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Back to school story ideas

September 5, 2003

Expert says keep fun summer reading going

During the school year, urge children to continue reading books that interest them and that they enjoyed during the summer, says a Purdue University literacy expert.

"This way, they won't automatically associate the school year with tedious reading, and they might learn to integrate reading into their daily lives," says Janet Alsup, professor of English education.

Alsup says there are many ways for parents to create a reading and writing friendly environment during the school year.

"Buy your children a notebook, sketch journal or diary, and tell them they can write or draw anything they want in it," Alsup says. "Many bookstores and discount stores sell blank books with decorative covers and thematic motifs that can appeal to teens.

"To be good readers, it's also important for children to work on their writing skills," she says. "Don't automatically discourage e-mailing, chatting and instant messaging on the computer because these are types of writing. It's OK to remind children that they can enjoy writing, even when it comes to writing papers for school."

CONTACT: Alsup, (765) 494-3777,


Students who download tunes may have to face the music

College students need to be aware of copyright issues if they are going to avoid legal problems when downloading music from the Internet, says a Purdue University communication law expert.

"Several sources exist on the Web where you can legally download music by paying for each song," says Constance Davis, a professor in the School of Liberal Arts. "But music that you acquire through file sharing software could land you in trouble."

The Recording Industry Association of America is aggressively going after those who download music without paying for it. Earlier this year an appeals court sided with the association in requiring an Internet service provider to hand over the names of some of its subscribers who were downloading large amounts of music.

"Students need to realize they are not untouchable when it comes to these copyright issues," Davis says. "The Recording Industry Association of America also brought copyright infringement suits seeking billions of dollars from students at several universities who were downloading music."

CONTACT: Davis, (765) 494-9107,