The Reading Hour on 25 August 2012 will be both a focal point for the National Year of Reading 2012 for all ages and also the call to action for families – “share a book with your child for 10 minutes a day, an hour a week”.
Margaret Allen, chair of the National Year of Reading founders and State Library of WA, explained, “The Reading Hour itself is for everyone and there will be activities for all age groups, but there will be a special message for families. The phrase ’10 minutes a day, an hour a week’ is our ‘slip, slop, slap’. It’s the take away message that we hope will become the accepted norm. We know it’s not always possible for parents to share a book at bedtime with their children, but if they can manage 10 minutes most nights, their child will have the best chance of becoming a good reader, with all the social and educational benefits that brings. Most of our brain development happens between birth and three years of age, so it’s not enough to assume that children will learn to read when they get to school. Parents need to share stories and rhymes right from day one – and a good way of finding out more is to join storytimes, rhymetimes, baby bounce and toddler sessions at your local library.”
Key partners for The Reading Hour are Dymocks, The Walt Disney Company and Dymocks Children’s Charities. Together, these three partners have exciting plans for activities beginning in the first half of 2012 and leading up to the big day on 25 August.
In addition, Scholastic Group will be promoting The Reading Hour through its search for reading superheroes scholastic.com.au/minisites/readingsuperhero, MS Readathon will be running a special “60 minutes for MS” event on 24 August, and Kumon au.kumonglobal.com will be organising Read Together groups in public libraries for students and families from multicultural backgrounds.
The Reading Hour is nominally 6pm to 7pm on 25 August, but events will be happening all day, to avoid or coincide with important sporting fixtures and venue opening hours, and to accommodate the different time zones. Events will take place in libraries, bookstores and other public places.