Lift Off to Literacy

kids reading









It’s not too late for us to participate in the International Literacy Day, which was yesterday.

Not too late, you say?

No, because part of the program calls for a 60 day extension. It’s called “60 for 60.” The program organizers are asking teachers (and why not parents, grandparents, and kids?) to expand classroom literacy routines and further the mastery of language and literature by pledging to add an extra 60 seconds a day to engaging literacy activities for 60 days. And I’m saying it can be done at home, too.

I must thank Nancy Stewart, a fellow Guardian Angel Publishing colleague, for calling my attention to this program. (And I must apologize for being a few days late in looking at Nancy’s blog, Nancy Stewart Books:

For the “Lift off to Literacy,” the International Reading Association has partnered with NASA and Story Time From Space to make this year’s International Literacy Day fun and challenging. You can download the many suggestions made by different people at this site:

Here is one of the ideas: For a 60-Day Story, the teacher can set a timer for 60 seconds and ask students to write without stopping. The next day, have them continue where they left off. At the end of 60 days, invite students to share their stories. –SW

Other ideas include magnetic letters, images, and poems.

11655623-doodle-sketch-rocket-vector-illustration, rocket












Kjell Lindgren, an astronaut, who will be lifting off to the International Space Station in a few months, is the spokesman for this year’s Literacy Day. He is very enthusiastic and has this to say, “Reading is like rocket fuel. It energizes the mind; it has the ability to propel us to our goals.”

I’ll bet the youngsters who participate in the “60 for 60” activities will come away just as enthusiastic as an astronaut and will make literacy “a lifelong habit.”

As Kjell Lindgren says, “Sixty seconds could change your life.”


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amanda Boyarshinov
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 20:54:16

    What a delightful idea to get children reading and writing more!


  2. tinamcho
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 23:00:43

    Thanks, Barbara. Another author, Jan Annino, wrote a blog post about this at the grog blog where I also write.

    It was fun to actually see astronauts reading in space.


  3. pennyannecole
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 03:04:08

    Hi Barbara, It’s wonderful encouraging more kids to read and get involved in literacy programs. Reading is magical and opens up the universe to everyone. I’m thrilled tonight because my teen daughter told me she’s reading books again –woo hoo! Penny (


  4. Nancy Stewart
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 08:44:07

    Such an important event, Barbara, and thanks for the mention of my blog! Best to you.


  5. Susan Hornbach
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 14:52:49

    Sounds like a wonderful program to get kids reading, writing, and using their imagination.


  6. Rita Conner
    Sep 15, 2014 @ 10:45:59

    we can’t emphasis enough the importance of reading and comprehension to our children and grandchildren. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.


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