As we wrap up the season of giving, I was reflecting on how nothing could be better than the gift of reading.
Around the country, schools conduct some form of a drive to help less fortunate children in, or near, their communities.
For your next drive – share with your administrator that you would like to add a book to that…
You ask parents to send in unwrapped toys for any age. Next time, see if you can get a book to go with that. Share with your school community that in addition to the toy, you are also collecting unwrapped new or gently used books for a child the same age group as the toy selected.
Sending the toy to the military? Send books too. If they are unable to accept the books, you can donate the books to your local group home, or shelter. You can also consider donating the books to your local Bookfairies, an organization that collects reading materials for people in need throughout the metropolitan area.
A Giving Tree
A tree is prominently displayed somewhere in your building – real or symbolic, with a list of families who are in need of your help during the holidays. As you make your purchase of the toys and clothes they seek – add a book to that.
As the families’ names, ages and wishes are displayed – on the back of the display or on a paper attached to an ornament – list the high interest book now popular for that age group. The action research is clear – children are more likely to read when a book is recommended by a caring adult or a peer. Need a few book recommendations for your reluctant reader? Try these sites:
- Children’s Book Recommendations by Age
- Top 100 Books for Kids by Scholastic
- Listopia – Good Reads Recommendations
- The students at Nancie Atwell’s Center of Teaching and Learning help their teachers create master lists of books they love best.
The excitement and memories that you’ll generate by adding a book to your holiday drive – for the child and you – will be immeasurable and start a tradition that will last a lifetime.