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2019 AASL Keynotes: Support Diverse Representation and Defuse Bias

Diversity, understanding bias, and the power of human kindness were main themes in all three conference keynote speeches at the Association of American School Librarians (AASL) National conference. Ellen Oh, author and co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, educator Adolph Brown, and graphic novelist Jarrett J. Krosoczka also spoke of the profound influence libraries had on their childhoods and lives.

'It saddens me': Thousands of HISD students never check out books from school libraries

Records obtained by the Houston Chronicle show that thousands of elementary and middle school children in HISD rarely take home books from their campus library, limiting opportunities to hone literacy skills and a love for reading at a critical time in their development. In at least seven HISD schools, all of which serve predominantly low-income students, a majority of children did not check out a single book in 2018-19, the records show. The paltry checkout rates are indicative of HISD’s relatively low investment in library services, which has drawn criticism for more than a decade from librarians, literacy advocates and some district leaders.

Supreme Court May Side with Trump on 'DREAMers'

The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority signaled Tuesday that it may let the Trump administration shut down the Obama-era program that granted temporary protection from deportation to roughly 700,000 young people, commonly known as DREAMers.

Should Illinois rewrite the way it funds early learning? The case starts to build.

Currently only one in four Illinois children shows up to kindergarten prepared, according to results of a state kindergarten readiness assessment. One reason: While the state has invested in quality programs, they reach too few children. A September analysis by the group Illinois Action for Children illustrated vast inequities in how preschool seats are distributed. Some communities have no seats for children from low-income families, while others have an overabundance. How Illinois can fortify its system, which is recognized nationally for its high quality but only reimburses centers between $24 and $32 a day to care for preschoolers, is one of the questions facing the administration of Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

Books on wheels: When the library comes to the homeless shelter

As Denecia and her 9-year-old daughter Elianna browse through the rows of books in this special branch of the Queens Library, both begin to beam. She’s actually kind of "old school" when it comes to books, Denecia says. Ever since she was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, she found the local library a special place, an escape both from digital noise and some of the other tumult in her life. A combination of factors, including the loss of her job and the costs of finding child care, left Denecia and her two children, including her 6-year-old Elise, without a home over a year ago. Today the Queens mobile library has come to her, parking outside the family shelter where she and 254 other families now live.

How 'Sesame Street' is still supporting families, 50 years after its debut

November marks the 50th anniversary of public television's "Sesame Street," a cultural landmark widely praised for its approach to children's programming. But beyond the songs and fun, "Sesame Street" does some serious work for those in need, providing special support and guidance for military families and addressing topics like autism and addiction. Hari Sreenivasan reports.

How they got to 'Sesame Street': Interview with original cast member from NJ, Bob McGrath

Bob Johnson was one of the four original human cast members of "Sesame Street," and a fixture on the show for 45 of its 50 years. "Beyond question, 'Sesame Street' was the number one thing of my life," said McGrath, who will be appearing on "Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration" at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, on HBO, the show's home since 2016, and on PBS on Nov. 17.