National Family Literacy Month:: How and Why to Get Kids Reading at Home

girl with mask reading a book for National Family Literacy Month

National Family Literacy Month

This year in November, most of us are thinking among other things about the election and Thanksgiving; however, a lesser known albeit important event, that frankly I am glad to focus on right now, is National Family Literacy Month. If you were like me before last month, you may not have known this was even a thing, so let me give you the Cliffs Notes version {is that still a thing?}. National Family Literacy Day was passed by Congress in 1994 and somewhere along the way became recognized as so important {because literacy is!} that it now is celebrated during the entire month of November. 

Some Startling Literacy Stats

“The greatest single indicator of a child’s academic success is the educational level of his/her mother. If a parent can’t read, the child starts school at a disadvantage. Then, once the child is in school, the parent is unable to help with homework. Low literacy perpetuates across generations” (The Literacy Center).

“19 percent of adults cannot read a newspaper, much less complete a job application”, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“Approximately 32 million adults in the United States can’t read”, according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy.

“Low literacy adds $230 billion to the annual cost of delivering healthcare in the United States. International studies have found that the greatest single indicator of family and community health is the educational level of the mother” (The Literacy Center).

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that 50 percent of U.S. adults can’t read a book written at an eighth-grade level”.

“Texas has the fourth-lowest literacy rate of 81.0%”, according to the World Population Review

According to UNSCO, “Despite the steady rise in literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still 773 million illiterate adults around the world, most of whom are women.” 

Ways To Get Involved with National Family Literacy Month

Family crowded around a bookI don’t know about you, but as I was reading these stats and many more during my research I was shocked. Especially since a lot of the statistics seemed to lead to mothers being such an important role in family literacy. 

First Book Marketplace This non-profit free and low-cost books and resources including, but not limited to health care providers, school support personnel, librarians, military family support, early learning professionals, community programs, or Title I or Title I eligible schools. 

Sponsor a Child’s Home Library One of Barbara Bush’s programs called My Home Library allows you to sponsor a child to have 6 books for $30 through the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. Schools can sign up for this program to have children make wishlists for the books they wish to have in their libraries at home. 

Literacy Texas Donate to help with literacy programs, advocacy, trainings, and symposiums. 

Texas State Libraries & Literacy Resources for Adult Education and Literacy, including services for libraries and the talking book program. 

Houston Public Library Get Involved, donate your time, donate old books. If you are in a suburb of Houston look up your nearest library or library system and see what they have going on.

Ways To Get Reading at Home

As the days get shorter and darker as November is upon us, what better way to spend the evenings than curled up with your loved ones reading a good book? Here are some creative ways during National Family Literacy Month to get the kids engaged at home::

  1. Create a special reading area at home. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but a place where the family or the kids have that is just for reading. Throw in some pillows, blankets, bean bag chairs and voilà! 
  2. Turn reading into a craft. Make your own books at home. Have your kiddos come up with a story and turn it into a book! You can do it old fashion or try a website like this one where you can get an e print of the book they made for $5. 
  3. Have holiday or occasion books. Have books that only come out during certain times. Like Halloween, or Valentine’s Day or a birthday book someone gave them. This could help get them excited about getting to read a special book. 
  4. Do a Reading Challenge Activity. I love this one I found from Natural Beach Living

25 Day Reading Challenge calendar

Happy Reading and Happy National Family Literacy Month!

Pin this post and be sure to follow Houston Moms Blog on Pinterest!

Houston Moms "National Family Literacy Month:: How and Why to Get Kids Reading at Home" #houstonmoms #houstonmomsblog #momsaroundhouston

Previous articleVirtual Shopping at the Houston Ballet Nutcracker Market 2020
Next article2 Fun and Easy DIY Thanksgiving Crafts
Jessica has been a bit of a nomad, moving constantly growing up. It was during her time in undergrad at University of Houston {Go Coogs!} that she planted some roots and proudly has called Houston home for the past 20 years. Somewhere in these 20 years, she received her Master of Science in Counseling, became a licensed professional counselor, married her best friend, and had a very spirited, independent daughter {September 2017}. Jessica is best known for her hustle, her resourcefulness, and forever searching for this elusive thing in life we call balance. She is a bubble tea addict so you can most likely find her at various Teahouse locations working on her growing mental health private practice, Ajana Therapy & Clinical Services in Montrose. She is passionate about mental health, especially related to maternal mental health, as her own birth and postpartum were pretty traumatic. Jessica and her clinicians write about various mental health topics on their blog and on Instagram @ajanatherapy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here