I have a new essay up on The Huffington Post: “5 Things You Can Do to Promote Literacy over the Holidays.” I notice their editing team made some small changes but the message is clear—GIVE BOOKS! Here are a couple of suggested actions:
1. Give books as gifts!
All children need books that can serve as “mirrors and windows.” Books that reflect a child’s identity can boost self-esteem, and books about people who are different can teach a child to respect diversity. If your local bookstore doesn’t have what you want, ask them to order titles for you so they know there is demand for diverse books. You can also find dozens of multicultural titles at The Birthday Party Pledge.
2. Make room in your home for books.
Books are valuable, and should be treated with care. Assembling and decorating a bookcase can be a fun family activity. Whether your shelves are made of wood or milk crates, creating a place to grow your home library ensures that books will be treated with the respect they deserve. A bookcase also signals to visitors that books are a welcome gift in your home!
We’re also in the middle of updating the BPP site, so stay tuned for more great ideas and activities. Last night I was honored to attend the birthday celebration of Summit Academy Charter School. The student winners of their readathon were honored and the school presented the Red Hook library staff with a check for $1000! The library was closed after sustaining damage from Superstorm Sandy, and the students wanted to show their support. Heart-warming! As was the young man who came up right after my presentation and asked for a copy of Ship of Souls. Black and brown boys DO read. When I left the Crispus Attucks school yesterday morning, a 5th-grade student was reciting my summary of The Deep to the rest of his classmates. The librarian there sent me off with swag: a t-shirt, pen, and cap! More love…
It’s snowing this morning. I have a 9am school visit and my first final exam is scheduled for this afternoon. No cancellations!