With November being National Family Literacy Month, Before You Bet wants to encourage families to spend time reading together. Reading provides a family-friendly way to spend time with loved ones and embrace a fun and educational hobby other than gambling or gaming.
Reading is also a great way to develop children’s language skills while having fun and is an engaging alternative to video games which can simulate gambling through in-game features like loot boxes. And by taking up reading together, both children and their parents can embark on exciting adventures from the comfort of their home, learning new skills and ideas.
Many reading materials for all ages are available at your local library, from comic books, picture books, newspapers, and magazines to classics of American literature, cookbooks, and the latest teen novels. Libraries are everywhere in Ohio — there are 738 of them in total — and taking advantage of their resources is a great way to start reading for free. To find a library near you, check out this handy tool from the State Library of Ohio.
For children who are still learning how to read, Ohio also offers Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which gives picture books to children younger than five years old completely free. The Imagination Library is available throughout Ohio. Check with your library to find local reading events and register to get books from the Imagination Library. You can also register online.
Other ways to kickstart a reading habit as a family this month include:
- Reading out loud before bed together
- Having a “book hour,” when you read as a family in the same room
- Organizing your bookshelves or visiting a bookstore together and talking about books you like
- Listening to audiobooks on car rides
- Attending a library story hour together
To learn more and access free resources to help prevent youth gambling, visit ChangeTheGameOhio.org.
If you are concerned about your gambling habits or about the habits of someone you know, call the Problem Gambling Helpline. Confidential support from trained and understanding specialists is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-589-9966 or texting 4HOPE to 741741.