Petaluma teens will be reading for the fun of it this week in celebration of Teen Read Week, October 18 – 24, 2009. They join thousands of other schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country who are encouraging teens to celebrate this year’s theme, "Read Beyond Reality @ your library®."
Teen Read Week is the national adolescent literacy initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), the fastest-growing division of the American Library Association. This year’s theme encourages teens to read a wide variety of materials that are out of this world, just for the fun of it.
"Today’s teens seem to have less and less free time, and there are increasingly more activities for them to take part in during what little leisure time they have," said [Librarian's name.] "That is why it’s important to encourage teens to set aside some time to read."
The Big House Library hopes to increase teen literacy locally by issuing a reading double dare to all Casa Grande students and promoting teen programs at the public library. For a full listing of Teen Read Week activities, check out the Sonoma County Library's Teenspace Blog.
Literacy is a topic of both local and national concern, and falling test scores and declining graduation rates among teens today are serious issues. Here in California' standardized reading test scores for teens could be worse and could be better.
Studies show a regular reading habit increases reading proficiency, and librarian Anna Koval agrees. "One of the most important ways teens acquire the reading habit is by watching adults they respect read." says Koval.
Being around adults who are avid readers can counteract the latest statistics from The Nation’s Report Card, which indicate that in homes across America the number of different types of reading materials has decreased, and a smaller percentage of seventeen-year-olds saw adults reading in their homes.
Parents of teens are encouraged to celebrate Teen Read Weekat home. Ms. Koval offers these ideas:
- Visit the public or school library with your teen to attend a program or to check out books.
- Set aside time each night for the family to read.
- Give books or magazine subscriptions to your teen as a gift or reward.
- Share your favorite book with your teen.
- Surf the web with your teen to learn about new books or authors. A good place to start is YALSA's Booklist's page.
- Join a book discussion group at the school or public library.
Teen Read Week is held annually during the third week of October. An updated sponsors and supporting organizations list can be found at the Web site, www.ala.org/teenread.