Terrific Tuesday: Read. Play. Run.

Football star Malcolm Mitchell of the University of Georgia joined a women's book club -- but that's only a small part of his success story.

Football star Malcolm Mitchell of the University of Georgia joined a women’s book club — but that’s only a small part of his success story.

Every now and then, we see something on television that we must share.

Although our readers know that the Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, works at the University of South Carolina and cheers for the Gamecocks, we are nevertheless giving a “shout-out” today to Malcolm Mitchell, a wide receiver for the University of Georgia football team, known as the Bulldogs.

CBS News featured Malcolm on its newscast Friday night and again on its Sunday Morning program. The TV story was done not because of his starring role on the football field. It is because Malcolm joined a women’s book club in Athens, Ga., which is a funny story in itself. The group of women in their 40s to 60s welcomed Malcolm of Valdosta, Ga., as a member, and he participates in their discussion of books that he probably wouldn’t have read otherwise.

The important part of the story here, however, is that Malcolm realized that he was not reading at a college level when he arrived at UGA. So, he began putting as much attention into reading as he does playing football. His efforts earned him the name “nerd” among his friends. It’s a title, he says, that he’s proud of because he had to work so hard to earn it. Football, he explained to the interviewer, was a gift, and it came easy to him. Reading was a challenge, but Malcolm tackled it and has excelled.

You don’t have to be a UGA fan to be proud of Malcolm’s many achievements on and off the field. And we applaud his making a difference in literacy through sharing his personal story.

As a famous blogger, I, Lady Louise, do wonder if Malcolm knows that the word “nerd” found it’s way into our language because of Dr. Seuss. I wrote about it once in this very blog. The first time that the word “nerd” appeared in the English language was in 1950 in the Dr. Seuss book “If I Ran the Zoo.” A character in the book, Gerald McGrew, tells about the fabulous creatures that he would have in a zoo “… a Nerckle, a Nerd, and a Seersucker, too.”

You must see this important story on Malcolm Mitchell. He is an inspiration to many!


And, of course, “Go ‘Dogs!”

 (Photo from tv.yahoo.com)



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Terrific Tuesday: Say It in Handwriting!


Those of you who know the Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, have come to realize that she is not a fan of educators who have abandoned — or wish to abandon — handwriting and especially cursive writing. We will not explore her long list of reasons here because it might send me in search of the fainting couch or, at the very least, a good snackee.

Anyway, she is a happy person today because an article in the New York Times reports on new evidence (ahem — even printed in the Science section of The Times) supporting the need for handwriting. The article, “What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades,” tells us that new evidence suggests “that the links between handwriting and broader educational development run deep.”

According to those associated with studying the impact that handwriting has on learning, memory and imagination, “children not only learn to read more quickly when they first learn to write by hand, but they also remain better able to generate ideas and retain information. In other words, it’s not just what we write that matters — but how.”

Perhaps before we send handwriting — and cursive — the way of the dinosaurs, we may want to “think” some more about the benefits and importance of knowing how to “write by hand,” as well as “writing via keyboard,” which is exceedingly important.

You can read the article at http://goo.gl/lDYJSw.

After all, you humans think you’re so smart that surely you have room in your brain for knowing all about handwriting, cursive and keyboarding.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about my dinner and hoping that Mom Karen wrote out a grocery list that includes something special for Dixie and me. Just sayin’ …

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Memorable Monday: Celebrating ‘American’ words!


On April 14, 1828, the American Dictionary of the English Language was published, thanks to Noah Webster.

A lawyer and member of the Connecticut militia during the American Revolution, Webster is revered for his interest in language and education. He was a political writer, editor and author who was dedicated to producing a lexicon that would include “distinctly American words.”

And Webster did just that! Over the course of two decades and the learning of 26 languages, Webster introduced a dictionary that featured more than 10,000 “Americanisms” and played a critical role in standardizing English spelling.

His first spelling book was titled The First Part of the Grammatical Institute of the English Language. In 1786, it became The American Spelling Book and then was The Elementary Spelling Book in 1829. Most people simply knew the spelling books as the “Blue-Backed Speller” — so named because of the books’ blue covers. For 100 years, Webster’s book — which had 385 editions in his lifetime — taught children how to read, spell, and pronounce words.

If you’ve ever been in a spelling bee, you can thank Noah Webster. His spelling books were an impetus for the modern-day competitions throughout the nation.

(Illustration by Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net)



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Move It Monday: Shopping for Those Teens!

packagesMy Editorial Assistant, Mom Karen, has been making a list and checking it twice.

And I KNOW that I must be first on the list for something very special. Can we spell “filet mignon”?

But not everyone is as easy to please as I am, especially those teen-agers in your lives.

Thank goodness, a list has emerged for shopping for these hard-to-shop-for people in your lives. As you know, we love the gift of books!

And in the spirit of sharing, my Editorial Assistant is putting a link to the list for you.:http://readingaddicts.co.uk/literary-christmas-list-teenagers/ .

So, make your list, check it twice and get movin’ on that shopping!

Ddon’t forget: Lady Louise is at the top of the list!



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Thoughtful Thursday: Must Love Books!


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Fantabulous Friday: Time to Read!


Our lives are so busy that it may seem difficult to take time to read to children.

But if you have a chance to think about this, you may remember some that some of your best times were spent reading with a parent or grandparent.

Our friend Celia Snavely Bivens Johnson shared the following article with us on the importance of reading aloud to children:


Even on the busiest days, a few minutes spent reading to a child can make a huge difference in his or her life!

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