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K-5 Educators Will Harness the Power of Read Alouds with New Professional Resource from Scholastic

The Best Friend Fiction Collection by Lester Laminack Enhances Literacy Instruction with Interactive Read Alouds and Introduces the Breakthrough Concept of “Best Friend Books”

New York, NY – August 31, 2016 – Research shows that kids ages 6–17 overwhelmingly enjoy read-aloud time (Scholastic Kids & Family Reading Report™: 5th Edition). Furthermore, a daily interactive read-aloud is the most potent way to build oral language skills, enrich vocabulary, and expand students’ understanding of the world (Cunningham & Zibulsky, 2014). To help educators and families harness the power of interactive read alouds, Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, announced today the release of The Best Friend Fiction Collection , by award-winning children’s author and acclaimed educator, Lester L. Laminack.

The Best Friend Fiction Collection harnesses Lester’s 30+ years of experience in literacy instruction by providing K-5 educators with a step-by-step guide on how to conduct meaningful read alouds. Throughout the resource, Lester emphasizes the importance of re-reading stories to encourage students to uncover new topics, deepen their comprehension, and build a lifelong love of reading.

The Best Friend Fiction Collection includes:

  • Five “Best Friend Books” for each grade level (5 copies each). The “Best Friend Books” collection is a carefully-curated selection of read-aloud titles that students can easily engage with time and time again. In the spirit of the collection, Lester created this list of books with his own best friend and veteran educator Reba Wadsworth.
  • A professional book for educators called The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource, which offers an introduction to literary analysis, lesson plans, and downloadable graphic organizers to accompany each “Best Friend Book.” The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource can also be purchased as a standalone resource for educators at: scholastic.com/bestfriendcollection
  • Online resources such as the “Spotlight on Lester” videos which model successful read-alouds and provide tips on read-aloud tone and style.
  • Full-color, teaching cards paired with each “Best Friend Book” to guide first visits” and “return visits” and ensure that, with each read, children discover the joy of close reading through a literary lens exploring plot and setting, key details, and character analysis.
  • Family engagement resources that offer practical tips and tools, including a sample letter for parents and caregivers to explain the purpose of the “Best Friend Books” and provide guidance for engaging in the read-aloud process with their children.

“So often reading aloud to children is considered a bonus activity rather than critical to instruction, however, when reading aloud is intentional, students learn to look beyond surface content and make compelling connections with the stories and their own lives,” said Lester L. Laminack, Professor Emeritus from West Carolina University. “With best friend books, students will be inspired to revisit stories and dig deeper with each read, inevitably making leaps and bounds in their reading and comprehension abilities.”

“At Scholastic, we know that reading aloud to children sparks a lifelong love of reading” said Dr. Lois Bridges, Vice President & Publisher, Scholastic Education. “With The Ultimate Read-Aloud Resource, Lester Laminack is providing educators and families with the tools and high-quality books needed to create meaningful read-aloud moments that easily transition between the classroom and home.”

For more information about Scholastic (NASDAQ: SCHL), visit our online Media Room at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.

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