Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help share the tradition: Awaken young minds with 'A Book on Every Bed'

 Awaken young minds with "A Book on Every Bed." This article, by Amy,  from the Washington Post really resonated with me. I just had to try to spread the great idea as requested. I hope you will also share  the concept and spread the tradition with others.

 Amy was concerned that according to literacy organizations, less than half of young children in this country are read to regularly and a high percentage of American families have no children's books in the home." This is not a problem confined to America. It  is a global problem. Amy used her column to make a plea to her readers asking them to celebrate by giving a book to a child, through a homegrown campaign called "A Book on Every Bed, " explaining the process:
"Take a book. Wrap it. Place it on a child's bed so it's the first thing she sees on Christmas morning (or whatever holiday you celebrate)." 
So simple. So inexpensive. So valuable. So effective.
(It is not about buying books as you can hand down a pre-loved book)

"A Book on Every Bed" is an appeal to spread the love of reading from parents to children. We also want to encourage families to share books by reading aloud.

Mr. McCullough, historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner e-mailed Amy: "I think my love of books began on Christmas mornings long ago and the love has never gone stale."
Start a tradition: My hope is that other families will enjoy a tradition that revolves around reading together. I further hope that librarians, teachers, bookstore owners and literacy advocates spread this idea as far and wide as it will go, making it possible for any family that wants a child to receive a book to get one."

 We all know that literacy starts early and needs to be nurtured with regular reading.
We all understand that kids who grow up surrounded by books and stories have a great start  in life. Let's help some kids who otherwise may not get this chance. Have you any suggestions to help achieve this goal?

We also need to keep in mind the conflict that is present in society. The post
'Books for Christmas? What the heck is that?' Child's reaction to present becomes internet hit. demonstrates the focus that Christmas is often perceived to be about toys and games. Here was a child who 'To him books are the fun time we spend reading every night before he goes to bed.'
In the article the father stressed that his boy loved reading and books, but was 'overwhelmed' after opening too many gifts.
 This scholastic e-card shows clearly the joy of having a book for a present. We need to promote this message to our families and students.

 We need to ensure that books are wanted and acceptable as gifts at special times such as birthdays and Christmas. Next year at Sandy Beach Public School Library I am starting up the (donate a book to the library)-Birthday Book Plan. Parents are invited to send in a book that their child would love to read so we can process it ready for the child's birthday. The processing includes placing a donation plate in the book thus recognising the donor for their contribution. 

The student who donated the book is then the first to borrow and read the book which, once returned, becomes available for the rest of the students to borrow. In the interest of equity I also like the idea of gaining some sponsorship from local community businesses to help those families where parents may not be in a position to donate.

The Global Literacy Campaign currently running also illustrates the interest and need there is to ensure our kids are reading every day:
You can view this as a slideshow.

Please join in and invite other teachers, friends and family to take the pledge to encourage a child in your life to read every day @ Read Every Day
Together we can help improve the future for many a girl and boy!

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