Read Heads Have More Fun: Vernon Writer Hosts Photo Contest to Promote Literacy

Vernon writer Natalie Appleton reads Marshall Plays Hockey to her son. Parents and preschoolers across Vernon will be submitting similar photos for the Are You a Read Head? contest
Vernon writer Natalie Appleton reads Marshall Plays Hockey to her son. Parents and preschoolers across Vernon will be submitting similar photos for the Are You a Read Head? contest

My son’s body curls into mine as we tuck into yet another reading of his favourite book, Goodnight Goodnight, Construction Site. Somewhere near the excavator’s debut, I think, I have an idea: How can I, as a Vernon writer, host a contest that would support a local writer, and give parents and preschoolers another chance to read together?

Then I thought about the name of my business, Read Head Copywriting (pronounced redhead, as I am). Ah-ha…Little ones are read heads too.

readhead_logo1_areyou-jan2014 (2) copy

And so the Are You a Read Head? Photo Contest was born. I’m proud to announce the contest is open, and I’ll be giving away eight copies of Marshall Plays Hockey to four lucky preschoolers and their nearest Vernon Strong Start.

Marshall Plays Hockey, the story of a moose who convinces his forest friends he can skate and shoot pucks, was written by my friend, Lisa Vandervelde. Supporting a local author (one me and my son are both fans of) is just one of the cool outcomes of this contest. Another is the timing.

The inaugural Are You a Read Head? Photo Contest is also a great way to celebrate Family Literacy Day Jan. 27, and take on its ’15 Minutes of Fun’ challenge. What better way to spend 15 minutes encouraging literacy with a little one, than by taking a photo of you and your preschooler reading  to enter a contest where you can win a free book by a local author???

Your family has the chance to add Marshall Plays Hockey to your home library when you send a photo of a family member reading with your preschooler and tell us if you live closest to Okanagan Landing, Mission Hill, Harwood or Alexis Park so we know which Strong Start program is nearest to you.

In addition to supporting a local author AND celebrating Family Literacy Day, the contest is ALSO supporting Strong Start BC, a program where preschoolers can play and learn at local schools.

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

Simply email your photo by Feb. 4 to [email protected] or use the hashtag #readheadcontest on Twitter or Instagram. Winners will be drawn and announced on the Read Head Copywriting Facebook page Feb. 7, as the Sochi 2014 Olympics kick off.

marshall“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 Lisa, a Vernon writer and Morning Star photographer who published Marshall Plays Hockey last winter. It has a lovely message about perserverence, and it’s set in the snow.

“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.”

I’m really, really looking forward to seeing all of your submissions. If you’re thinking about entering, here are a few things to note:

– Contest is open to preschoolers only.

– By submitting a photo, you agree to print and online publication, including on Facebook.

-One winner from each of the four Vernon Strong Start areas will be drawn Feb. 7 and announced on Facebook. Winners will be personally contact to make arrangements to receive their copy of Marshall Plays Copy. Read Head Copywriting will deliver the four copies to each Strong Start program.

Can’t wait to see your submission! Be sure to visit our Facebook page regularly so you can see your photo next to all the Vernon Read Heads!