News: New Literacy Screening Program, Is Your Child Spoiled, Playgrounds for Adults, Space Shuttle SpaceFest

New York State just announced a new literacy screening program for students, which means now's the time for your kids to start putting a dent in their summer reading lists. Other tidbits in this edition of our biweekly links post include info on new adult playgrounds, the last days of a beloved bookstore, an opinion piece about why American kids are so spoiled, and trouble at the brand-new McCarren Park Pool and on the Coney Island boardwalk.

A new literacy screening program for elementary schoolers is now in effect in New York State. Response to Intervention (RtI) aims to identify issues earlier and treat them more aggressively. The DOE hopes Rtl will also reduce special education referrals.

Starting next week, NYC will have a brand-new attraction: the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The permanent exhibit kicks off with SpaceFest, a five-day celebration featuring a free concert and the chance to mingle with real-life astronauts.

Obese, lazy, not too bright and don’t forget spoiled rotten. American children got more bad press last week in The New Yorker. Sound like your children?

The movement for adult playtime gets a boost in the Bronx as the city's first built-for-grownups playground opens in Macombs Dam Park. The outdoor gym is one of many planned so adults can work out for free without having to co-opt the kids' monkey bars.

Speaking of having more freedom to play, one writer recently lambasted our national addiction to busyness (and worked in a hilarious Richard Scarry reference) in a must-read New York Times article

Walking the plank wasn’t intended to be the newest activity in Coney Island this summer but with three people recently falling through the ancient wooden boardwalk it may just be the city's worst unexpected tourist trap.

Meanwhile over at the brand-new McCarren Park Pool, there have been several nasty incidents that caused the city to beef up security... to a kind of absurd degree. Can't we all just get wet along?

One of Harlem’s few bookstores is shutting its doors. Hue-Man Bookstore, which we included in our post about the best places to shop with kids in Harlem, finishes its 10-year run at the end of this month.

A proposed High Line building would feature a library, residences, a botanical research center, and landscaped roof and ramps with greenhouses and urban farms. We love the look of this green building!

Even though summer break just started, Operation Backpack is already soliciting donations to buy school supplies for children in need. Visit the website to find out how you can contribute or drop off school supplies at your local Duane Reader—the ubiquitous chain is hosting a drive through the end of July.

And finally, that highly anticipated pop-up pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 2 has opened to the public. If you visit, let us know how it is.