Reading and sharing have always gone hand-in-hand. After turning the final page of a loved book, a reader’s first instinct is to share it. We post rave reviews, talk about it around the water cooler, loan it repeatedly, and give copies as gifts. It’s no surprise that readers want to share their love of reading by supporting organizations that promote literacy. In keeping with the Dewey Readathon’s emphasis on philanthropy and giving, here are some ways you can promote literacy and the love of books.
Lions Clubs International’s Reading Action Program is focused on increasing literacy world-wide through service projects and activities that underscore the importance of reading. Each of the 46,000 clubs in 200 countries focus on the specific literacy needs in their own communities. Find a club near you or donate by visiting www.lionsclubs.org.
First Book provides books and other educational resources to children in low-income households, schools, and communities. The First Book website allows you to set up your own campaign to solicit donations. Ask for donations in lieu of gifts for your birthday. Adopt a qualifying classroom in your own community by holding a fundraiser and designating the proceeds to purchase books for that class. Plan an event with your family, co-workers or book club. Browse current events at https://firstbook.fundly.com/ for ideas.
Each year, One Book, One Nebraska (my current home state) selects a book by a Nebraska author or that has a Nebraska theme or setting, and encourages residents to read the book, then participate in book clubs and other related programs. The idea started in Seattle in 1998 and has become popular in many states and cities. If you can’t find a program in your town, visit with your local librarian about starting one.
Pediatricians and Nurse Practitioners encourage reading aloud, and provide books to patients, age birth to 5 years, through Reach Out and Read. You can help by donating books, or by modeling read-aloud skills as a Volunteer Reader in select program waiting rooms. http://www.reachoutandread.org
Reading is Fundamental, Pizza Hut’s Book It, the UK’s National Literacy Trust, Reader to Reader – the list of places to donate your time and money in support of reading can be a bit overwhelming, but sharing the joy of reading doesn’t have to be.
- Start a Little Free Library
- Connect with readers on Goodreads, LibraryThing, or Shelfari
- Form an “Under One Hour Book Club” or a “Choose Your Own Novel Book Club” (ideas courtesy of O Magazine)
- Create crafts or activities that will start discussion on a book you and your child read together. (Thanks to http://www.readingrockets.org)
- Go on a “novel” blind date. Wrap a variety of books in plain brown paper with a brief, enigmatic description attached. Participants make their pick and share the scoop on their “blind date”.
- Volunteer to read to nursing home residents.
- Listen to a family-friendly audio book during long car rides.
- JOIN A READATHON!
- Visit my blog, Just One More Thing… , and watch for my mini-challenge. Solve a bookish puzzle to raise the donation made to a literary cause.
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world [or your own]. Love of books is the best of all.”
- Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Thank you so much for this wonderful and thoughtful post, Tami! Follow her on Twitter @mrschupa.