The importance of reading

The Missouri Western State College Foundation was founded in 1968 to financially support Missouri Western College students and community members in St. Joseph, Missouri. In 1991, Missouri Humanities Council granted funding to the MWSC Foundation for a family literacy program. In the early 1990s, there was a significant population of undereducated adults in St. Joseph unaware of the importance of reading for both themselves and their children. This program set out to encourage a greater understanding of family literacy and humanities for these new adult readers.

They studied how history affects our lives today, the importance of language, and the value of the home environment. Critical thinking skills were applied to form connections between everyday life and the characters, settings, and themes of the books. The professional staff also provided instruction on how to modify these activities for children, thus encouraging family literacy in every home.

The chosen books were The Buck Stops Here, Frederick, The Snowy Day, Where the Wild Things Are, Little House on the Prairie, and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The use of children’s books provides easy readability for both parents and children, which ensures that an appreciation for literacy and humanities is passed from one generation to the next.