Thursday, March 25, 2010
MEET AUTHOR & READING SPECIALIST CATHY PUETT MILLER
As “The Literacy Ambassador®,” author and children’s literacy consultant Cathy Puett Miller promotes early childhood literacy development and family literacy involvement.
Cathy presents at conferences and has written articles for Education World, Babyzone.com, The Reading Tub, PTA websites, and parenting publications. She is also the author of Anytime Reading Readiness: Fun and Easy Family Activities That Prepare Your Child to Read.
Anytime Reading Readiness respects the reading readiness level of your child. Now you can integrate prereading activities throughout your day – without stress, fuss, or pushing your child. Prepare your child to read—any time.
“Cathy Miller is a genius,” says award-winning children’s author and storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy. “What, in the end, she is telling us with this wonderful book is that spending time with your child, and allowing learning to evolve through play, is the surest way to create intellectually curious learners. Hooray!”
Kathy: Welcome to my blog, Cathy.
Cathy P: Thank you, Kathy. I already feel as though we are connected because you live in north Georgia and I was in Cherokee County, GA (45 minutes north of Atlanta) for 7 years when our son was in elementary and middle school.
Kathy: Let’s begin by talking a bit about your role in the world of reading. You are known as the Literacy Ambassador®. What is a Literacy Ambassador®?
Cathy P: It is a trademarked tag line I use to identify what I do – I make friends for reading with educators, families and community organizations across the country. I am one of the few educational consultants who cross those lines. I also work in both the preschool and K-8 environment. I reach across between these often distinct groups because I believe the best results always come when partnerships develop: between families and educators, between preschool and kindergarten teachers. Some of your blog readers may know me from my monthly columns at Educationworld.com and Inspiringteachers.com.
Kathy: So what has the Literacy Ambassador® been up to lately?
Cathy P: I always have lots of projects going on but I have been traveling a lot lately, speaking at conferences in Washington, DC, St. Louis, MO, Minneapolis, MN, Atlanta, GA, Birmingham, AL, New Orleans, LA. Everywhere I go, I meet people from various walks of life hungry to know how to best help children become strong readers.
Kathy: Speaking of children and reading, do you have some books you’d recommend for those visiting my blog (either teachers or parents)?
Cathy P: Sure. I’ll give you a few titles for different age levels here and then people can visit my website for more extended lists. They’ll also find lots of recommendations of great books especially for the young ones in my two new titles from Maupin House but we’ll talk more about those later.
Preschool and Kindergarten:
Baa-Choo by Sarah Weeks
Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis
Indestructibles, a wordless book series by Amy Pixton
Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten by Stacey Kannenberg
Love the Baby by Steven Layne
First and Second Grade: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle
Let’s Make Rabbits by Leo Lionni
Paris in the Spring with Picasso by Joan Yolleck
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Third through Fifth Grade:
A Nest for Celeste by Henry Cole
Evolution: Who We and All Living Things Came to Be by Daniel Loxton
Lawn Boy Returns by Gary Paulsen
Roberto and Me by Dan Gutman
Three Cups of Tea by Gary Mortenson
Kathy: Why did you pick these books?
Cathy P: My criteria for great books to read or share with students is “will they be interested?” “Will it give them an authentic reason to want to read; a positive experience with a book?” They have plenty of “must reads” in their lives but if we do not show children and families the power of books for them, we will not hook them. There are just too many distractions.
Kathy: That brings up an important point. There really are a lot of distractions from reading these days. What advice do you have for parents and teachers?
Cathy: I’m starting a revolution! And I want to invite you and all your bloggers to join in. Just a few minutes ago we were talking about those partnerships that are so meaningful to the success of young children. My two new books, Before They Read (for preschool and kindergarten teachers) and Anytime Reading Readiness (for parents and guardians of 3-6 year olds) are easy guidebooks to get involved. Each focuses on the same three big ideas, but with a slant specific to the needs of those who are reading them (families or educators).
The three big ideas are:
The importance of talking with young children to aid in their growth of their oral language
The delicious, delightful experience of reading a story with a child and exploring a book using a technique I called Engaged Interactive Read Aloud.
Playing with sounds and patterns in the language.
Kathy: And where are these books available?
Cathy P: You can get them through my publisher, Maupin House, by visiting my website www.readingisforeveryone.org. If your visitors have a favorite online book store like Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Books A Million, etc., they can also purchase them there. And the Before They Read title is a great Teacher Appreciation Week gift. Mother’s and Father’s Day will be here before we know it and the Anytime Reading Readiness book is a perfect choice for those special days.
Kathy: What about kids beyond this getting ready and beginning to read stage?
Cathy P: The same foundations are important; we simply build upon them. My technique, Engaged Interactive Read Aloud, for instance works all the way up through high school. Anyone can visit my website and look for my 1/27 interview with Stacey Kannenberg on her Born to Learn Mom show to hear just how to do it. Just visit www.readingisforeveryone.org and scroll down to the second item on the audio player.
Certainly it is important to continue to support readers even after they are reading on their own. But, once the snuggle and cuddle stage is gone, that may take a different approach.
Kathy: We’re at the end of our time together but are there some additional resources you can share?
Cathy P: I invite everyone to visit and follow my blogs
for parents http://parentsandkidsreadingtogether.blogspot.com
for educators K-12 http://lightthesparkofliteracy.blogspot.com
for preschool teachers: http://passionatepreschoolteachers.blogspot.com.
Kathy: Thank you for youe time, information and the wonderful work you do.
Cathy: Your welcome. I enjoyed my visit.
Kathy Stemke's websites:
Moving Through all Seven Days link:http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/moving-through-all-seven-days/7386965#http://www.helium.com/users/406242.html
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