Archived Story

Reading month takes off nationally

Published 8:02am Thursday, March 20, 2014

Even if you haven’t read that this month was National Reading Month, your kids probably have.

Schools across the country have been celebrating the joys of literacy for children, including here in Dowagiac. On Tuesday, Justus Gage Elementary participated in the United Way’s Reading Day of Action, which had volunteers from around the community visit classrooms to read. On Thursday, volunteers with the Cass County COA will read to students at Patrick Hamilton.

When I stopped by Justus Gage earlier this week to cover the reading day, I was quite impressed by what I saw. The children, assembled in a small cluster on the classroom floor, were captivated by the books being read to them. Not only were they paying attention to the story, but they were actively engaging with the book, touching the pictures and answering questions about the story as it went along.

In today’s generation of e-readers, tablets and smartphones, access to almost the entirety of human knowledge is never more than a few clicks or taps away. Still, there’s something about the tactility of books that even I, a dyed-in-the-wool Millennial, can still appreciate. It’s nice to know that children still appreciate that as well.

Sure, it probably sounds pretty self-serving for a newspaperman to tout the advantages of the printed page, but I think there’s an argument that the attachment readers have toward books engages them on a deeper level. At the end of the day, all the social media and blogs in the world can never replace a well-written book.

I hope that the children exposed to reading this month will cement a solid foundation for their future. It has certainly inspired me to pick up a few more books this month, at least.


Ted Yoakum is the community editor for the Dowagiac Daily News. He can be reached at (269) 687-7706.


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