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A Different Kind of Nook

June 20, 2012

A small area in the corner of the room becomes special when designated as a cozy place to read.

By Julia Rogers

For those of us that grew up with a variety of books within reach, it can be hard to imagine a home without a bookshelf. But for some children, a house without reading materials is the norm. One way CLiF works to change this is to educate parents on the importance of reading to children at a young age.

CLiF provides parent seminars at many of our events. We emphasize the profound benefits of reading and the responsibility parents have to create an atmosphere of literacy in their home. We also impart storytelling techniques to give parents the confidence to read with their children even if they are not strong readers themselves. Once a parent and child have attended a CLiF event, they have two new books and a lot of new skills to take home. But how can we make sure the enthusiasm lives on after the CLiF event is over?

The answer may lie in a story from Lunenburg, Vermont, a town that takes part in our three-year Community Literacy program. Our community coordinator there told us about a child who acquired a small collection of books throughout the year at various CLiF events. His parents decided to create a special place for reading in their home. They repurposed a milk crate, turning it on its side to create a pint-sized bookshelf. Instead of getting tossed onto a high shelf or tucked away in a closet, the books were displayed prominently. And the result? The books were read more frequently. It may seem obvious, but creating access to books begins with placing them prominently at home.

Consider creating your own reading nook in your home. Or if you work with families, encourage them to develop their own designated space for books and reading.  Make it special, unique, cozy. It can be as simple as a milk crate or as elaborate as a homemade tent. No matter what you do, make sure your child knows that the nook is a special place for him or her to read, to let imaginations run wild and discover the wonders within the pages of his or her very own books!

See below for some DIY ideas for you or the families you serve:

A stack of milk crates serves as inexpensive and colorful shelving

Milk Crate Bookshelf Tutorial

A small area in the corner of the room becomes special when designated as a cozy place to read.

Bedroom Reading Nook Tutorial 

A homemade fabric shelf is colorful and functional!

Fabric Bookshelf Tutorial 

The ultimate reading nook – can be made permanent with this tutorial or temporary with an extra bedsheet!

Tent Nook Tutorial

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