Get Caught Reading is a nationwide campaign that was started in 1999 by the American Association of Publishers. Its goal is to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. Teachers, librarians and parents across the country plan reading activities online and in many communities to celebrate. Famous personalities including movie and TV stars, sports heroes, and even kids' cartoon characters are getting in on the fun with posters that show them getting "caught" reading.
"Reading is exploring the world without ever leaving your chair!" says Tina Jordan, Vice President of the Association of American Publishers. "And the earlier you start, the smarter you'll be while having fun at the same time."
Here are some fun reading activities you can do with your kids to celebrate and cultivate a life long love of reading.
Host a Book Swap Party
Clean out your kids' bookshelves and make way for new favorites. Invite friends to bring books they want to swap. Each person gets to take home as many new books as they brought. Donate the ones that aren't selected to your local library, preschool, day care center, or donation center.
Hold a Community Book Drive
Have kids create fliers to post around the neighborhood asking people to drop off their used books by a certain date. Contact local charities to see who is taking donations.
Create Free Libraries
Little Free Library spots are popping up everywhere! Create an official or unofficial free library on your front lawn, at a storefront, or someplace else in your neighborhood. You may need permission, so check local rules and restrictions.
Get Caught Reading by Your Kids
The best way to raise an avid reader is to be an avid reader. Next time your kids are reading for school or for pleasure, put down your phone and pick up a book. Talk to your kids about the books you read and make talking about books part of your go-to conversation topics.
Have Regular Library Dates
"Make a weekly visit to the library part of your family routine starting when your children are very young." advises Kathy Jarombek, Director of Youth Services at Perrot Library in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. "Most libraries offer story times for babies, toddlers and preschoolers but make visiting a priority even when there are no story times. Have a special bag at home set aside just for library books and be sure to make time at the library to read to your child – no cellphones allowed!"
Visit the printable activity page to download bookmark templates. Have your kids pick their favorites, color them in and mount them on heavy card stock. Laminate them to make them extra durable!
Turn Your Reader Into a Writer
Make a book with your child. Start a tradition where your child can write a book or story a year. It can become a lovely time capsule and keepsake they can revisit for years to come.
Hold a Book Challenge
Create a chart to keep track of the books your child reads. You can set milestones by page, minutes read, or books completed. Set reward milestones for ice cream, later bedtime, special outings, or the promise of a new book.
Stock Up on Books
Check Local Listings
Check your local listings for libraries, bookstores, schools, and communities that are holding Get Caught Reading events, activities, and contests near you.
How will you and your kids get caught reading this May?