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"L" is for Literacy: Reading with Children

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Date and time
Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Harvard Graduate School of Education celebrates the work of Dr. Seuss, with a forum to discuss children's literacy, the effects of parent-child and child self-motivated book reading, and child literacy programs. Initially created as a one-day event to celebrate reading, the National Education Association's Read Across America has grown into a nationwide initiative that promotes reading every day of the year and culminates on March 2nd, the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Robert Selman served as chair of the Human Development and Psychology area from 2000 to 2004. He is the founder within this area of the Risk and Prevention Program in 1992 and served as its first director through 1999. At the Harvard Medical School, he is professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry, where he serves as senior associate at the Judge Baker Children's Center and at the Department of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston. Selman has engaged in research and practice focused on how to help children develop social awareness and engagement competencies as a way to reduce risks to their health and to promote their social relationships as well as their academic performance. Currently, he does practice-based research, studying interpersonal and intergroup development across the age range from preschool through high school. His current work on the promotion of children's understanding of ways to get along with others from different backgrounds is conducted in the context of literacy and language arts curricula at the elementary level. Past work focused on the treatment of psychological disorders of youth in day school and residential treatment and the prevention of these disorders in children and adolescents placed at risk.
Carol Hampton Rasco is President and CEO of Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., America's oldest and largest nonprofit children's and family literacy organization. Prior to holding this position, Rasco was the executive director for government relations at the College Board. From 1997 through 2000, Rasco served as the Senior Adviser to US Secretary of Education, Richard W. Riley, and as director of the America Reads Challenge, a four year national campaign to promote the importance of all children reading well and independently by the end of the third grade. Previously, Rasco worked for four years in the White House as domestic policy adviser to the president and directed the Domestic Policy Council.
Catherine Snow is the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from McGill and worked for several years in the linguistics department of the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests include children's language development as influenced by interaction with adults in home and preschool settings, literacy development as related to language skills and as influenced by home and school factors, and issues related to the acquisition of English oral and literacy skills by language minority children. She has co-authored books on language development (e.g., *Pragmatic Development* with Anat Ninio) and on literacy development (e.g., *Unfulfilled Expectations: Home and School Influences on Literacy*, with W. Barnes, J. Chandler, I. Goodman & L. Hemphill), and published widely on these topics in referred journals and edited volumes. Snow's contributions to the field include membership on several journal editorial boards, co-directorship for several years of the Child Language Data Exchange System, and editorship of Applied Psycholinguistics. She served as a board member at the Center for Applied Linguistics and a member of the National Research Council Committee on Establishing a Research Agenda on Schooling for Language Minority Children. She chaired the National Research Council Committee on Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children, which produced a report that has been widely adopted as a basis for reform of reading instruction and professional development. She currently serves on the NRC's Council for the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and as president of the American Educational Research Association.