Teen Read Week: SLAMMIN' @ your library

Contact: Nichole Gilert, Program Officer, YALSA



For Immediate Release

August 29, 2003

Teen Read Week: SLAMMIN’ @ your library

In an era of Xbox and cell phones, teens across the country are encouraged to adopt an additional pastime
-reading. Teens throughout the country will participate in Teen Read Week 2003: SLAMMIN’ @ your library
(October 19-25, 2003), a celebration of the popularity of poetry with teen readers. Teen Read Week is an annual literacy initiative developed by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Since its inception in 1998, Teen Read Week has focused on the importance of teen recreational reading. Research has shown that teens that read “for the fun of it” are more likely to develop strong reading skills and cohesive reading habits. Just like any other hobby, reading takes practice, and solid reading habits increase reading proficiency and significantly increase reading test scores.

This year's Teen Read Week theme ‘Slammin’ @ your library celebrates the popularity of reading and writing poetry among teenagers,” said YALSA President Audra Caplan. “
Slam Poetry meshes poetry and the performance arts, and its resurging popularity will make ‘Slammin’ one of the most successful Teen Read Weeks yet.”

Teen Read Week’s goals are to give teens an opportunity to read for the fun of it, allow teens to select their own reading materials, and to help teens get in the habit of reading regularly and often.

Harford County Public Library in Belcamp, MD will host a week of Slam Poetry performances including International Slam Poet Champion Gail Danley, and the DC slam team. Other public libraries, media centers, and bookstores across America will host poetry slams, open mic nights, and poetry contests and readings in an effort to make reading as much a part of the teen scene as Hip-Hop music and instant messaging.

Between sports, clubs, homework, and other activities it is tough for teens to find time for recreational reading, and children that read less begin to loose their reading skills. According to a study by The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), there have been only modest gains in national reading achievement over the last 20 years.

The observance of Teen Read Week reminds us that every teen is a potential reader, and that it is important for parents not only to encourage their young children to read, but provide the time and support for their teenagers to read, as well. Parents, teachers, librarians, can also serve as role models for teens by reading for fun themselves.

Teen Read Week supporting organizations include: American Association of School Administrators; American Booksellers Association; Cable in the Classroom; International Reading Association; Kids Care; KIDSNET; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Council of Teachers of English; National Education Association; National School Boards Association; SmartGirl.org; The N/Noggin; Speak Up Press; and

Other sponsors include Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Morningstar Foods, Inc., Corporate friend Scholastic, Inc., and individual friend Pamela Spencer Holley.

For more information visit the Teen Read Week web site at
www.ala.org/teenread, or contact the YALSA office by phone: 312-280-4387 or e-mail: