Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Tonight's bedtime story will be coming to you direct from Baghdad"

The National Book Foundation has just announced the winners of its Innovations in Reading Prize. Among them, United Through Reading which brings together "families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together." Parents serving time in prison or the military (often the same thing) can record themselves reading aloud on DVDs which are then sent to the children. While it's not a perfect substitute for the real thing (e.g., your daughter can't force you to keep turning back a page for another look at the evil ogre threatening the princess), it'll do for those lonely military children who miss the sound of their parent's voice.

When I deployed to Iraq in 2005, my three kids had already squirmed past the reading-to age. But if they hadn't, I'm sure I would have recorded a DVD boxed set of me reading The Chronicles of Narnia, much as I did one summer a long, long time ago.

Other worthy recipients of the Innovations in Reading Prize are Mount Olive Baptist Church, Cellpoems, Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, and 826 Valencia. Congratulations, all!

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