A Tradition of Reading

My family has quite a unique tradition for New Year's Day.  Every year after we've gone to bed on New Year's Eve, Baby New Year brings each of us a new book.  I don't exactly know where this tradition originated from or how a new book ties into the New Year's holiday.  All the same, I have loved the tradition and plan to continue it in my family.  As a child, it was exciting to have one more thing to look forward to after all the presents at Christmas.  And the book, being the only gift given that day, didn't get lost among the many other gifts from Santa Claus.

As part of our Sub For Santa program here at United Way of Utah County, every child who is sponsored always receives a book as one of their Christmas gifts.  Our hope is that this book won't get lost among the other gifts, but will help foster a love of reading in these children and encourage parents, if they don't already do so, to read to them.  In Utah County, 32% of 3rd grade students are below their reading level.  By simply reading to their children from the beginning of their lives, parents can have a dramatic effect on their reading ability.  And children who are at or above their appropriate reading level are more likely to stay in high school and be successful in adulthood.

So start a new tradition of giving the children in your lives a book for Christmas or the New Year.  And make a New Year's resolution to read to your child every night.  If your not sure what book to start with, check out these reading lists from Provo City Library, http://www.provolibrary.com/booklists, or ask your child's teacher for personal recommendations.  Not only will you be helping your child succeed, you might just enjoy an adventure or two yourself.

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