NATIONAL READING GROUP MONTH
National Reading Group Month is an annual designation observed in October to promote the value of books and reading.
Very few people read before the 4th millennium BC. Though records show high literacy rates in Athens and Islam societies, the skill of reading has always been a superior art only royalty or wealthy people could perform. Those who could read did so out loud. However, reading in groups was not a common practice until the 1800s.
Historically, reading groups created an opportunity for intellectual exchanges of ideas and political debate. Guest speakers and writers presented their works to groups in small and large forums. Today, it is estimated there are more than 5 million book clubs and reading groups and are known to be beneficial to the intellectual growth of children.
Group reading, or guided reading, involves a small group of people who can read on the same level. Often found in a school setting, group reading encourages students to become independent readers. The goal of group reading is to develop the skills necessary to excel at reading and expand comprehension and vocabulary skills. Students who engage in group reading develop higher reading skills. However, children develop reading skills at different rates making group learning counterproductive if a few children lag behind the group norm.
Educators should be flexible with individual students when using group reading. Tasks should be age appropriate. Students should not be timed during group reading. Remember, the objective of group reading is to promote reading skills.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Gather a group of friends and form a book club. Meet weekly to read passages from a chosen book and discuss the content. Volunteer at your local library to read with kids in a small group and discuss what you’re reading. Whatever you do, make reading fun and enjoyable!
Use #NationalReadingGroupMonth to post on social media.
Sisters, Martha Burns and Alice Dillon founded National Reading Group Month in 2007 in celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Women’s National Book Association. National Reading Group Month’s mission is to promote the value of books and reading. The initiative aims to foster the values of reading groups to encourage the enjoyment of shared reading and appreciation of literature and reading.