Kim Donovan, Kay Leitch, Jenny Landor, and Janine Amos over at Electrik Inc. told me about their “Stories for Stockings” campaign to put a story in every child’s stocking this Christmas. It’s a campaign born from worry about The Guardian‘s report by Stuart Dredge about the decline of reading amongst the kids.
Now, I know how much my fun, fictional, yes fictional, reading helped me with my sociology, history, and political sciences classes when I was in school, besides my English classes.
“…non-readers have risen from 22% to 28% of all children…”
LOL, I can hear ya now: Fun reading helped in poli sci classes?? History?? But history is based on fact…?
And what better way to help understand dry, boring facts than to read a story you can relate to, to help personalize history. To help a student envision how decisions on going to war are made, how the Corn Laws impacted families, how molecules can affect the tides of men. How story can bring history to life. And when the reading is a fun activity as opposed to teacher telling you to read chapter 25…well, it’s gonna stick a whole lot better!
Reading can take you all over the world, and the only passport you need is your library card. It opens your mind to other people, other ideas, and other ways of living.
Encourage your kids to read! Get them a library card for their Christmas stocking. Wrap a couple of paperbacks up and stuff them in that stocking along with the candies and coal. Find a story that resembles a video game they play. Encourage them to write a story about their game app—and encourage them to read some stories to get an idea of how to start…!
Two of my sisters hated reading, and I so wanted to spread my love for reading that, one Christmas, I hit up a used bookstore and bought a selection of books they could later swap. I hoped that in the piles they would find a genre that would interest them. My mom fell in as well, and we can hold our own book group these days, LOL.