Celebrate Literacy this Year

Teaching a child to appreciate reading not only promotes academic achievement, but it also it opens opportunities for the imagination to soar and for kids to learn about topics beyond their wildest dreams.

This year, you can help promote children’s literacy with these ideas:

Give books to children. You can find a book on virtually any topic, aimed at nearly every age and reading level. If you’re not sure what a child likes to read, simply choose a book about a topic he or she enjoys, or a favorite fictional character.

Support organizations working to promote literacy. Many organizations you conduct regular business with may have selected literacy as a cause that they support. For example, the Toys for Tots Literacy Program was developed by The UPS Store and the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. This program, celebrating its 10th anniversary, provides books and educational resources to underserved communities. As part of the program, $10,000 worth of children’s books will be donated to 10 nonprofit organizations in support of children’s literacy in 2019.

Create traditions around reading. Making books part of family rituals can help instill a love of reading among kids. You might set aside an evening for a reading marathon or read a bedtime story every night. You can also find creative ways to get young readers involved, such as assigning one child each night to read that day’s mail aloud to the family.

Attend events that shine a light on literacy. One of the year’s most anticipated events is the annual Tournament of the Roses Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, which will include The UPS Store’s float titled “Books Keep Us On Our Toes” which aims to inspire people to experience life through the joy of reading. After the parade, spectators can view the float up close, and the store will hand out 10,000 children’s books – many of which were donated by Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company – to parade-goers and post-event attendees.

Encourage kids to get hands-on with books. Reading isn’t the only way to appreciate books; kids can get creative and make their own literature, too. Encourage them to write and illustrate their own stories they can share with the family.

For more information on the float or to make a contribution to support literacy, visit theupsstore.com/literacy. (Family Features)

The UPS Store

5 Simple Things You Can do to Promote Literacy at Home and Beyond

What was your favorite childhood book? Chances are, you can come up with a title right away. That’s because books create powerful memories of stories and characters that inspire kids’ imaginations and will be treasured for a lifetime.


Unfortunately, some children grow up with limited access to books, meaning they’re unable to create those memories so many people take for granted. A lack of books in the home is also linked to lower reading scores and less success in school, according to research by the Family and Community Engagement Research Compendium. Even more concerning, an Annie E. Casey Foundation report found students who can’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers.

Society as a whole pays a high price for low literacy. It costs the U.S. at least $225 billion each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment, according to the National Council for Adult Learning.

Here’s the good news: this problem does have a solution. Having books in the home has been proven to improve children’s reading performance, cause them to read more frequently and for longer lengths of time, and improve overall attitudes toward learning.

It’s clear that promoting literacy in your home and in your community are worthwhile investments of your time and money. Wondering where to start?

Build reading into the routine: When the kids are small, it’s easy for many parents to create the nightly ritual of story time. Don’t stop just because they’ve started school and are reading on their own. Commit to sitting down every night to read together. Or, make reading into an event the whole family can enjoy by reading a chapter book out loud. When the kids see you reading books too, you set a great example.

Ask questions: Asking children questions while you read together helps them develop critical thinking skills. For example, you might ask, “How is the family in this book like our family?” or “The girl in this book likes to swim. What do you like to do?”

Give books as gifts: The next time you celebrate a holiday or child’s birthday, consider giving the gift of a book — especially a title or two that you loved growing up. Be sure to make time to read at least one of them together. It’s a great way to bond.

Share, share, share: One way to spread literacy is to help make books more available in your community. Every year or so, go through your book collection with the kids and decide which titles should be given a new home. They can be donated to schools and public libraries, or given to other groups that make books available for free or little cost to young readers. Even better, when you buy a book, purchase a second copy to donate or give away.

Support literacy causes: Between Feb. 26 and April 15, there’s an easy — and delicious — way you can promote literacy. Add a “topping of literacy” to your next Pizza Hut order and your contribution will go directly to the company’s fundraising campaign “The Literacy Project,” which benefits recognized nonprofit, social sector leader First Book.

You can also inspire others to read by entering a Pizza Hut sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip that will bring your favorite book to life. Go to Instagram or Twitter and share the title of your favorite book, and why it touched your life. Be sure to tag @PizzaHut in your post and use the hashtag #HelpStartANewChapter #sweepstakes to enter. (BPT)