to learn and excel in everything from crafts to cooking, from cars to rock climbing.

Now, I know what you are going to say, and yes, I have seen the cost of magazines these days. I also know the high cost of clutter, and how hard it is to let go of a stack of magazines that I never quite got through, but paid good money for.

But what if I told you that you and your kids could download popular and specialty magazines to your favorite electronic devices, keep them for as long as you want, and it wouldn’t cost you a penny? Magazines that would address your child’s emerging fascination with skateboarding, writing, interior design, fitness, science, knitting, fishing, or fashion? Sounds like a deal, right?

Zinio markets itself as the world’s largest newsstand, and CCPL has contracted with them to provide over 150 of their most popular titles at no charge to our library customers. Just have your library card handy, go to www.ccpl.org, click on the “Downloadable Media” button on the left side of the page, choose the links for Zinio to explore the titles, and learn how to get started.

Pretty soon, you and your kids will have ready reading while you sit at doctors’ offices, sports practices, and airports. You will be there with them to help with challenging vocabulary and content. And in their free time, your kids will encounter talented people with interesting hobbies, whose lives have been enriched and shaped through practice and perseverance. It’s like a mini-field trip, while you wait.

As a final thought, consider that magazines are a window into the world of your teens, and an opportunity to discuss their interests on a higher level. Maybe you haven’t picked up a surfboard in 25 years, but your daughter does every weekend. Because it interests her, you read an article in Surfing World, and encourage her to do the same. Suddenly, you have a shared experience that launches a conversation about technique, or character, or a trip to Hawaii. And how can a Twitter feed compete with a discussion like that?

Upcoming programs at Mount Pleasant Regional Library:

•Reel Club: Book/Movie Discussion Group (adults)

Wednesday, January 8, 2:00 p.m.

Read the book, watch the movie and then participate in a lively discussion. Book: “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis. Movie: “The Blind Side.” Rated PG-13; 128 minutes.

•Savvy Social Security Seminar (adults)

Saturday, January 11, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Learn strategies to maximize your Social Security benefits during an informative presentation from financial planner John Williams.

•Second Saturday Writing Critique Group (ages 16 and older)

Saturday, January 11, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Open to all writers. For more information, call the Reference Desk at 849-6161 or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

•Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, January 13, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield

•Start the New Year with “Get Organized” Resolutions! (adults)

Tuesday, January 14, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

Organizing and productivity tips and ideas for home and office. Presented by National Association of Professional Organizers.

•Movie and a “Dog” (grades 6-12)

Thursday, January 16, 3:00 p.m.

Watch “Man of Steel” and snack on a hot dog. Rated PG-13; 143 minutes.

•Stretching with Dr. Erikka for Parents and Tots (all ages)

Friday, January 17, 10:30 a.m.

Parents and children of all ages are welcome to join Dr. Erikka Curia, Chiropractor at ChiroLife, for a brief morning session of stretching for good health.

•Mt. Pleasant Cribbage Club (adults)

Tuesday, January 21, 2:00-3:30 p.m.

•Guest writer Delores Schweitzer, formerly a middle and high school librarian, is excited to be the new branch manager at the Edgar Allan Poe Branch Library on Sullivan’s Island. For more information about Poe, Mt. Pleasant Regional, and all branches of Charleston County Public Library, visit ccpl.org or call Mt. Pleasant Regional at 849-6161.

Guest writer Delores Schweitzer is the new branch manager at the Poe branch on Sullivan’s Island.

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