Reading is an essential skill for everyone. Reading helps us to establish our personal identity and brings us closer to the lives and experiences of others. The International Literacy Association states that “the ability to read, write, and communicate connects people and empowers them to achieve things they never thought possible." Reading, improves with practice, as do most things people work hard at, which means we should read widely and extensively. When we begin to see ourselves as readers, we develop more positive attitudes toward reading for personal enjoyment. Leisure reading supports the social and collaborative nature of learning and encourages each of us to share our own understanding, as well as value the opinions of others.
February is I Love to Read Month or Le Mois du Plaisir de Lecture! This annual celebration promotes and encourages reading in schools, libraries and homes throughout Manitoba. During the month, our classrooms and school libraries participate in a variety of activities that foster a love for reading which include school-wide assemblies, reading challenges, contests, read-a-thons, guest readers, author visits and book tastings. The Reading Council of Greater Winnipeg also provides a calendar of daily activities for students, educators and families to “explore different ways of engaging with literacy.” This year’s I Love to Read calendar theme is “Books for a Better World.”
Our Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) school libraries play an active role in enriching the lives of readers of all ages to adopt reading as a learning lifestyle. In 2019, LRSD school libraries circulated more than 600,000 physical and virtual books across the division ranging from picture books, fiction, graphic novels and periodicals, to digital ebooks and audiobooks. Our participation in events such as I Love to Read Month encourages students, staff and parents or guardians to make literacy not only an educational goal, but a lifetime goal.
- Kathy Atkin, Coordinator of Library Services, Louis Riel School Division