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National Family Literacy Month – November 2023

National Family Literacy Month is November and it’s time to get the whole family together to enjoy some reading — because when you read to your children, you inculcate in them fundamental skills for success in their later years in school and life. When a parent reads with their kids, learning occurs, memories are created, and bonds are made (or solidified). If you desire that your kids become readers, now is the best time to help develop in them a love for reading — then wait to have them thank you profusely in the future.  

History of National Family Literacy Month

Books are our friends. Books enrich our minds and broaden our perspective of the world. One can never feel lonely in the company of good books. There is no better feeling than getting lost in a book and exploring the depths of a good writer’s reasoning and imagination.

November 1 marks the beginning of the National Family Literacy celebration, and that first day is appointed as National Family Literacy Day. Started in 1994, the celebration seeks to spread awareness and foster family literacy by encouraging parents and caregivers to read to their children. Parents play important roles in the education of their children.

Researchers have identified links between parents’ and caregivers’ literacy levels and children’s success in education, leading to the conclusion that the education of parents and caregivers largely determines those of their kids.

A love for books is usually developed at an early age, with colorful and engaging pictures and illustrations — see books such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. Children learn to read and understand stories on their own when storybooks are read to them regularly. They also begin to imagine scenes described, wondering how those stories would end. The result is that they develop writing and reading skills, and build their vocabulary.

Libraries and schools should be more than mildly involved in this celebration of Family Literacy, by partnering with Adults — especially adults in parenting roles — to develop interactive online resources such as virtual reading workshops and activity guides that will make the celebration truly literary. There are surplus ways we can observe National Literacy Month.

National Family Literacy Month timeline

3500 B.C.
First Written Communication

Written communication is traced to around 3500 B.C.

600 A.D.
Picture and Illustration Books Emerge

Hand-sketched illustrations with painted decorations called 'illuminated manuscripts' emerge in eastern Rome.

8th Century A.D.
Scrolls and Pages

Egypt makes 'pages' by weaving and pounding stems of a papyrus plant, which are then glued to become a scroll.

The Invention of the Printing Press

Johannes Gutenberg, a German, builds the world's first-ever printing press, which revolutionalizes the book industry.

Literacy Rates Reach 70%

As recreational reading becomes a popular activity, literacy rates reach 70% in some parts of the United States.

National Family Literacy Month FAQs

When is National Reading Month?

In honor of Dr. Seuss, March is designed as National Reading Month, to encourage and promote a reading culture among Americans.

Why is familiar literacy so important?

Family literacy programs and activities help parents improve their literacy and parenting skills and foster early childhood education

What is Family Literacy Night?

Family Literacy Night is when a school offers parents and their children a time, a place, and some helpful guidelines to write, read, and share their ideas as families. 

How to Observe National Family Literacy Month

  1. Visit the library

    Visit the local library with your family. A library is the one place where you have access to endless information for free. In addition to books, libraries also offer many programs. Join some of those programs, such as workshops, movie nights, and reading groups to add to the fun.

  2. Read with your family

    Gather your family and spend time reading a good book. You can also read a book version of your children’s favorite movie. If your children can read, encourage them to read out a few pages as well.

  3. Donate

    Remember that book you read a few years ago that has been collecting dust on the shelf? Wouldn’t it be better if someone could read that book instead of its lying there on the bookshelf? Consider donating your gently used books to a local charity. This way you can even help the environment by recycling the book, which would have ended up in the trash otherwise.

5 Important Facts About Reading

  1. Literacy among children

    According to statistics, one in four children in America grows up without learning how to read.

  2. President Roosevelt was a bookworm

    Former American President Theodore Roosevelt was a bibliophile: he read one book a day.

  3. Reading proficiency and drop-out rates

    Students who in their third grade do not read proficiently are four times more likely to drop out of school.

  4. The first dictionary

    The first dictionary, “Elementaire,” was created by Richard Mulcaster in 1582, containing 8,000 entries.

  5. The “Harry Potter” books banned

    The “Harry Potter” series of books by J.K. Rowling is banned in the United Arab Emirates, with the claim that the novels contain satanic subtext.

Why National Family Literacy Month is Important

  1. Reading is good for the children

    When you read to your children during the early years, they are more likely to become good readers in adulthood. When the children see the adults in the house reading, it inspires them to read as well.

  2. Reading reduces stress

    A study conducted by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Books can be the perfect tool to escape from everyday worries and stress. Nothing can be more relaxing than losing oneself in a book.

  3. People who read are more empathetic

    Books open up a whole new world to us. Reading about people coming from different parts of the world and living in different circumstances can make you understand people better. You will begin to find it easier to relate with people who are different from you.

National Family Literacy Month dates

2023November 1Wednesday
2024November 1Friday
2025November 1Saturday
2026November 1Sunday
2027November 1Monday
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