1. Organize a Family Reading Night

Even an event as low-maintenance as setting up some chairs in the school library and inviting guest readers can send a powerful message about the importance of reading. (Order a free Family Reading Night Planning Kit.)

2. Sponsor an Author Visit

Having an author come and read will help children make a personal connection with a book. Chances are there’s a children’s author near you; the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Children’s Book Council are good places to look.

3. Make Time for Crafts

Making bookmarks is a popular and low-cost way to encourage kids to read more. Older children can also make bookplates and covers, while younger children can be supervised at making crafts based on favorite picture books (a paper spider from Eric Carle’s The Very Busy Spider, for example).

4. Include Your School Librarians

April is the American Library Association’s School Library Month. Ask whether there are ways you can help spruce up the library to keep it interesting for kids. If it’s in your budget, consider purchasing a few new books.

5. Organize a Reading Challenge

Supply students with booklets to track what they’ve read for a certain period of time (a month or more), and give small prizes for every five, 10, and 15 hours logged.

6. Set Up a Book Swap

Almost everyone has at least a few well-loved books they no longer want or need, and a book swap is a popular way to get “new” books in kids’ hands.

Hands-on STEM and STEAM ideas for parent groups to support learning