Member Monday: The importance of literacy

It may only be February 13th, but March and two wonderful literacy events, are right around the corner.

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss’s Birthday and the annual National Education Association’s celebration of Read Across America Day.

March 7th is World Read Aloud Day sponsored by LitWorld. SCBWI is an official partner of World Read Aloud Day and Headquarters is encouraging members to get involved. (See the other partners here. ) Both pre-published and published authors can play an important role in advancing literacy. It’s  a great opportunity for members to connect with your local independent bookstore and help promote the SCBWI’s role in literacy.

From the LitWorld website:
Literacy is the foundation for emotional and physical well-being, intellectual growth, and economic security. The right to read and write is a fundamental human right and belongs to all people.

Worldwide at least 793 million people remain illiterate. Two-thirds of them are women. All over the world, children are hungry for learning and for the power it brings. Research shows that children learn to read and write best by writing and telling the stories of their own experiences. Yet it is rare to find safe spaces where children feel fully comfortable to do so.”

It doesn’t matter if your event takes place on the 2nd or the 7th. What’s important is that we take a moment to think of how we can bring literacy to our communities.

What can you do?

  • Organize a read-a-thon with other authors/illustrators in your area. Perhaps a local independent bookstore would open for 24 hours to let people read all night long. Take donations and send them to a literacy organization.
  • Ask your local librarian if you can schedule free readings during library hours during the first week of March. Contact your SCBWI Regional Advisor to help you contact other authors/illustrators in your area.
  • Are you a well-known author with a well-read blog? Auction off a school visit for the first week of March with the procedes going to to a literacy organization.
  • Connect with LitWorld at litworld.org/worldreadalouddaychats to watch video chats and read alouds with special guest. Or do a read aloud video chat with someone far away.
  • Change your avatar on your social networking sites to support Read Across America and World Read Aloud Day.
  • If you live near NYC, attend a Books of Wonder/LitWord event.
  • Dress up as your favorite character.
  • Link to this blog, LitWorld, or NEA

There are more ideas, statistics, and classroom reproducables from LitWorld here.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t keep it to yourself. Both NEA and LitWorld have a place on their websites where you can register your activity. SCBWI members can send their photos and information directly to chelseamosser at scbwi dot org.



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