Established in 1919, Children's Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes -- wherever young readers and books connect!
Children's Book Week is administered by Every Child A Reader, a 501(c)(3) literacy organization dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children. The Children's Book Council, the national non-profit trade association for children's book publishers, is an anchor sponsor.
Children's Book Week is a truly national celebration, with events taking place from coast to coast.
• In 2013, Official Events were hosted in a record-breaking 58 cities, along with innumerable Local Events. In 2014, for the first time in the initiative's history, Official Events will be held in all 50 states.
• Each year, the Children's Book Council enlists beloved children's literature illustrators to design the commemorative Children's Book Week Poster and Bookmark. Download the 2014 Book Week bookmark by Steve Jenkins and order your free 2014 Poster by Robin Preiss Glasser.
• Children's Choice Book Awards Gala! Launched by the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader in 2008, the Children's Choice Book Awards Program was created to provide young readers with an opportunity to voice their opinions about the books being written for them and to develop a reading list that will motivate children to read more and cultivate a life-long love of reading. Winners are announced live during Children's Book Week at the Children's Choice Book Awards Gala, the Academy Awards of children's literature. This year, voting will be open at ccbookawards.com from March 25 -- May 12.
Children's Book Week originated in the belief that children's books and literacy are life-changers. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.
Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly, and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children's Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916, the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association sponsored a Good Book Week with the Boy Scouts of America.
In 1944, the newly-established Children's Book Council assumed responsibility for administering Children's Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, administration of Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader -- a 501 (c)(3) literacy non-profit dedicated to instilling a lifelong love of reading in children -- and the Children's Book Council became a CBW anchor sponsor.
The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s fundamental declaration: “A great nation is a reading nation.” It’s a great time to plan to share a favorite book you read when you were younger with a child currently in your life.
May is the time when many students (and teachers) are starting to think about summer vacation. Although the warmest months of the year are a good time for kids to kick back and relax, summer is also prime time for learning loss. Ed.gov has several blog posts full of tips and ideas for ensuring students of all ages have a successful summer. Head on over to the Homeroom blog for more -- and follow #SummerSuccess on Twitter.
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