Reading is a foundational skill necessary for virtually everything we do. It opens possibilities for all children to succeed—to learn and grow, to explore and imagine, to investigate and verify, and to lead fulfilling lives. Reading well instills confidence and helps reduce inequities. The disruptions due to the pandemic make focusing on literacy even more important, to assist our students not just to catch up but to thrive.
The American Federation of Teachers is launching Reading Opens the World, a new initiative that focuses on:
- Giving teachers and school staff the tools and professional development that translate the science of reading into usable resources to help students read and read well.
- Giving parents and caregivers fun and research-based tips and tools to support literacy.
- Building on and forging new connections among families, communities, educators and schools to be partners in students’ literacy.
- Giving children and young people free books to read, love and keep, because …
Reading Opens the World!
For more, read the opening press release: AFT Launches Multiyear, Multimillion-Dollar ‘Reading Opens the World’ Campaign to Spark the Love of Reading.
AFT affiliates hosting holiday family literacy events
In addition to our launch event in Washington, D.C., through the month of December, more than 20 AFT locals are holding events to engage families and caregivers and to provide books and literacy resources for kids, including:
- The Asociación de Maestros de Puerto Rico held family fiestas at four schools in rural and remote locations across Puerto Rico;
- AFT Massachusetts and the Lawrence Teachers Union will be hosting a book and literacy event at Lawrence High School’s Mobile Market;
- AFT-Wisconsin will host several family literacy events in rural parts of Wisconsin in partnership with the Butternut Federation of Teachers, Menasha Federation of Teachers and St. Croix Federation of Teachers and other community partners;
- AFT-West Virginia, AFT Marion County and AFT Randolph are hosting holiday family literacy events and distributing family-friendly books;
- The Florida Education Association is distributing more than 1,000 books for every family at Lake Forest Elementary in Alachua County;
- The Gary Teachers Union in Indiana is inviting families to the union office to choose books to read over the winter break and stock their home libraries;
- The Texas AFT and the Houston Federation of Teachers are providing bilingual, STEAM and social and emotional learning books to families of middle and elementary school students;
- The Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Red River United and the Jefferson Federation of Teachers are distributing more than 1,500 books to families in need this holiday season;
- The Nashua Teachers’ Union in New Hampshire distributed hundreds of books at Elm Street Elementary’s family vaccination clinic;
- The Ohio Federation of Teachers and Ontario Federation of Teachers are starting Coffee at the Curb to provide books and literacy information to families at morning drop-off at Stingel Elementary School;
- The Oregon School Employees Association—in partnership with OSEA Chapter 600 Head Start of Lane County, OSEA Chapter 603 Mt. Hood Community College Head Start, OSEA Chapter Willamette ESD, NeighborImpact Head Start and Clackamas County Children’s Commission Head Start—is distributing nearly 2,000 early childhood education books and literacy materials to families at Head Start centers across the state; and
- United Teachers Los Angeles is distributing 1,000 bilingual, STEAM and social and emotional learning books as part of Winter Wonderland Week events to encourage reading over the winter break.