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The Reading Hour 2012

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by Catherine Van Bergen (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in. I'm also a booklover- see my reviews at
We've all heard of Earth Hour, the annual event introduced several years ago, where all non-essential lights are turned off for an hour in households and businesses in order to raise awareness of our growing lack of sustainable resources. The event was initially organised as a campaign in Sydney to make people think about our planet and it's future, and has been adopted globally as people grow more environmentally aware.

As a part of the National Year Of Reading, Australian libraries and library associations are aiming to introduce their own version of Earth Hour, which they are fittingly calling The Reading Hour.
They, too, are thinking about our future, and the important roles that literature and reading play in our lives.
To be held on Saturday August 25, 2012, The Reading Hour invites people to turn their lights on (rather than off), sit down with a book, and become emersed in a story for an hour. Although everybody is invited to participate, the event is aimed primarily at parents and their children, in an effort to encourage children to read more.

The Reading Hour 2012
There are many books for children that suit all ages and reading abilities

It can be difficult, especially with so much going on in our lives, to sit down and read to your child for an hour, so the folks behind The Reading Hour are hoping that an event like this one will encourage parents to set time aside. Even if you are only able to read to them for 10 minutes a day, this can dramatically improve a child's literacy levels, benefiting them socially and educationally.

The Reading Hour 2012
Many classics from our childhood have been reprinted for future generations

Not only will children become better equipped to learn, but their imaginations will be broadened, they will spend less time in front of a computer or games console, and they will get to hear exciting new stories that they may not have heard previously.

The Reading Hour 2012
The 'Rainbow Magic' series is popular for young girls aged 5 and up

Reading is also a fantastic activity for children as a wind-down to bedtime. The experience of getting ready for bed can be made a lot more relaxing if a child knows that they will be able to hear an interesting tale before they go to sleep.

The Reading Hour 2012
The 'Diary Of A Wimpy Kid' books are always popular

There are many children's series available for both boys and girls, which cater to all ages and reading abilities. Many of the classic books we read when we are younger are still available now, or you can go for a more contemporary narrative if you don't think that a classic will hold your child's interest. For younger children, picture storybooks with vibrant illustrations and rhyming storylines can be the perfect introduction to reading.

The Reading Hour 2012
Picture story books with vibrant illustrations can be very enjoyable to read

This is a great event to get behind- it doesn't cost anything and the benefits are endless. Many bookstores and libraries are participating in the National Year of Reading, and would be more than happy to assist you in choosing the perfect reading materials for you and your child. This is also a great opportunity for you to pick up that book you've been meaning to read, but keep putting aside in favour of other activities. Hopefully events like this one will help to encourage reading for future generations, and spark a thirst for literature that only reading can provide.

The Reading Hour 2012
The Reading Hour is only one of many activities lined up for the National Year Of Reading

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Why? Because reading is important
When: Saturday August 25, 2012, from 6pm-7pm (although in reality, The Reading Hour could be done at any time)
Where: Wherever you like
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