literacy

Evan Pflugradt / KMUW/File photo

The president of the company that formerly ran a literacy program for Kansas' public elementary schools alleged Monday that the state canceled the multimillion-dollar grant in "retaliation" for the firm's opposition to major changes state officials were seeking.

The state of Kansas is canceling a contract that administered an elementary-school reading program because of what state officials call inappropriate spending on travel and salaries. 

The contractor disputes any mishandling of the money, which in recent years amounted to nearly $10 million routed from a program meant to serve needy families. 

Courtesy photo

Fifteen young authors will sign books as part of a summer reading camp that teaches children how to write, illustrate and publish their own books.

The books include stories about making new friends, good grades and a comical ghost search.

Third- and fourth-graders worked with Arts Partners, educators and graduate students from Wichita State University's creative writing department to create the books.

Prisca Barnes is founder and CEO of Storytime Village, the nonprofit that hosts the camp.

Most Kansas students graduate high school nowadays. Yet many still struggle with the skills of reading and writing.

Now a task force of educators, parents and lawmakers hopes to help close that gap.

Over the past half year, the Dyslexia Task Force put together recommendations and this month handed them off to the Kansas State Board of Education.

The group’s work is well worth paying attention to. It could change reading instruction for every public school student in the state.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Andon Shriver comes to the Mulvane Public Library every Monday and Tuesday. On this afternoon, he’s reading a poem book from the "Bad Kitty" series.

"Meow, hello, what do we have here?" the third-grader reads aloud.

He stumbles over a word here and there, but his audience today – a 12-year old cocker spaniel named Barney – doesn’t seem to mind. He simply listens.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The children’s area in the new Advanced Learning Library in Wichita will feature a new approach to book displays.

Short Edition / Twitter

The Wichita Public Library is one of four public libraries nationwide that will soon be offering machines that print short stories on demand and free of charge.

The library is expected to receive three short story dispensers by June.

Wichita Public Libraries director Cynthia Berner says these short story dispensers will help promote literacy and encourage reading.

"It’s a simple kiosk, you’ll be able to hit a button, make a few choices and then you’ll get the paper that comes out with your story," Berner says.

DcJohn / flickr, Creative Commons

Kansas and the rest of the country have been stagnant when it comes to math and reading scores over the last decade. But that lack of progress is also true for achievement gaps.

Celia Llopis-Jepsen / Kansas News Service/File photo

New test scores for what’s often referred to as the "Nation’s Report Card" are out today for Kansas and the rest of the country.

Courtesy photo

Grandparents and their grandchildren are part of the focus of a statewide literacy event in Wichita on Saturday.

The Grandparents Brownbag Lunch is part of the Kansas Children's Literacy Conference and Festival. Prisca Barnes, with Story Time Village, says the event will feature a reading from a classic children's book called "The Napping House."

She says children under the age of 8 are learning to read, and after the age of 8, they are reading to learn.

Pages