The community plays a large role in promoting the value of reading. Is that role recognized in your community? Think about your building, neighbourhood, village, town or city. What does your child see adults doing, talking about, spending money on or getting excited about? Make a list. Then ask yourself where books and reading figure on that list. Are they there at all?
In the introduction of this booklet, I mentioned that Canadian culture doesn't value reading the way it values sports and entertainment. For most Canadian children, reading stops at 3:30 p.m. on weekdays. They don't pick up a book at all on weekends, holidays and during the summer. These children grow up as reluctant or non-readers. They have not been taught or shown to value reading; they have not learned to think it important or fun. This is not the fault of schools or libraries -- books are highly valued in those places. Instead, they have been taught it by their community.