As April draws to a close, May will see a focus on the promotion of reading in several countries. In the United Kingdom, it is National Share-a-Story Month (NSSM), which is organised by The Federation of Children’s Book Groups (FCBG), an organisation that seeks to bring children and books together. The theme for 2017 is Picture a Story and one of the aims of the event is “to celebrate the power of illustrations…for all ages” (FCBG, n.d.). The sharing of picture books, along with comics and graphic novels, is also being promoted. Suggested activities include an illustration competition inspired by The Everywhere Bear, the new book from Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, and a comic creating competition for older children. The FCBG website also contains a number of links to support the event, as well as suggestions for celebrating Picture a Story in digital format.
Sharing a book can happen at any age
In May, Get Caught Reading (GCR) is promoted in schools and libraries in the United States. This national campaign was first held in 1999 to celebrate the enjoyment that reading brings people of all ages. The GCR website includes a range of resources, such as posters, newsletters and videos, to support the initiative. Suggested activities include taking photos of family, friends and community members (shopkeepers, police officers, etc.) caught reading and using these to create displays to encourage reading.
Someone got caught reading!
Wherever in the world you are, enjoy reading during May and throughout the rest of the year! Together let’s share a story, get caught reading and celebrate the joy found in books.