Foster A Love For Literacy From Harlem To Harare

February 15, 2020

Reading plays an obvious role in academic performance, but it’s also an essential life skill. Literacy and effective communication go hand-in-hand, and inspiring a child to embrace reading and writing can help open a world of opportunity.

Celebrate the importance of literacy and help the children in your life develop a love of reading with these ideas:

Make literacy a gift they’ll treasure. Few kids remember what toys they received or when, but many have special memories of the books they read as children. Whether you gift a book that’s a classic childhood favorite, a story that held special meaning for you or even a book dedicated to today’s popular characters, encouraging reading is a gift that can keep giving for a lifetime.

Do business where literacy is a priority. You can show your support for literacy by conducting business with retailers who not only support the cause, but also offer opportunities for the community to get involved. For example, The UPS Store is the exclusive sponsor of the Toys for Tots Literacy Program, which provides direct access to books and educational resources to the nation’s most economically disadvantaged children. Thanks in part to community contributions, the retailer has contributed more than $5.1 million, representing nearly 41 million books, to children across the country.

Plant seeds of interest. Kids are most likely to embrace reading when the topics they’re reading about capture their attention. Whether it’s comic books or chapter books, there’s no right or wrong source of reading material. If you’re not sure where to start, consider introducing books that come in a set or series. Once your children find a favorite, they’ll likely be eager to read additional books that take their favorite characters on new and exciting adventures.

Make reading a rewarding part of your routine. Encourage reading as part of your family’s everyday schedule. Wind down with a book at bedtime or make storytime together a reward for good behavior. When you visit the store, make a visit to the book aisle just as exciting as a trip to the toy department.

Attend events that celebrate literacy. Each year, the Rose Parade captivates millions of viewers with floats that are as beautiful as they are inspiring. To culminate its annual Toys for Tots Literacy Program, The UPS Store, which won last year’s top parade prize, will showcase tamarin monkeys, an endangered species, alongside toucans, salamanders, butterflies and parrots to represent hope and strong community ties on its 2020 float titled “Stories Change Our World.”

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In addition, the float was the inspiration for “Tell Your Tale,” a contest for young authors across the nation. The winning entries will be published in a special anthology book that will be handed out to 10,000 guests at the Post Parade: A Showcase of Floats event and available online.

For more information about youth literacy, including the contest, anthology and float, or to make a contribution to support literacy online, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

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