Natalie Appleton and son Bennett spend some quality time reading in preparation for Family Literacy Day Monday.

Natalie Appleton and son Bennett spend some quality time reading in preparation for Family Literacy Day Monday.

Contest urges literacy

You can add to your home library when you send a photo of a family member reading to your preschooler

Your toddler might have been born a brunette or a blonde, but underneath those soft curls, they’re probably a read head (pronounced redhead).

The Are You a Read Head? contest is giving away eight copies of Marshall Plays Hockey to four lucky preschoolers and their nearest Strong Start BC programs to celebrate Family Literacy Day Monday.

Natalie Appleton, Vernon writer and owner of Read Head Copywriting, and Lisa VanderVelde, a Morning Star photographer and the author of Marshall Plays Hockey, have teamed up to sponsor Are You A Read Head? to encourage literacy among little ones.

“We thought this would be a fun way to get kids reading and take part in the Family Literacy Day’s 15 Minutes of Fun challenge,” said Appleton, who also wanted to support the early learning and family time that takes place at Strong Start BC, a program where preschoolers can play and learn at local schools.

“I’ve spent time at two Vernon Strong Start programs with my sons, and it’s such a great resource for families.”

“Anything that encourages our families to read is a wonderful thing,” said Chris McMorran, facilitator of the Strong Start program at Mission Hill School. “And our families certainly appreciate the opportunity to get a free book.”

Your family has the chance to add Marshall Plays Hockey to your home library when you send a photo of a family member reading to your preschooler and say if you live closest to Okanagan Landing, Mission Hill, Harwood, or Alexis Park. Simply e-mail your photo by Feb. 4 to natalie@readheadcopywriting.com or use the hashtag #readheadcontest on Twitter or Instagram. Winners will be drawn and announced on the Read Head Copywriting Facebook page on Feb. 7, as the Sochi 2014 Olympics kick off.

“One of the reasons I wrote this book was because my son loves reading and hockey, but there weren’t many stories about hockey for preschoolers,” said VanderVelde, who, last winter published her story about a moose who convinces his forest friends he can skate and shoot pucks.

“With winter sports and hockey on everyone’s minds as we head into the Olympics, this is a cool way for youngsters to get in the spirit.”