Thursday, November 12, 2015

Reading is Awesome with Kobo & First Book Canada #BooksToKids

young boy reading a book

Ok, so he wasn't really reading Kathy Buckworth, but I just love this photo because it shows how much he has always loved books. I think he had just turned 4 when this was taken. And the picture isn't staged - he picked up one of my books of his own accord and started leafing through, reading just like Mommy. I had to snap a pic!! (And yes, he is sitting in the cat's bed. What are you going to do?)

Books have always been a huge part of my life. My dad built a big bookshelf for me when I was little that took up most of the length of one wall in my room. It was always full. By the time I started kindergarten I had memorised all the Dick & Jane books, I had read them so often. In high school you could usually find me reading a novel as I walked from one class to the next. I had great peripheral vision then apparently, because I never had a collision. Books were an escape, an entertainment, a learning experience. And they still are for me today. I suspect this will be the same for Boo.

I started reading to Boo in utero, and continued reading to him until he decided he wanted to read on his own. At 9 he still reads every night before bed. It is part of his routine and helps him to wind down, but it is also something he really looks forward to. His current favourites are Diary of  Wimpy Kid, Stink, and Geronimo Stilton. But he also loves to read non-fiction and learn about animals, nature, and the world around us. The National Geographic Weird But True! series is a hit as well.

The first book Boo read on his own.
We are super lucky that we are not only able to purchase a good variety of books for him, but we live a block away from a public library. He has easy access to reading materials and developed an early love of reading/ He even asked for his first Kobo for his birthday last year! I was so proud :) But we know we are privileged, and not every child has books at home, and not every parent is a reader.

First Book Canada works to get books into the hands of children who otherwise wouldn't have them. They have distributed more than 4.5 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout Canada. That's pretty awesome. So it makes great sense that they have now partnered with Kobo and Penguin Random House Canada, for “The Awesome Project,” a literacy initiative that will provide elementary school-aged children with their very own first book, as well as educational resources to help foster the love of reading.

As part of “The Awesome Project”, New York Times bestselling author Neil Pasricha, whose “Awesome” series has sold in the millions of copies, visited with students across Southern Ontario to read from Awesome is Everywhere, his latest book aimed at children. Each school received copies of Awesome is Everywhere, in addition to 1,500 brand new books and a $1,000 grant to purchase books and Kobo eReaders through the First Book Canada Marketplace. What a boost to the literacy resources for the kids!

These students proudly display their new copies of Awesome is Everywhere, at one of the school reading events.
There's a role for you to play in the Awesome Project as well.

If you are new to Kobo, it's so easy to do your part to help get books into the hands of kids in need. Simply create your new Kobo account through the Awesome Project and purchase your first book before November 30. You will receive a $5 credit in your account, and Kobo will donate $5 to First Book Canada. That $5 is the amount needed to purchase a book for a child to bring home and keep as their own.

“Kobo knows that the love of books begins early, but only if children have access to and enjoyment of books at an early age,” said Michael Tamblyn, President, Rakuten Kobo. “We are honoured to be a part of this wonderful campaign created by First Book Canada, and are excited to be working with Neil to spread the word about how awesome it is to read. It’s a great program to get young minds engaged in the great stories and thought-provoking ideas that the world of books has to offer.”

What do you think? Are your children big readers? What are their favourite sorts of books?

To keep up to date on all the happenings at Kobo, be sure to connect with them on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo, and I received
compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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