In celebration of National Family Literacy Month, Coffee County Lannom Memorial Library has partnered with one of Tullahoma High School’s honor societies to host a free-for-all-ages Family Literacy Night at the library Thursday, Nov. 15.
“The event is promoting the family getting together and the importance of reading, writing and math,” said Kass VonWert, assistant director of the library. “Literacy is so important to how successful you are in life and how you are going to grow as a person.”
National Family Literacy Day, held annually on Nov. 1, is celebrated across the country with events and activities that showcase the importance of family literacy programs that further a child’s education and improve a child’s life skills.
Congress designated the day in 1994 and, since then, libraries, schools and other literacy organization have celebrated throughout November with story time programs, book drives and other events promoting a thirst for knowledge.
The event, organized by the Tullahoma High School National English Honor Society, will include games, reading, musical entertainment and prizes beginning at 6 p.m., according to Leslie Warren, youth services program director of the library.
Tullahoma High School students Natalie Todaro and Aimee Christopher approached Warren with the idea.
“We are working with students of the National English Honor Society,” Warren said. “The students will be reading stories and will have games and activities. They will also be giving away some of the books.”
The books students will read include “A Turkey for Thanksgiving” by Eve Bunting, “I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie” by Alison Jackson and “Over the River and Through the Wood” by Lydia Maria Child.
Warren praised Natalie and Aimee for their enthusiasm to launch the initiative.
“We are very excited and hope this will lead to other activities we can do with the honor society,” Warren said.
VonWert encouraged parents to promote reading daily.
“Set aside a few minutes for reading with your children every day,” VonWert said. “It can take as little as 15 minutes a day to read with your child. Find books you read as a child and have them around the house so your children can see them, stop and pick one up.”
There are many little things parents and caregivers can do to make a book easily accessible, VonWert said, and the Family Literacy Month celebration is a perfect time to start a book club with friends and family or set up a reading challenge. Even the upcoming holiday season offers a good opportunity to motivate reading.
“When family members come for the holidays, ask them to bring their favorite books and read them aloud to the family,” VonWert said.
Reading to children the book versions of the movies they enjoy may also spark interest in learning, she added.
VonWert encouraged parents to take a step further and motivate their children to use their imagination and create their own stories.
“Come up with characters and make sure to draw pictures to go along with the story,” she said.
Nurturing love of reading starts with inspiring curiosity, and one of the ways to do that is frequently visiting libraries, discovery centers and museums.
“The biggest thing is coming to the library to increase the number of books you can read,” she said. “That’s what the library is here for – to give you access to things you may not be able to afford.”
Also, VonWert said, it’s important to use opportunities to help the library and other organizations that focus on education, such as the Literacy Council and the Imagination Library.
For more information, call the library at 931-455-2460.
Elena Cawley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.