Teen Read Week (TRW) is an adolescent reading initiative of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) which is being adopted by school libraries worldwide. It began in 1998 and is being celebrated every October to encourage teens to spend time reading for pleasure. Amidst technological distractions, it is critical to remind our students the importance of reading as the key to lifelong learning skills.
The main theme for the Teen Read Week initiative is “Read for the Fun of It”, and a sub-theme is adopted each year to serve as the basis for developing programs among school libraries all over the world. This year, YALSA allows libraries the flexibility to choose what to celebrate (e.g. digital literacy, reading, technology, etc.). In the same line, the EMC goes with the sub-theme “See. Think. Wonder.” This started as a simple critical-viewing strategy used in analyzing any visual media, prompting the students to slow down, observe, draw conclusion, and engage more deeply and analyze more thoughtfully the media being presented (Facing History and Ourselves, 2019). Furthermore, this is an answer to the mission one to accompany the young in the creation of a hope-filled future (Universal Apostolic Preferences, 2019) through reading and literary appreciation. This apostolic work seeks spaces that promotes creativity, learning, communication, and curiosity.
“See. Think. Wonder.” therefore, is more than just a strategy but an earnest invitation to students to accept the quest for both classical and modern good reads (novels, folktales, odysseys, mythologies, heroes journey, etc.) and experience adventure as one sets forth into the vast ocean of knowledge through the collection of books, films, games, and other resources.
Now the big question lies, as Joseph Campbell said, “is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure?”