On March 2nd, our nation will celebrate Read Across America Day, a holiday created to celebrate the joy of reading. Adults and families are encouraged to spend the day reading to children and instilling the love of reading in their hearts. Even with the advances in technology, I still find so much comfort in picking up a book to read…as opposed to reading on my phone, a tablet, or an e-reader. Sadly, some children spend their evenings in front of the television and never pick up a book in their own home.
Today’s Family Fun Day not only celebrates reading, but a unique group of people whose mission is to “improve the quality of life for children.”
10th Annual Kiwanis Read Around the World at the Strongsville Library
In 1915, a group of men got together in Detroit, Michigan, and formed a business organization named “Kiwanis.” The original purpose of the group was to encourage networking for businessmen. However, in 1919, the purpose of the group changed from business networking to service. Kiwanis expanded rapidly and by 1962 it had become an international organization. In the 1980’s women were granted permission to join their local organization. Now celebrating its 100th anniversary, Kiwanis has over 600,000 members worldwide.
Kiwanis’ Read Around the World program is an international service project run by the organization and sponsored by Scholastic. Clubs are encouraged to host these programs year-round to help children experience the joy of reading. The Strongsville Kiwanis Club has been hosting Read Around the World events since 2005. This year marks their 10th anniversary. In addition to providing each child with an age-appropriate book, volunteers will be on hand to help children select their book and read to them. A puppet show will be presented by the Saint Joseph and John Builder’s Club and face painters will be available, too.
- The 10th Annual Kiwanis Read Around the World event will take place on Saturday, February 28, 2015 from 10 am – 12:30 pm.
- The event is free and open to the public. No registration is required.
- The Strongsville branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library is located at 18700 Westwood Drive, Cleveland, OH 44136. The event will take place in Meeting Rooms A & B.
- If you have any questions about the event, you can call the library at 440-238-5530.
- The puppet show will be presented twice – 10:30 am and 11:30 am.
- Light refreshments will be served.
- Encourage your older children to talk with the volunteers about community service. (In the past, Strongsville High Key Club volunteers have been there to read to the kids.) They could ask the volunteers what inspired them to join the club. A poignant question is what they get out of their volunteer experience. Ask this question to volunteers of all ages and you will surely get a mixed response.
- Ask your smaller children about community service. What is it? What does it mean?
- Brainstorm with all of your children about how they can be of service to the community. Can they think of a family volunteer project? Things they could do with classmates, with friends, or a local group? What about things they could make at home?
- If you have smaller children, encourage them to read to the volunteer! Explain to the volunteer that your child is learning to read and he or she would like to help read the story.
- After watching the puppet show, ask your kids what stories they would like to be turned into a puppet show and why.
- After the event, go to the Kiwanis website (kiwanis.org) to learn more about the organization. You can even search for clubs to join. There are organizations for both adults and children.
The fun doesn’t stop when the event is over. Parents, have your children read the book to YOU when they get home! Encourage at least 20-30 minutes of reading every night. Alternate by letting your children do the reading and by reading to them. Pick a chapter book and make it a family event. Children learn just by watching and they will be more likely to read if you are reading, too.
How do you encourage your children to read? What service projects have you and your children done together? Let us know!
“Event Detail.” Cuyahoga County Public Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.
“Kiwanis.” Kiwanis. Kiwanis International, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.
“Service Projects – Read Around the World.” Strongsville Kiwanis Club. Strongsville Kiwanis Club, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2015.
Photo Copyright: [Small Girl Reading]. Retrieved February 2, 2015 from http://www.cleveland.com.
Photo Copyright: [Boys Reading]. Retrieved February 2, 2015 from http://www.thepostnewspapers.com.