March is National Reading Month, and it’s the perfect time to highlight the importance—and fun—of reading. Plan special activities throughout the month to foster a love of reading in others that will last a lifetime.
- Host a book swap.
Encourage children to bring in gently used books they don’t want anymore to trade them for others. Talk to your local librarian to see if you can get some extra books to ensure everyone who attends walks away with something good to read. Not only is this a great way for people to save money, but reusing books helps the environment, too.
- Schedule a book reading and signing.
Research local writers and invite several to come to a National Reading Month event and read their books or excerpts from them. Ask authors to speak about their books and why they wrote them, and allow time for the authors to sign and sell books to those who attend.
- Hold a book-themed event.
Choose a popular children’s book, such as Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, and throw a party that highlights aspects of the book. For instance, as part of your activities for Green Eggs and Ham, you could have children dye hardboiled eggs green and serve ham sandwiches on whole-wheat bread.
- Create a book-reading challenge.
Throughout the month of March, have teachers keep track of all of the books their students read. At the end of the month, reward the class with most books read with a pizza party!
- Involve shelter animals in reading activities.
There are many programs across the country that bring children into animal shelters to read to the animals there. This is a great chance for struggling readers to practice their reading skills, and it’s also beneficial to the animals. Arrange for several field trips to your local animal shelter in March as a unique way to celebrate National Reading Month.
- Show your public library some love.
Libraries are essential to the health of communities, but they can be underutilized and underappreciated. Make it a point to take a field trip to your public library during March. Ensure that everyone with you signs up for a library card if they don’t already have one. And be sure to thank your local librarian!
- Encourage young artists to design a book cover.
Hold an art contest and give participants a title to work with, such as There’s a Unicorn in My Class! Have local adult artists judge the entries, and award the top three cover designers with gift certificates to a local bookstore.
- Make reading a family affair.
Organize Family Reading Nights throughout National Reading Month. Serve food so parents don’t have to worry about dinner, and raffle off books at each event. Encourage parents and children to sign up for library cards, and remind them that their local libraries are full of free resources and are a great way to stay entertained without spending money.