Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Behind the Books: A Big Announcement

As some of you know, Celebrate Science isn’t the only blog I write for. Once a month, I post to I.N.K.: Interesting Nonfiction for Kids. I.N.K. began in January 2008, as the brainchild of Linda Salzman, who assembled 22 award-winning children’s book authors who are passionate about nonfiction.

In July 2009, author Vicki Cobb had a vision for our future that excited us all. She imagined the body of our work becoming a one-stop-shop for educators in search of a quick, easy way to find quality nonfiction books to meet their teaching needs. By aligning all our books to the National Education Standards and creating a website with a database, we could help teachers, librarians, and homeschoolers create classroom libraries that perfectly match the topics they cover throughout the school year.

Most classroom materials written to State or National Standards are designed to meet test requirements, rather than to stimulate kids’ natural curiosity, fire up their imaginations, and inspire innovative thinking. Recent studies have shown that many students, especially boys, prefer nonfiction to fiction. If kids are exposed to creative, well-written nonfiction, they are significantly more likely to become lifelong readers. In addition, assessment tests mandated by No Child Left Behind require that students be skilled in reading and writing nonfiction. Kids need great books to serve as models of good expository writing, and the books in the INK Think Tank database fill the bill.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of activity as we worked to turn Vicki’s vision into a reality. Today, we are launching the site, INK Think Tank: Nonficiton Authors in Your Classroom. Go take a look. It’s something I know you won’t want to miss.

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