"Rescuing Reading" Seminar: Changing the Trend
March 3, 2008
On February 15 "Rescuing Reading" provided a lively, engaging seminar for full-time and adjunct faculty, from multiple campuses. In introducing Dr. Tom Long, Linda Simmons noted that he had written, among other things, "Confessions of a Promiscuous Reader." Long, professor of English at Thomas Nelson Community College and former Commonwealth Professor, noted later that the nearly full house of faculty were so engaged and lively that it made it challenging for him to stick to his planned remarks.
In "Rescuing Reading," Long presented a range of scholarly data that showcased the status of reading today, especially in younger populations, and the alarming statistical evidence that their reading is decreasing at a faster rate. The data included the findings from "Reading at Risk," one segment of the Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted by the Census Bureau in 2002 at the request of the National Endowment for the Arts. One key finding noted that the 10 percent point decline in literary reading represented a loss of 20 million readers. A subsequent 2007 study revealed a worsening picture.
He identified a range of questions that NOVA could study to document the status of reading at the College in a variety of disciplines. Participants voiced their frustration about students who do not read, about students who read with no joy and about trying to balance coverage of course content with strategies to assist students with reading. To help participants design strategies tailored to these concerns and to a particular discipline, Simmons offered participants an opportunity to apply for grants funded by the Reading Across the Curriculum Initiative, an effort supported by NOVA's Professional Development Committee. Grants will be announced shortly.
VCCS's Northern Virginia Regional Center for Teaching Excellence, NOVA's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Reading and Reading Across the Curriculum Initiative supported the "Rescuing Reading" seminar.
For Immediate Release
March 3, 2008
Contact: Alison Nooks
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703.323.3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.