Monday, July 6, 2020

The 6th Annual Give-A-Kid-A-Book Day!

Today, July 6, 2020, marks the 6th annual National Give-A-Kid-A-Book-Day. This is the yearly celebration dedicated to getting books into children's hands over the summer. Literacy research has shown that the single best way to combat summer reading loss is to get books in kids hands. One way to do this is to give children books.

Participation is easy. All you need to do is find a child and give that child a book. The child could be your own, a neighbor's child, a student, a grandchild, one of your own kid's friends, children in a homeless shelter. Just give the child a book and say, "I thought you might enjoy this." In these socially distanced times you may want to send the child the book with a note explaining the gift. (Notes provide another reason to read.) Some participants like to include a lollipop or other small treat to send the message, "Reading is sweet", but the most important thing is to give a kid a book.

National Give-a-Kid-a-Book Day is dedicated to the many hard-working people and organizations who have gone to extraordinary efforts to make sure that all children have access to books. Toward that end each year on this day, we recognize these folks by placing them on the NGKBD Honor Roll. Past inductee's include Luis Soriano, Lisa Willever, Philadelphia's Words on Wheels, Dolly Parton, Leland B. Jacobs, Margaret Craig McNamara, M. Jerry Weiss, Joan Kramer, Donalyn Miller, Project Night Night, the Fallsington Pennsylvania Public Library, and The Children's Book Project of San Francisco.

If you wish to read more about these inductees and about the project you can find each year's National Give-A-Kid-A-Book blog posting here, here, here, and here

Here are the 2020 inductees.

The Little Free Library - On my daily walks around my neighborhood, I pass four Little Free Libraries. Those small wooden boxes laden with free books for community members to take or leave books as they wish. The Little Free Library organization has recently surpassed 100,000 such library boxes nationwide. This is truly a remarkable attempt to bring literacy to the neighborhood and kids are included as well. Recently Little Free Library has teamed with PBS in it's "Read Along" initiative. Little Free Library book-sharing boxes play an essential role by providing 24/7 access to books (and encouraging a love of reading!) in areas where books are scarce. We welcome them to the NGKBD Hall of Fame.

Pajama Program - This organization is dedicated to bringing a comfortable, consistent, bedtime routine to all children. Established in 2001, this group has distributed more than 6.5 million pajamas and books to homeless children nationwide. Those of us inn the literacy business know well what no bedtime story means for children and literacy and so we welcome the Pajama Program to the NGKBD Hall of Fame.

Ken Goodman - Ken Goodman, the father of the Whole Language Movement, and a distinguished professor, author, researcher and leader in the field of literacy probably did more than any other single individual to bring quality literature into the classroom reading environment. the rich classroom libraries we see in so many schools today are directly attributed to his view that all children deserved high quality literature for instruction in reading. Ken Goodman died this year at the age of 92. We are proud to include him in the NGKBD Hall of Fame.

Give a kid a book today. You will feel good about it, I promise.

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