My First Love: Reading

According to USA Today, in 2009 the average American spent $102.50 on Valentine’s day gifts, which was a 15.6% decrease from 2008. A decrease? In 2009, $14.7 billion would be spent on Valentine’s day related purchases, accordingly to BiGresearch. Nearly 91% of people would spend the most, an average of $67.22 on their significant other, with remaining family members getting one-fifth of the budget, $20.95. A few dollars would be sent to friends, $4.74; children’s classmates and teachers, $3.59; co-workers, $1.94; and pets, $2.17.  Can you believe this? 

What would this money be spent on? What are the options? With the Nations weight issues spinning out of control should one of those options be chocolate? Shouldn’t the Nation be focused on the future of our children, not on a commercial holiday? The Nation currently spends $150 billion dollars a year to treat obesity-related conditions. The Obesity rate has TRIPLED in the past 30 years. This means for the first time in the history of America, American children may face a shorter expected lifespan that their parents. We need to get moving! Because of this First Lady Michelle Obama will be leading a national public awareness effort to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity. Like many of the past First Ladies, Obama has taken an issue to heart and is tackling it head on and in this case personally with her own daughters. First Lady Laura Bush took up literacy in this country, another important and lofty cause. 
With two very important causes, shouldn’t we redirect some of that $14.7 million dollars into a different more important celebration? March 2, 2010 is Read Across America and the celebration of Dr. Seuss’s Birthday. Shouldn’t we redirect funds to this celebration? Instead of buying flowers which will die in a few days, or chocolate which will add to the Nation’s $150 billion dollar obesity issue, why not put some of that $67.22 dollars aside for a book for child, or even the adult in your life that you love? For a child a book can open a whole new world of adventures and discovery; for an adult it can open a world of escape and fantasy. If you need suggestions, check-out Books on the Nightstand. Michael, on for the founders and contributors of the blog, has never steered me wrong on a book selection. He has excellent taste and recommendations. 
I know I’m on my soapbox again. I know this, but I’m doing it with a good cause in mind. My kids. I look at Lex and Loki, I worry. I worry about their health, and because of this I’m getting healthy. I’ve lost 35.6 lbs and I’m planning to keep going. Why, to be there for my kids later in life and to teach them the importance of a healthy life and living. We read to they every day. Why? Because I worry that my learning disabilities will be their downfall or in their future. I want to spark their creativity, their independence and their love of reading. I know they will be clever, but I want insure their book smart too. I want to give them the tools they need for when I’m not around (at any age). 
This Valentine’s Day both Lex and Loki will be without chocolate, but will be celebrating with a book each and on March 2nd I plan on leaving them a book to celebrate the love of reading Mad Dog and I are fostering within our home. If you don’t make it a habit to read to your children, take a few minutes on March 2nd to do so. If you have time off – take a trip and honor a man that has helped foster the love of reading in so many children by visiting the Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA or visit you local library or local bookstore’s story hour that Tuesday. Open a book and show your kids what true love is all about. 

~ by Cute Fan Girl on February 10, 2010.

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