What: One of the fundamental steps in obtaining a good education is learning to read. Although literacy is vital, there are still children, and adults, who don’t know how to read. During March, encourage reading and literacy during March into Literacy Month.
Background: Sponsored by the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, National March into Literacy Month encourages reading among children and tries to promote the awareness of literacy. According to the National Center for Family Literacy, 34 million adults function at below basic literacy levels and cannot complete simple tasks, such as filling out job applications or reading a prescription label. Encouraging children to learn to read has never been more important.
Story Pitch: A number of groups and organizations can work to promote March into Literacy Month. Local public libraries will want to encourage reading and literacy by hosting read-a-thons or children’s reading groups. Schools can take this time to run reading campaigns and programs, while education agencies may want look into setting reading standards for each grade level. Book retailers can also get in on this event by hosting reading events for kids.
Story Hook: According to Reading is Fundamental, only 20 percent of eighth grade students in the United States report reading for fun on their own almost every day. In addition, fourth graders who have 25 books or more reportedly have higher test scores than children without many books. Consider the following when you make your pitch:
- How can parents help encourage children to take an active interest in reading?
- What programs exist for children who struggle with reading?
- What kind of role can public libraries take in encouraging literacy?
- How can schools work to encourage their students to take an interest in reading and literacy?
Tips: Teachers who institute reading programs in their classrooms can provide insight on how to encourage young children to take an interest in reading. In addition, parents who instill the value of reading and literacy on their children at a young age may offer interesting insights on the importance of reading.
Center for the Book
International Reading Association
National Center for Family Literacy
Reading is Fundamental
United States Department of Education
–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events