Did you know that May is Get Caught Reading Month? It's such a fun concept. When I was a child I was often "caught" reading under the covers with a flashlight, and scolded. Nowadays, I think most parents are delighted to catch their kids reading!
I love all special months and days linked to reading. In fact, I've made a list of Book-Related Special Days you might like to use with your kids. Although we read each day with our kids, reading celebrations can bring extra advantages.
One benefit I particularly like about Get Caught Reading Month is the number of celebrities that help promote it. I think it's important for our children to see that celebrities love to read. When children's role models show they are readers too, it invests reading with a little extra glamour. For kids who are unsure about reading, discovering their favorite sport star loves books can be the nudge they need to become readers themselves. On the Get Caught Reading website kids can view posters of sporting stars and actors, as well as Clifford, Dora the Explorer, and Donald Duck. There are also videos of authors sharing their love of libraries.
I love the way we can link reading with even more fun by "catching" people reading. Kids could keep a camera handy around the home, neighborhood or school and take a quick snap of someone who's reading. Have children think about how and where they would like to be "caught" reading -- in a tree house, under the table with a flashlight, somewhere kooky but safe? You could organize a display of photos of kids caught reading for your local library or school, and even arrange certificates or prizes.
Before our children can get caught reading, they need something to read! It's never too early to start. Here's a lovely quote from Dr. Perri Klass, Medical Director, Reach Out and Read, Boston Medical Center & Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine. "As pediatricians know, growing up healthy means much more than the absence of disease. It means growing up with love and attention, and acquiring spoken and written language. It's exciting to offer a child a beautiful book and watch it do its work, cast its spell.
"Growing up without books is growing up deprived and with a deprivation that puts one at risk for failure...If we want our children to grow up reading, we have to do everything possible, and we have to do it as early as possible."
If we came to your home, would your kids be 'caught reading"? Let us know on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.