Editorial: Encouraging our families in reading

Oct. 31, 2013 @ 11:39 PM

On this, Family Literacy Day, we’re sorry to share the sad news about our national abilities compared to the rest of the globe.

We’re below average when it comes to literacy.

The rush for science, technology, engineering and math courses is all well and good. In terms of global competition, our kids do need these important lessons.

But reading and writing, the most basics of communication, are vital.

There are a lot of sad stories in the world. One such example is the adults we meet who can’t read or write and are doing very well given those circumstances, even own businesses, but who would benefit so much by taking adult education classes to close the gap.

Family Literacy Day is a reminder to start early, within the family. We’re also happy to share some creative ideas from our industry, where the newspaper can be of help in the family atmosphere:

• Create a comic strip about your family.

• Invent a story using two or more photos chosen from the newspaper.

• Use a recipe from the newspaper to make a dish; modify it and see what happens.

• Talk about the day’s events while doing the dishes.

• Sing the musical scale using words or items for sale in the newspaper.

• Work with a family member on word or number games published in the newspaper.

• Share the news of the day with a pet or toy.

• Think of action words to describe a photo or to replace verbs in headlines.

• Find words that rhyme with words you know. Write and share poems that use the rhyming words.

• Play the “what if” game with the news. For example: What happens if the musician sings at noon on the street corner instead of at night in a concert?

• Use your experiences and what you find in the newspaper to tell about a holiday or special occasion.

• Find 10 words, objects or other in the newspaper that start with the first letter in your first and/or last name (or other letters).

There’s plenty more. But whatever the activity, whether the newspaper or another source, we do encourage families to promote reading in the house.

Let’s be better than average.