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Keyword Exclusive – More Ways To Help Children Read

Supplement to Commonwealths Guest Opinion column “Spreading the joy of reading”

While many of us are reading with our children and grandchildren, we can still do more to help our children and other children in our communities. We can:

• Read to our children from birth;

• Set good examples;

• Get in the habit of reading with and to young children often;

• Organize reading dates with preschool children;

• Attend local library events for children;

• Introduce school age children to favorite children’s authors;

• Encourage gifts of books or gift cards to bookstores;

• Hold a book swap as a beginning or end of year party theme celebrating another school year;

• Host a favorite book character birthday party;

• Encourage older children (middle school ages) to host a reading group (with treats);

• Support book drives as community service projects for older students. Books can be donated to local libraries, children’s hospitals, homeless/abuse shelters, and youth community services;

• Ask local businesses to donate books to schools as reading rewards;

• Start a literacy program in your community, ask local businesses for sponsorship;

• Donate new/gently used children’s books to local school/community libraries. Seek permission first;

• Trade, or check garage sales, thrift stores, and online auctions for all types of books;

• Ask your local Parent/Teacher Associations to consider donating books to the school library with any extra funds;

• Consider making a tax-free donation to the local school library of your choice;

• Enforce a weekly “down” day in your home. This is a no/low technology day devoted to reading by all family members;

• Sign up your children for their own library cards;

• Reinforce older children’s reading habits by encouraging them to pursue reading about their hobbies and interests;

• Buy a local newspaper. The younger children love to read the comics and older children love to see their names (and their friends) in print;

• Sponsor, and encourage businesses to sponsor newspapers in the classroom;

• Become a reading tutor;

• Volunteer to be a guest reader at community/school libraries;

• Share your favorite classic childhood books with others to read and enjoy.

Have you read a good book lately? If so, go out and share it with a child.

To read the April 2007 Guest Opinion column that goes along with this supplement, click here:Spreading the joy of reading

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