It is the mission of New York Association of Reading Lovers to promote excellence in reading, teaching and learning throughout New York State; provide leadership in staff development; build a community of staff developers; advocate for innovation and experimentation; and influence policy and legislation which support our objectives.

Last year’s conference was located in the beautiful Southern Tier at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville.  The surroundings are ideal to relax and immerse you in the learning opportunities offered.

Participants could spend one full day with Heidi Hayes Jacobs focused on curriculum mapping, the conference focus the year before, and could talk about the use of technology to facilitate such.  One of the two days participants were having a choice between three halfway sessions, choosing two, one for the morning session and one for the afternoon session.

These sessions were built around contexts specific to New York State and Technology. All sessions featured hands-on learning with technology, including computers with internet connections, and time to collaborate with others in the field.

Good news for reading lovers

One chapter a day may keep the Grim Reaper away (or at least a bit longer).

Yale University researchers recently found that “people who read books were experiencing a twenty percent reduction in mortality risk during the following decade in comparison to non-reading individuals (Social Science and Medicine).

These findings were published after a longitudinal ‘Health & Retirement’ study that was sponsored and supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. The researchers looked at almost 4,000 individuals (all of which were 50 and up) that were classified into 3 groups: group 1 didn’t read at all, group 2 who were reading up to 4 hours per week, and group 3 who were reading more than 4 hours per week.

The researchers found remarkable outcomes: the group that was reading books over four hours per week survived nearly 2 years longer than the group that never touched a book. The study accounted for variable influences like income, health status, and education, and the result was that those individuals who were reading more than 4 hours per week were more than 20 percent less likely to pass away during the decade-long period. The group that was reading read up to 4 hours a week (a half hour per day on average) were more than 15 percent less likely to die over the coming decade.

So we can see that just like healthy exercising and a healthy diet, reading books appears to be promoting ‘significant survival advantages’, according to the researchers.

How or why this happens is for now remaining a little unclear, but the study made clear that there are relations and associations between longevity and reading books. The study did not look for a possible causal relationship, but the results are not really surprising. There have been more recent studies that made clear that book reading boosts both empathy and brain.

So it’s only good that buying books has steadily been increasing over the past, and all through 2015, more than 650 million books (both in print and electronic) were sold in America (source: publishing industry data collector Nielsen BookScan).