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ERIC Number: ED496330
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb-23
Pages: 19
Abstractor: ERIC
State Efforts to Promote Reading and Literary Activities in Communities. NGA Center for Best Practices Issue Brief
National Governors Association
Rates of reading in the United States have been declining for at least two decades, with the steepest decline occurring among young adults. Fewer than half of adults read literature--poetry, plays, short stories or novels--in their leisure time. At the current rate of decline, literary reading will virtually disappear in the next half-century. Few would dispute the importance of reading for children, yet the importance of literary reading in adulthood is not emphasized enough. This brief examines ways for states to promote reading and literary activities for families and adults, including reading of fiction or nonfiction for pleasure. The brief is not intended to address literacy activities in school-based or before- and after-school programs, or basic skills or remedial education for specific populations. States can take three major approaches to promoting reading and literary activities: (1) Develop the literary infrastructure in the state through networks, partnerships, state agency collaboration, state libraries, literary organizations, publications, and individual artist programs. State funding and governors' convening power can enable these activities; (2) Use the state's literary assets to boost interest in local literature by recognizing and promoting native and local authors through awards, publications, broadcasts, and readings. Governors can personally recognize writers, launch publications, and encourage citizens to read; and (3) Engage communities in literary activities by offering book clubs, film series, and family reading programs at libraries, workplaces, and other community centers. State library systems, arts and humanities councils, and employers can facilitate and fund discussions and other activities. Research demonstrates that literary activities have the potential to develop workforce skills, bring communities together, challenge individual thinking, and keep citizens engaged in civic life. By promoting literary reading, states can help build vibrant communities and compete in the new economy. (Contains 21 notes.) [This Issue Brief was developed under a cooperative agreement between the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and with significant research assistance from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies.]
National Governors Association. 444 North Capitol Street, Washington, DC 20001-1512. Tel: 202-624-5300; Fax: 202-624-5313; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Governors' Association, Washington, DC. Center for Best Practices.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A