Help Girls Read
Help girls succeed by igniting a love to read
The importance of reading
Educators and parents alike know that reading literature can be transformative. Research supports this assertion and validates the importance of story reading to brain development and academic success (Haven, 2007; and Krashen, 2011).
Australian teenage girls’ reading is on the decline
Disturbingly, research conducted last year in Australia found that among Australians aged 14+, “the proportion of men and women reading books has decreased in recent years, most noticeably among women. In 2010, 64.7% of Australian women 14+ read a novel in any given three months, a figure which has since fallen to 60.9%. Similarly, fewer women are reading non-fiction books than they used to, slipping from 39.2% to 34.2% between 2010 and 2015” (Roy Morgan Research, 2016).
Let’s do something about this
As a Teacher-Librarian in a girls’ school, this research is of concern to me and I wanted to do something that would make a difference to the girls in our community. A key strategy for making this difference is to focus on reading and literature promotion.
After collaborating with other passionate colleagues in the teaching and book worlds, the Read Like a Girl movement was established.
Read Like a Girl is a community partnership for the literacy advancement of girls and is a combined endeavour led by Mt Alvernia College and St Rita’s College. Riverbend Books is a community partner in this project. This project encapsulates a calendar of reading events aimed at instilling a foundation and love of reading in the college communities and more broadly among girls everywhere.
What we hope to do
We hope that through our calendar of events, we will give the girls in our communities the opportunity to:
- Attend book events
- Meet authors
- Purchase books
- Participate in conversations about literature, reading, and storytelling
- Network with other girls, women, and people who value reading and academic success
- Develop their knowledge of the vast world of books and the opportunities literacy creates
What you can do
You can support this endeavour in practical ways by:
- Attending our events (starting with the International Women’s Day Breakfast)
- Spreading our vision by following us on social media (#RLaG) and sharing our advocacy with your own networks
- Purchasing books for the girls in your life
- Speaking positively about reading
- Providing time and space for the girls in your life to read
- Model reading – visit a bookstore, put your feet up and enjoy a great read
Haven, K. F. (2007). We’ve reached the research results. In Story proof: The science behind the startling power of story (pp. 89-122). Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Krashen, S. (2011). Free voluntary reading. Denver: Libraries Unlimited.