Our five favourite articles of 2016

As we welcome a new year,  Calgary Reads is happy to share  5 thought-provoking articles that inspired our work.  We hope you enjoy them too.

  1. Where Books Are All But NonexistentAlia Wong, The Atlantic – July 14

In many high-poverty urban neighborhoods, it’s nearly impossible for a poor child to find something to read in the summer.

Why we loved it: Because we know that many children live in “book deserts:” neighbourhoods and communities where books and interesting, age-appropriate print materials for children are non-existent, and that is why book access is one of our key strategies.

  1. How Investing in Preschool Beasts the Stock Market, Hands DownEric Westervelt, NPR ED – December 12

Quality early education programs are expensive upfront. But as Prof. James Heckman, a Nobel Laureate, argues, the returns are enormous (13% vs. 7% historically in the stock market) and the return on investment not only makes economic sense but results in richer, fuller, healthier lives for the entire family.

Why we loved it: Because we know through our partnership with the First 2000 Days Network that investing in the early years reaps strong dividends (no pun intended) for everyone in society.

  1. The Families That Can’t Afford SummerKJ Dell’Antonia, The New Yorker – June 4

In summer, the lack of affordable child care and the achievement gap collide for lower income families. Most kids lose math skills over the summer, but low-income children also lose, on average, more than two months of reading skills — and they don’t gain them back.

Why we loved it: Because we know through our work with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and from the Early Warning! Calgary report that summer learning is essential for ensuring that children from low-income families keep up with their peers when they return to school and the research tells us that books and summer reading helps to stop the “summer slide.”

  1. Page Turners: To Calgary’s Big Readers, Books Are a User’s Manual for Life – Rita Sirignano, Swerve Magazine – September 30

“I can’t separate my life from reading—it’s an integral part of who I am,” says one of five Calgarian bookworms profiled in this article. “I can imagine not having a lot of things, but not my books.”

Why we loved it: Because we love reading about and hearing from people who are as passionate about books as we are!

  1. The Need to Read – Will Schwalbe, The Wall Street Journal – November 25 (NOTE: May be behind a paywall)

We all ask each other a lot of questions. But we should all ask one question a lot more often: “What are you reading?” It’s a simple question but a powerful one, and it can change lives. We need to read and to be readers now more than ever.

Why we loved it: Because few people we know can inspire others to read like Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, and our very first Big Book Club guest reader!

These were our favourite reads from 2016. Please share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram: @CalgaryReads or Facebook: Facebook.com/CalgaryReads

The open book on other multi-coloured books. On a wooden shelf. A wooden, white background.