Reading is key to learning and in today’s world of hundreds of instant entertainment and information sources available at all times, it is getting more difficult for young people, and adults for that matter, to find the time to focus on a piece of literature for a significant amount of time. The purpose of our book week is to celebrate the written word, and more importantly, demonstrating the benefits that come with appreciating literature.
We held a range of events in order to capture the different interests and age groups in our school. My favorite part of the book week was meeting author Suzanne Kamata. She is an American writer, married to a Japanese man with two biracial children living in the Tukushima Prefecture. Suzanne worked with our students with some creative writing exercises. She also read excerpts from her book about raising multicultural children and answered questions from our parents. My big takeaway from her visit is that culture is individual and it is difficult to classify anyone as American or Japanese. That is one of the goals of international mindedness is seeing each other as individuals and fellow humans, rather than a category.
There were also book readings, silent reading time, charity read-a-thon and the culmination of the week, a parade with everyone dressing up as a favorite book character. As you can see from the photos, there were lots of exciting moments. I hope we inspired members of our community to enjoy the solitude and joy of reading.