International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on September 8th, was created in 1966. It is a global observance sponsored by The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO says literacy is the "best remedy” and “a fundamental right” and encourages letters to the editor and news reports to raise awareness.
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The North Carolina Press Foundation has put together a list of Literacy Day resources including the following reading tips for parents guide:
Reading Tips for Parents
By Verna F. Douglass, teacher
Stay involved in helping your children not only learn how to read but also how to enjoy reading. Read, read and read some more to your children. Read with feeling and enthusiasm. You cannot share too many stories or books.
When reading a book or story with your children, ask questions:
- What did you like about the book or story?
- What was your favorite part or your favorite character?
- Did the character(s) change? How?
- What didn’t you like about the book, story or character(s)?
- How would you change the book, story or character(s)?
Talk about how pictures or illustrations go with stories. Have your children draw their own pictures to tell or illustrate stories. Ask your children to write their own endings.
To further inspire a love for reading.
- Make up stories with your children.
- Tell them stories about yourself as a child and about your extended families.
- If you do not read English, tell stories based on the pictures: use "read aloud" stories that come with tapes or CDs.
- Have your children tell stories.
- Give books as gifts to your children.
- Make a game of finding certain words in a story or letters in your children's names in any book or story.
- Play games as you travel that involve reading signs and menus, etc.
- Make reading charts that show how many books your children read over a designated period of time.
- Let your children see you reading for enjoyment.
- Praise your children for their efforts in reading.
- Use your children’s interests as the basis for reading, writing, drawing and conducting research online and through other sources of information.
Ask teachers, public librarians and school media specialists for other reading tips. Teachers who know your children’s strengths will share ideas to help you develop their reading skills and love for reading.
Verna Douglass teaches prekindergarten full time and teaches a variety of courses at a local community college in Union County.