March is National Reading Month! It is a month to motivate people of all ages to read every day and it presents an opportunity to remind parents and caregivers to read with children of all ages at home.
Reading is fun and it has many benefits, no matter how old you are. These benefits include increased cognitive function, memory, vocabulary, empathy and decreased levels of stress. Also, it is an important part of education and professional development. During National Reading Month there is Read Across America Day on March 2nd. Read on to learn more about this day and what you can do to help celebrate Reading Month and Read Across America.
What is Read Across America?
The National Education Association (NEA) established this program in 1998 and it is the nation’s largest celebration of reading. It has turned into a year round program that focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources that are about everyone, for everyone. The titles and resources featured by NEA’s Read Across America include books that students can see themselves reflected in, as well as books that allow readers to see a world or a character that might be different from them.
Readers who feel included, recognized, and a part of the world are engaged readers. Visit the website to learn more about Read Across America.
Who Is Celebrating?
Teachers, teenagers, librarians, politicians, actors, athletes, parents, grandparents, and others across the nation are developing Read Across America activities to bring reading excitement to children of all ages. In the past governors, mayors, and other elected officials recognize the role reading plays in their communities. Athletes and actors issue reading challenges to young readers. And educators and principals seem to be more than happy to dye their hair green or be duct-taped to a wall to boost their students’ enthusiasm for reading. Check with your child’s school to see if they are doing anything interesting this year for Read Across America.
What Can Parents/Caregivers Do for Read Across America?
Learn how and why to make room for books and reading together at home with these resources, activities, and information.
Throughout the month of March, we encourage you to:
- Come into any of the La Porte County Public Library branches to pick out books to read with your child.
- Read Aloud-It can be ten minutes during breakfast, at bedtime, or whenever works for you. Gather together and read aloud to each other.
- Read a Book a Month-Make a plan for each family member to read a book a month. Pick one day each month for book discussions at a meal. Even a non-reader can take part by telling about a picture book they read.
- Write a Letter to an Author-After reading a good book, write a letter or email to the author. Tell why you liked the book or who your favorite character was. You can usually find contact information on the author’s website.
- Write a Book Review-Amazon and Goodreads are just two websites that welcome public reviews. Help your child write a review to post on one of these sites
- Re-read a Favorite-What was your favorite book as a child? Good stories are timeless. Read your favorite childhood book with your children.
- Organize a Book Swap-At the end of the month, have a book swap with friends, family, and neighbors. Let them know why your book should be read.
- Beyond the Book Cover-Help your child learn a little about their own preconceptions when you ask them to judge a book by its cover. Find books that your child has not read before or are not familiar with. Ask them to look only at the outside cover. Then, based on what they see, have them write down in a paragraph or list what they think the book is about, what the characters are like, and what’s going to happen. Next, have them read the book or read the book aloud to each other and have them write down what the book was really about. Talk about if their first impressions were correct, did their opinions change, and why it is important to see what’s inside before passing judgement. Use their informed opinions to create a recommended reading list to share for Read Across America.
- Play and Learn-Come to our baby storytimes at the Main Library, Meeting Room B every Thursday at 10:00am.
- Stories and More-Come to our preschool storytimes at the Main Library, Meeting Room B every Friday at 10:00am.
Be sure to read during the month of March and visit us at the library. Our staff would be happy to help you find just what you are looking for.
We would love to hear what your favorite reading activities are. Share with us using: #myLPlibrary.