Following in historic footsteps

JUST FOR PARENTS

March 04, 2001

Advice and strategies to help your children read

Women in the United States have made huge advances over the years, but just how far have they really come? In 1789, Abigail Adams made a plea to her husband to "remember the ladies" in the new constitution. It took more than 100 years before her words were heeded. In 1920, the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote, and 73 years later Janet Reno became the first women attorney general. By walking history's pathways with women like these, girls learn to step forward with confidence and gain a sense of what is possible.

National Women's History Month is celebrated during March and this year's theme -- "Celebrating Women of Courage and Vision" -- was chosen to provide a beacon of inspiration for future generations. Information, educational materials and a free catalog are available from the National Women's History Project at www.nwhp.org and by calling 707-838-6000. Here are a few of the ways parents and caregivers can celebrate women's history with their daughters and sons.

Discuss with your child what the terms courage and vision mean. Ask your child to think about women who are or have been role models and list their traits. Your child may wish to write a story about one of them. Then obtain a photo -- it makes a good keepsake.

Though the gender imbalance in textbooks has improved, women are still outnumbered by men. Look at a chapter in a history book from your child's school and make a comparison of how many women are mentioned in a chapter vs. men.

Look at stories and magazines your child enjoys and see if they focus equally on stories of females in central roles. If not, write to the publishers or editors with suggestions for future articles.

Interview the oldest woman in your family for a memorable reminder of your ancestry.

-- Susan Rapp

Village Reading Center

Encourage your daughter to aim high

Help your future-oriented daughter shoot for the stars in the new millennium.

Tomorrow's Girl is a publishing company based in Pennsylvania and founded by Cheryl Hershey, who is a former scientist as well as a mother of a young daughter. She publishes books geared toward girls who are 6 to 12 years old. The books involve technology, science and problem-solving and provide links and activities that supplement such endeavors.

As an Amazon.com associate, Hershey also provides links to a bevy of books featuring famous female heroines such as Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, the assorted leads of the Baby- sitter's Club and the American Girls series, as well as books filled with a variety of science experiments.

For more information, go to the Web site www.tomorrows-girl. com or send e-mail to tomorrowsgirl@msn.com. Send regular mail to 139 Miller Street, P.O. Box 254, Strasburg, Pa. 17579-0254, or tel / fax 717-687-0356.

-- Athima Chansanchai

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on sunspot.net, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to sun.features@baltsun.com; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

New York Times Children's

Chapter Book Best Sellers

Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books, and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.

1. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling (weeks on list: 76)

2. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling (33)

3. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (115)

4. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling (90)

5. "A Year Down Yonder" by Richard Peck (5)

6. "The Amber Spyglass" by Philip Pullman (20)

7. "Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo (5)

8. "Hope Was Here" by Joan Bauer (5)

9. "The Wanderer" by Sharon Creech (2)

10. "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket (17)

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