young student reading in the classroom

We’ve all heard the expression, “reading is fundamental,” but why is it so important for students? The ability to read, along with the ability to write, is what’s referred to as literacy. And without literacy, students can face lifelong challenges that extend from communicating with others, employment opportunities, income and education gaps, and even shorter life expectancy.

To help combat these challenges, schools and teachers do an excellent job of incorporating reading and writing into early learning curriculums. Many families enforce this learning by reading together at home, practicing the alphabet and working on spelling lessons. Started early enough, all of these efforts combined can lead to a love of reading and writing for young learners to build upon through the years.

7 Tips & Ideas for Organizing a School Literacy Night

Another way to encourage literacy is to organize a school literacy night. This can be both fun and fulfilling for students, families and teachers, alike. Here are some of our top tips and ideas for organizing a literacy night at your school:

1. Host a Book Fair
It’s hard to beat the joy and promise that a good book fair holds. Even into adulthood, many can remember with fondness what it was like to browse the racks and stacks of books, carefully making your selections and whittling down the pile to the few precious items that would get to come home in your backpack after the event. Putting together a book fair as part of your school’s literacy night is a sure-fire success for all.

2. Kick-off a Reading Challenge
Reading challenges can involve students on their own, or for a fun twist, the challenge can encompass the entire family. At the literacy night, students and their families can report back with how many books or minutes they’ve read for a chance to claim top honors in a rewarding competition for all.

3. Plan Family Games and Activities
No successful school event would be complete without some lively games and activities. At your school’s literacy night, you can plan an array that incorporates the whole family with activities like a scavenger hunt through the school library, hide-and-seek with reading materials, a Pictionary based on book titles and characters and more.

4. Hold Book Readings by Special Guests
Whether it’s a local “celebrity” in your town, the school’s principal, a trained therapy dog (accompanied by his or her trainer), an area firefighter or police officer, members of one of the high school sports team or clubs, or even a beloved parent or grandparent, there are countless options for special guests you could enlist to do a book reading at your event. Kids will be delighted to find out who will be reading to them, as this part of literacy night is sure to draw a crowd.

5. Make it a Costume Party
As a fun twist on the event, you could encourage attendees to come in costume, dressed as their favorite book character, writer or poet. Or costumes can be their interpretation of the book itself. Students and families can also get creative with a group costume reflecting a series of books or various characters featured within.

6. Build Your Own Bookshelf
This can be one of the most rewarding activities at your school’s literacy night, as kids get hands-on and take home the fruits of their labor. Think of the workshops geared toward kids that big-box hardware stores offer when you put together a set of basic tools and materials like wood glue, scraps of lumber, fabric and dowel rods. Students can work with their parents and a few volunteers to assemble a simple bookshelf or book hammock that young readers get to keep when finished.

7. Don’t Forget the Take-Aways
A perfect parting gift for a successful event, don’t forget to send students home with books, magazines, bookmarks, journals and notebooks, pens and pencils, coupons for local bookstores and more wonderful momentos to continue encouraging their love of reading and writing.

Shop School Literacy Night Supplies and More

Build on these tips and ideas as inspiration to get you started on organizing a school literacy night for your students. While it can seem overwhelming to organize such an important event, with the right planning, resources and support, your event is sure to leave a lasting and meaningful impression on all who take part. Browse supplies, prizes, novelty items and an endless array of school necessities at Raymond Geddes or contact us today to learn more. School supply catalogs are also available to request.