What better way to spend a cold winter Saturday afternoon than reading?

This Saturday, January 24 is the first National Readathon Day. A project of the National Book Foundation, GoodReads, Mashable, and Penguin Random House, National Readathon Day aims to raise awareness about the millions of Americans who struggle with low literacy skills.

From noon to 4 pm this Saturday, individuals, schools, libraries, book clubs, and others around the country will get comfortable with a stack of books.

For formal readathon participants, the National Book Foundation is registering groups and introducing a fundraising component: learn more here.

Of course, you can participate informally. You can read for a segment of the four hours, or you can host a low-key reading party. You can volunteer to read aloud to kids at the library, families at a shelter or soup kitchen, or adults in a senior living community. You can read to your own kids. You can contribute books or a financial donation to your library, school, or (ahem) local children’s literacy nonprofit.

The most important thing is recognizing we can all do something to support literacy. Two-thirds of American fourth graders read below the proficient level. 40% of American adults read at or below proficiency. A national day celebrating literacy and literacy awareness is a step forward.

For more information about National Readathon Day, click here or follow and use the hashtag #TimeToRead.


Photo: Kids drop everything and read after Ludlow, VT’s CLiF Year of the Book kickoff celebration.

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