A Reading Corner Project at CPAH, Oleson Woods (by Dragana Vukalo, Alisa Zagumennaya, and Jason Morris)

Educational inequality is prevalent in American society. Many factors can contribute that can affect educational attainment of students. These factors include poverty, hunger, immigration, and housing. A child in poverty is more likely to experience hunger and food insecurity that … Continue reading

The Power of Reading (by Sarah Tipsord, Kristina Heininge, and Mary Kelley, Fall 2014 Capstone Students)

Having books inside the home motivates students and their parents to read together, and having a variety of books in the home will eventually lead to raising a students’ reading level. Please watch The Power of Reading to find out more … Continue reading

Print-Poor Environments & Public Libraries (by Guest Blogger Emily Rocha)

“The past two decades of research powerfully connect access to print with higher reading scores and, conversely, lack of access with lower scores.”  (Trelease, 107) Think back to when you were a child. Did your parents read you bedtime stories? … Continue reading

Say Yes to Libraries: Why Portland Needs Measure 26-143 to Pass (by Guest Blogger Bryan O-Connell)

The following links to the text of Measure 26-143, which proposes “a permanent rate to fund library services,” as opposed to the current temporary levy system:


Many Multnomah County voters are wary of a permanent increase (though quite a small one) on assessed value taxes, an understandable stance given our current economic woes. However, I implore these voters to consider the many services and opportunities the library provides and may improve upon if this measure is successful, by creating a solid funding base allowing for extended hours (which were recently cut greatly) and a system of stability. In more ways than one, the Multnomah County Public Libraries are one of our greatest resources in fighting poverty and instigating community improvement.

Though the highly literate are often naturally associated with intelligence and success, statistical documentation of the correlation provides a more concrete basis for this commonly held understanding. One example of a study supporting the effect of reading upon IQ-enrichment, What Reading Does For the Mind, was conducted by Anne E. Cunningham and Keith E. Stanovich  published in 2001. In essence, the study found that the more people read, the stronger their “vocabulary and cognitive structures,” regardless of innate ability (Cunningham, 147). The authors reccomend providing as many reading opportunities as possible. Continue reading

8 Summer Films on Education: Watch & Learn

It has been hot, and I’ve had a busy summer so far.  I’m teaching full time, parenting full time, and working to sneak in some vacation-like moments listening to music through the Summer Concerts in the Park series, going on trips to the Oregon Zoo,  spending a little time in the garden, and hauling books back and forth between our house and our local branch of the Multnomah County Library.
At night, when the kids have gone to bed, I love to sit back and watch a film.  While I do watch my share of non-school related movies, here’s a list of titles that will create cinematic learning experiences about the state of education in America right in your own living room.  I’ve listed the title of each film and an easy place or places you can find this film. I’ve also put an asterisk by the films that are a little more optimistic in case you can’t take one more depressing bit of information about schools.  I completely understand.
  1. The Lottery (Netflix)
  2. *August to June (website & purchase/screening information: http://augusttojune.com/index.html)
  3. American Teacher (Netflix)
  4. The Cartel (Netflix)
  5. Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s AchievementCulture (Netflix)
  6. *Project Happiness (website & purchase/screening information: http://www.projecthappiness.org/)
  7. Waiting for Superman (Netflix)
  8. *Whatever It Takes (Netflix)

Most of these films that can be received or instantly viewed via Netflix are also available at local independent movie shops like Videorama.  It’s also possible to get most of these through your local university library if you have a school library card.

Happy viewing.  And check back for a summer reading list and some book reviews later in the week!