Monday, October 5, 2009

Read In Week, World Teacher's Day, Indigo

This is Read In Week- a week to foster and celebrate the joys of reading with children. If you haven't volunteered to read at your local school yet- there's no time like the present!! Hockey books, Spongebob, Junie B, books about pirates, princesses, dogs & squirrels, adventures, overcoming tragedy...books that inspire, educate, amuse and soothe. Books truly are the windows on the world.

I started this morning at Indigo Books, North Town Centre, with Glendale School. Glendale is one of twenty schools chosen across the nation to receive a grant from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. The foundation, started in 2004, has given out $7.5 million to needy schools to help stock their libraries and inspire a love of reading in children. Glendale is the lucky recipient of $45, 000 and this morning the students were allowed to select their favourite books to help transform the school's library. What a great sight: young kids, eyes wide with excitement, looking for that perfect book. The Indigo staff, including store manager Liza, were almost as excited as the kids. She told me that last year, one little boy said, upon walking into the store, "I didn't know there were this many books in the world!!" It's sad to think that some children show up in kindergarten not knowing how a book works, but with the generous support of community partners like Indigo, schools work to address those inequities.

This afternoon, I read to Room 9 at Brightview School. The rest of my week is packed with appointments to read, as I know are the calendars of all my colleagues and many politicians, sports figures and fellow Edmontonians.

So, please consider sharing your love of reading with kids! It is one of the most important activities we can do with children. Hearing stories read aloud improves a child's vocabulary, listening skills, reading comprehension and writing capabilities. These are the foundational skills of literacy, which is tied to improved health outcomes, financial stability, success in post-secondary education, etc. There's a lot riding on the ability to read!

Also, today is World Teacher's Day.... thank you, teachers for all you do, everyday. It's not easy work (as my husband keeps reminding me), so thank you, thank you, thank you.

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