#LiteracySelfies Power Engaged Reading

#LiteracySelfies Power Engaged Reading

In order to realize our mission of more engaged reading as a community of learners and thinkers, we need greater investment in building basic literacy skills. That is why basic literacy programs – including efforts to support grade level reading and early childhood intervention – are so important. Basic literacy is a gateway for lifelong learning and the expansion of educational and economic opportunities. We honor and celebrate this work on International Literacy Day.

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Labor Day Reflections: The “Other” Set of Critical Work Skills

Labor Day Reflections: The “Other” Set of Critical Work Skills

Labor Day offers an opportunity for politicians and economists to offer their two cents on the state of labor. It’s a good bet that some of that commentary will focus on the so-called “skills gap”—the notion that millions of jobs in highly technical fields remain unfilled while millions of Americans without those skills remain unemployed. The solution according to the pundits? Education and training that focuses on technical skills. If only it were so simple.

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A Failure of Opportunity

A Failure of Opportunity

Professional development opportunities are big business. An industry trade organization reports that American corporations spent over $160 billion on workforce training and development in 2012, an average expenditure of over $1000 per employee. Yet how often do those professional development dollars flow to the school bus driver, the warehouse worker, or the shop floor employee of a food services company? Rarely.

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A Historian at Books@Work?

A Historian at Books@Work?

In which we welcome our new Academic Director, Rachel Burstein, to Books@Work. As Rachel writes: “I am joining Books@Work as the Academic Director because I can think of no more important project than the work of helping readers engage texts deeply, profoundly, and in potentially life-changing ways.” Please help us welcome her to the fold!

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How Reflecting on Literature Improves Workplace Performance

How Reflecting on Literature Improves Workplace Performance

What really happens when employees participate in Books@Work? While participants tell us that getting to know their colleagues and sharing perspectives is the number one reason they enjoy the program, what exactly does this collective reflection have to do with work? New research suggests that not only is collective reflection relevant, it just might make your employees more productive!

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Hymns for a Republic

Hymns for a Republic

As Americans prepare to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it is worth remembering the long tradition of poetry dedicated to national identity. The best of this poetry is both challenging and affirmative, declaring, as Walt Whitman does in “I Hear America Singing,” “the varied carols” of each person “singing what belongs to him and her.” Such literature beckons us to what Lincoln called a “more perfect union.”

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A Text at Work: “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty”

A Text at Work: “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty”

To add to your summer reading, we are offering James Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” as our latest text at work, a tale of an “everyman” who escapes from his daily life through elaborate fantasies of bravado and adventure. This story was recently part of a seminar at the Maple Heights City Schools in Maple Heights, OH. When discussing the story, program participants explored the role of fantasy in their own lives, realizing that Walter Mitty may not be as strange as he first appears.

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Reading is a Social Activity

Reading is a Social Activity

Whereas traditional college students can sometimes find it challenging to relate ideas and concepts to their own views and lives (perhaps due to their youth and inexperience), Books@Work groups are diverse, and the discussion include a rich variety of reactions and inferences about literature. Participants have a lifetime of experiences that give them insight into characters and storylines.

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Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy

Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy

What can you do to help improve literacy? The Literacy Cooperative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving literacy rates in Northeast Ohio has launched – today – a campaign: the Top 10 Things You Can Do to Improve Literacy in the Greater Cleveland Area. Books@Work is honored and excited to be included in the Literacy Cooperative’s Top 10. The campaign is both hands-on and holistic, recognizing that there is a great need for literacy education for both children and adults. Together, we can make a difference.

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The Books@Work Badge

The Books@Work Badge

At Books@Work, we know that our participants are committed to learning and personal growth. This program exists to encourage and support individuals and communities as they engage with reading, conversation, and collaboration. Without the active engagement of our participants, Books@Work would not be possible.

We are pleased to announce the Books@Work Badge, a digital representation of that journey. Using Mozilla’s Open Badge system, the Books@Work Badge is both a testimony to participant learning as well as a credential that individuals can take with them as they move forward in their careers and communities.

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