Many people will do something special for Valentine's Day soon. But did you know that February 14 is also International Book Giving Day? What a cause for celebration!
International Book Giving Day is a wonderful initiative that focuses solely on getting books into the hands of children. There's no asking for money -- it's more that like-minded individuals from all over the world simply give a book to a child. Some of these people share their stories, and those stories collected on the IGBD website make fine reading. Stories about donating books to local and school libraries, about sneaking into waiting rooms to leave a book surprise, and about dressing up to give out books to sick kids in hospital. There is support for “recycled reading,” ideas about encouraging kids to give each other “book valentines,” and enthusiasm everywhere for sharing a book you love with someone else. People organize parties, book swaps, fundraisers for literacy charities, and story times. If you think it's something you and your children might like to participate in, read on.
There are three very simple, easily achievable ways we can celebrate IBGD:
1. Give a Book to a Friend or Relative: Celebrate International Book Giving Day by giving a child a new, used, or borrowed book.
2. Leave a Book in a Waiting Room or Lobby: Choose a waiting room where kids are stuck waiting and there are few to no good books available. Purchase a good book, and deposit your book covertly or overtly in your waiting room of choice. The goal here is to spread the love of reading to kids, so choose a fun book -- nothing controversial.
3. Donate a Book: Wrap up a box of children's books that your kids have outgrown and get them in the hands of children who could really use a book or two. Donate your books to your local second-hand store, library, children's hospital, or shelter. Alternatively, donate your books to an organization working internationally to get books in the hands of kids, such as Books for Africa.
Books or Chocolate? Tough choice some would say, but not if we think of it like this: Candy is gone in a bite, but the gift of reading lasts a lifetime.
More about IBGD:
IBGD on Twitter.
IBGD on Facebook
Will you be giving books this year on Valentine's Day? Let us know on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.