Day to read

Allison over at Soccer Mom in Denial read an article last week about a National Endowment for the Arts report that young folks aren't reading like they used to.

Get this:


  • Only 30% of 13-year-olds read almost every day
  • the number of 17-year-olds who never read for pleasure increased from 9 percent in 1984 to 19 percent in 2004 - that is 1 in 5 kids don't read for fun
  • Almost half of Americans between ages 18 and 24 never read books for pleasure
  • The average person between ages 15 and 24 spends 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day watching TV and 7 minutes reading

  • According to Diane Gioia, the Chair of the NEA,
    "The poorest Americans who read did twice as much volunteering and charity work as the richest who did not read. The habit of regular reading awakens something inside a person that makes him or her take their own life more seriously and at the same time develops the sense that other people's lives are real."

This information inspired her to invite us all to stop blogging for one day on January 10, 2008 in order to read a book instead.


DAY TO READ campaign




As if she has special powers, the same day all Flemish media bring the news that we don't teach our children a reading culture anymore. Although international research says that the Flemish kids have average reading skills (Belgium = 13nd place, Flanders = 6th place, Wallonia= 34th), they score very poorly in their attitude about reading. The reasons for that would be:


  • schools spend less time on reading assignments

  • kids don't get stimulated enough at home to read

As a kid I sure loved to read! I devored books.


When I was in music school, I got caught a couple of times with my music scores on the desk, my hair hanging down on the side facing the teacher, my arm nicely moving up and down marking the rhythm and my lips mumbling as if I was singing along...but with a big reading book on my lap.


And then I had to practise the flute each day. But sometimes a book just had to get finished. But I knew my parents would comment if I'd skip my flute practise. So I closed my door, taped myself playing a couple of songs....and then played the tape while I was reading in my book. Never got caught doing that!! Sorry mom, dad if you are reading this! I did make it through 10 years of music academy, so I guess it wasn't too bad.


As I wrote in my book meme I have never found books that mesmerised me so much as child books. Nevertheless I am still reading regularly, a bit with ups and downs. I always am reading one book...a book that travels up and down to work each single day, and travels on my passenger seat in the car. You never know I might end up in a huge traffic jam, right?

So I am taking up Allison's challenge. It might stimulate me to get in a reading up again :). Are you accepting Allison's challenge as well? Will you be reading a book on January 10th?

Comments

Yes, I know many Flemish reporters and made sure they wrote about this issue to inspire you!! :)

Thanks so much for helping to make this an INTERNATIONAL effort. I look forward to hear what you end up reading.
A woman after my own heart. I had that reading book propped up in my math and science textbooks... shhhhh.... ;-)
Wholly Burble said…
Glad you're adding into the reading day fun.

I have a book in the car at all times. You never know when an impromptu luncheon, or afternoon outing might end at the ice cream parlor--and you need some good company--and voila, there's my book!

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