Letter to the Editor - Literacy

Dear Sir:
Members of the Kiwanis Club of Ottawa involved with early literacy projects in Ottawa schools were most interested in your comments on the value of reading to children. For many years now, the Club has sponsored two early literacy projects in elementary schools in Ottawa. “Reading is Fundamental” is a program where volunteers commit to reading to kindergarten children once a week during the school year. And “Read-a-thon”, a program aimed at encouraging children to become better readers, by reading more often, trying out new books and having fun doing it. This is a very popular program that targeted Ottawa elementary schools initially and that today reaches schools around the world because teachers can access the program through our website and run their own read-a-thon. Because fun is a basic element of the program, it works. We know this by the number of thank you notes we receive every year from teachers and parents whose students and children have developed a love of reading after taking part in the Kiwanis Read-a-thon. As well, some schools use “Read-a-thon” as a fundraiser for their own libraries or other education projects. Children seek financial support from friends and family based on the total number of books or hours read - a literary variant of run and walk events. We adults have also learned important lessons through this program: read to the kids, preach by example and let the kids choose their own books.

Peter Nadeau
President 2009-2010
Kiwanis Club of Ottawa