Monday, November 17, 2014

#WeLoveReading Photo Challenge: Spread the Word!

"Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skill set they will eventually require for learning to read." 
-Marilyn Jager Adams

For this reason and so many others, we believe that reading is absolutely essential for young children. According to a study published in Child Development journal, children, by the age of 2, who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers. Children who are regularly read to are not only prepared to start school, but they are given the opportunity to get ahead from a young age.

Unfortunately, one of the largest problems facing childhood literacy is poverty. According to the Council of Children and Families, Kids Count Data Book 2013, 23% of New York children live in poverty. Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, nutrition, and education, including literacy. According to a national longitudinal analysis by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, economically disadvantaged children may know only one or two letters of the alphabet when entering kindergarten, while children in the middle class will know all 26. We need to lessen this gap.

With your help, HMESF hopes to improve the situation of child literacy. This is why we started our #WeLoveReading photo challenge. Inspired by the Ice Bucket Challenge, we wanted to utilize the power of social media to spread the word about the importance of reading to your children and encouraging your children to read. On September 16th we officially launched the challenge with the following rules:

We have absolutely loved the photo submissions so far, and we're looking forward to seeing even more children reading. Join the #WeLoveReading challenge, take a photo of your favorite child reading, and most importantly pass it on! Share the above image with the challenge rules or share a photo. It's an easy and fun way to make a difference!

Here are a few great submissions we've received so far. 
Check out #WeLoveReading on Instagram to see more!

Courtney Atias
Chondra Echert Sanchez
Lauren Hampton
Rebekah Borucki
Daniel Hampton

Thank you to everyone who has submitted a photo so far!  Together we can make a difference.