Monday, July 5, 2021

The 7th Annual National Give-A-Kid-A-Book-Day is July 6th

Tomorrow, July 6, 2021 is the 7th Annual National Give-A-Kid-A-Book Day (NGKBD). 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 extend children's literacy learning beyond the school year is to get books in kids hands. One way to do this is to give books as gifts. The day July 6 is chosen because it is my son's birthday. Every year for the past 44 years, I have given him books for his birthday. This year is no exception. My son is a reader. I believe giving him books helped. 

Participation in National Give-A-Kid-A-Book Day is easy. All you need 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 kid's friends, or children in a homeless shelter. Just give the child a book and say, I thought you might enjoy this." You might want to include a note with the book. This personalizes the gift (and provides another reason to read something). Some participants like to include a lollipop or other small treat with the book 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 lengths to make sure that all children have access to books. Toward that end, each year on July 6 we recognize these folks by placing them on the NGKBD Honor Roll. Past inductees have included Luis Soriano, Lisa Wilever, Philadelphia's Words on Wheels, Dolly Parton, 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 know more about these inductees and about their work you can look at past NGKBD posts here, here, here, here, and here

Here are the 2021 inductees.

End Book Deserts - End Book Deserts is an organization that advocates for children who live in poverty areas and lack basic access to age appropriate books and high quality reading materials. End Book Deserts is the brainchild of Dr. Molly Ness. The group has developed a large group of  organizations nationwide that are working to end book deserts and get quality books in kids hands. End Book Deserts will hold its first national conference online this year on August 8-9. For more information you can go to the group's web site here.

Children's Literacy Initiative - For thirty years, his Philadelphia based organization has provided a wide variety of literacy services to teachers, children , and families. Central to their mission is helping kids get access to quality reading material. They provide schools with home lending libraries, independent reading collections, informational text collections, and read aloud collections. You can learn more about this nonprofit organization at their web site here.

Give a kid a book very soon. It will make you feel good; I promise.

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