As you may have seen earlier this week, we published our review of Mitali Perkins’ newest book, Bamboo People. When the book opens, Chiko is in the courtyard reading A Tale of Two Cities. The Dickens story is hidden in a newspaper, because Burmese boys should not be reading English books. He reads because his father has told him that it is important to “read widely,” and that includes material in Burmese and English. Even knowing that the Burmese government arrested his father because of his education and the risk of being imprisoned himself if caught, Chiko reads.
He understands the power of knowing how to read … so much so he wants to become a teacher. It is that passion that lures Chiko to the government trap and makes him a boy soldier. But even in camp, he reads and teaches his new friend Tai how to read. Ultimately, it propels the story in unexpected ways.
Literacy is a secondary theme in this incredible book, but it reminds us just how fortunate we are to be able to share – or independently select – whatever story we want in our homes, in our backyards, wherever the urge strikes. So what does this have to do with Reading is Fundamental?
Yesterday, Carol Rasco, the CEO of Reading is Fundamental announced the Read with Kids Challenge. This is the third year that RIF and US Airways have partnered for this campaign to encourage adults to read with children. From Carol: This year, our nationwide goal is reading with kids for 10 million minutes between September 1 and October 31.
This is a Win-Win-Win. There is something for the kids (special time with you!) and for you, too. By logging your hours, you become eligible for weekly prizes, travel gift cards, and (last but not least) the grand prize of a US Airways Vacation package to Walt Disney World Resort. Donate to RIF and earn up to 5,000 Dividend miles from US Airways.
So what are you waiting for? Fly on over to the Read with Kids Challenge page to register. Carol and RIF have made it so easy for us to share the power of a great story, model the importance of reading for the kids in our lives, AND help them create their own habit for reading widely.
Help us reduce the national debt. More than $55 million each year goes to supporting people who are unemployable because they can’t read. Change that for the next generation.