Registration opens for ALSC online education courses

Contact: Aimee Strittmatter
ALSC Executive Director
(312) 280-2163
astrittmatter@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release
May 19, 2009

CHICAGO—The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is offering three online education courses this summer to meet your professional development needs. The asynchronous, multi-week courses, delivered through Moodle, begin on July 20. Registration is open now through Monday, July 6. The three summer courses offered are:

The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future - (six weeks, July 20 – Aug. 28)
This six-week online course will give participants a solid grounding in the history of the medal and how it has changed over time; an opportunity to read, discuss and consider past and present Newbery winners with their colleagues from across the nation; a chance to talk to former Newbery Committee members and a Newbery author; and suggestions for programming using Newbery-winning books. 

Reading Instruction and Children’s Books - (four weeks, July 20- Aug. 14)
This course will provide children’s librarians with an understanding of different methodologies for reading instruction, including sight words, phonics, literate environment and pre- and post-reading activities.  The course will then explore some of the ways that the grade level of reading materials are determined, including Lexile Levels, Flesch-Kincaid Index and SMOG Readability Formula.  These procedures will be applied to evaluate books, periodicals, Web sites and other material that children need to read.  Finally, librarians will be encouraged to develop strategies for explaining these grading formulae to parents and to communicate more effectively with teachers as a result of their understanding.

Sharing Poetry with Children - (four weeks, July 20 – Aug. 14)
So many of us feel inadequate when it comes to choosing and sharing poetry with young people. We were turned off or intimidated in years gone by. We are uncertain about what kinds of poems work best with kids. No more! Take a look at the major poets, poetry books and anthologies of poetry for children (ages 5-12) being published today. In this class, participants will focus on reading and reviewing the latest poetry for kids, learning about poetry awards, exploring poetry on the Web and trying interactive and participatory approaches for sharing poetry with children.

The courses have received excellent reviews from participants. Because of the in-depth nature of the courses, even the most seasoned librarian will find something new and constructive.

“This class [Reading Instruction and Children’s Books] was a shining example of what can be accomplished with an asynchronous Moodle class,” said Rebecca Dash, course participant and ALSC member. “I never felt pressured because I could work as quickly or slowly as necessary. I urge everyone to look at the latest class offerings and spend part of their summer learning something new.”

A certificate of completion will be sent to participants upon successful completion of the course. Full details and registration information can be found on the ALSC Web site at www.ala.org/alsced.  Registration rates are $95 for personal ALSC members; $145 for personal ALA members; and $165 for non-members per course. For more information, contact ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter at astrittmatter@ala.org.

ALSC, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,300 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.