Strategies for building a culture of reading at home

Raising A Reader MA fan, David B. Crowley, recently shared his thoughts on how to build a family culture of reading with the team here at the central office. Some of the surprises include:

  • Read a book together before breakfast, not just at bedtime.
  • When your child poses a question you can’t answer, don’t turn right to Google; instead head to the library to browse reference books.

As I trolled his list, sent to us via Twitter, I was reminded of a conversation I’d had earlier in the day with Peter Kruger at A123 Systems in Waltham. A123 Systems is a lithium ion battery manufacturer whose internal community team building group (called The C.H.A.R.G.E. Team) has engaged in several service projects to benefit Raising A Reader MA. (Their most recent project is an August book drive to collect new and gently used books for us to distribute to families who are trying to build their own home libraries.)

When I dropped off a branded collection box yesterday for the book drive I asked Pete “Why? Why has A123 Systems’ C.H.A.R.G.E. Team become so connected to Raising A Reader MA?”

He said, “Everyone here recognizes that we are in our current positions – whether we’re scientists or facilities staff – because we are readers. The innovation culture is one where reading is essential – whether we’re reading scientific or manufacturing reports or email. Because we each understand how vital reading is to our success we want to give back, and help other children get off to a good start.”

A123 Systems’ C.H.A.R.G.E. Team is taking a systemic approach to building a culture of reading at home, while David B. Crowley’s thoughts are much more focused on one child, one family. Both equally important.

Where does your passion lie for building a culture of reading at home? At the systemic level? Individual? What strategies are you using to inspire your child, niece/nephew, neighbors or students to develop, practice, and maintain habits of reading together at home?