National Young Readers Week focuses on reinforcing the benefits of reading to children. The week-long celebration will take place on November 14-18, 2022.
National Young Readers Week is celebrated every second week in November. The nationwide week-long celebration acknowledges the importance of children and young adults reading to improve their literacy skills and gain a deeper interest in reading.
A brief history
In 1984, Pizza Hut launched its BOOK IT! program. The reading program offered a free personal pizza to students who received a Reading Award Certificate. After a few successful years running the program, Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress created the National Young Readers Week in 1989 to emphasize the importance of reading to children and young adults.
Why is reading important?
According to Scholastic’s “The Joy and Power of Reading” report, frequent readers have more extensive vocabularies and comprehension levels and make more progress than children who rarely read. Childhood reading has a large impact on adult success, so it is crucial to teach the positive effects reading has on someone at an early age.
Reading allows children to learn about others’ experiences and can help them develop empathy, especially as many younger children begin to see others' perspectives. Ellie Collier of High Speed Training says that reading helps cognitive development and explains that one way of building a strong relationship with a child is to read to, and with, them on a regular basis. Reading to children, even to those who cannot read or speak yet, can increase their interest levels and help them with their concentration abilities. It is important for parents to lead by example. Most children view their parents as a figure to follow and if they see that everyone around them reads frequently, it is more likely for them to willingly pick up a book.
Ideas to celebrate National Young Readers Week
There are many ways to celebrate National Young Readers Week. Participating in large- or small-scale activities throughout the week can impact young readers' and possibly make them more excited to become frequent readers. If you are a parent, set up story time nights where you can read to children. This can be done one-on-one, or it can be turned into a larger event with their friends. Taking a library trip is beneficial for every party involved. Libraries are a great free resource, which should be taken advantage of! Check out a few books to read throughout the week and take a second trip if needed.
Make a trip to your local bookseller to buy a book, or if your household has too many books, have a book clean out. Books that you no longer need can be donated to your local library, school library, a bookstore or a second-hand store. Donating books you no longer need is a great way to spread knowledge with others. If you are looking for a challenging idea, try to finish a book or read for an hour every day throughout the week!
Lastly, if you have the resources available, consider donating to The Joseph School, Cabaret, Haiti, through the MREF’s November 2022 fundraiser, or sponsoring a teacher from The Joseph School. Sponsoring a teacher offers them the resources they need to teach students and help them succeed in and outside the classroom.