WETA Learning Media Launches New Service for Adolescent Readers

November 08, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
(Washington, DC) – AdLit.org, a new website that targets educators and parents of adolescent readers, launches this month from WETA Learning Media. Building on the success of sister sites ReadingRockets.org, ColorinColorado.org and LDOnLine.org, the new service focuses on helping students from fourth through 12th grades to read and write better.

AdLit.org offers research-based articles, instructional material for classroom teachers, tips for parents, book recommendations, exclusive interviews with top authors, and a free, monthly e-newsletter called “Word Up!” The project is funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and by the Ann B. and Thomas L. Friedman Family Foundation.

“This is just the beginning of what we hope will become the most engaging, authoritative source of information on helping young people become better readers and writers,” said Noel Gunther, executive director of AdLit.org.

AdLit.org includes an exclusive blog called “The MashUp” by Jamie Watson, a librarian and book reviewer, and an “Ask the Expert” forum featuring Watson and other experts. First author interviews on the site include authors Jack Gantos (Joey Pigza Books), Lois Lowry (“The Giver”), Brian Selznick (“The Invention of Hugo Cabret”), and Christopher Paul Curtis (“Bud, Not Buddy”), with many more to come.

AdLit.org has gathered some of the top names in adolescent literacy research to advise the project, including Dr. Donna Alvermann, Distinguished Research Professor of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Georgia; Dr. Fenice Boyd, assistant professor of Literacy Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo; Dr. Donald Deshler, director of the Center for Research on Learning (CRL) and a professor in the School of Education at the University of Kansas; Dr. F. Todd Goodson, associate professor at the College of Education at Kansas State University and the editor of The Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy.

“According to the latest figures from the Nation’s Report Card, many students still struggle with reading. One-third of fourth graders and more than one-quarter of eighth graders still read below the basic level,” said Susannah Harris, manager of AdLit.org.

AdLit.org’s sister sites include ReadingRockets.org, which uses television, the Internet, print and outreach to disseminate research-based information about teaching young children how to read; LDOnLine.org, the world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD; and ColorinColorado.org, the first major, comprehensive bilingual website for Spanish-speaking families and teachers of English-language learners.

WETA Washington, D.C., is the third-largest producing station for PBS. WETA’s other productions and co-productions include The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Washington Week with Gwen Ifill and National Journal, In Performance at the White House, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, and documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including The Civil War and, most recently, THE WAR. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available on the website at www.weta.org.