Jen Robinson has a post about starting a read aloud to kids campaign (http://jkrbooks.typepad.com/blog/2009/01/how-can-we-encourage-reading-aloud.html)
This is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I believe my own mother "created" an English teacher by reading to me constantly and never denying me that time. Even as a virtual non-reader herself, she still understood the importance of reading aloud to kids.
In my own classroom, I read aloud to my 7th and 8th graders every year and they love it! I even sneak in some "activities" for reading comprehension once in a while so I can judge their attentiveness and understanding. Believe me, that zeros in on possible reading issues much more so than any test I've ever seen.
Someone in the blogosphere clued me in to the website Vista Print http://www.vistaprint.com where teachers can make just about anything for their classrooms. Recently, I had a large magnet made for my car that reads "Please read to your kids everyday". It's on the passenger side of my van and I hope people read it and take it to heart. This is SUCH an important issue to me- and Jen Robinson writes that over 60% of kids under age 6 are NOT being read to on a daily basis! My kids think that their nighttime routine isn't complete without their books. And, my daughter twin has pushed me into the direction of now doing individual reading in each child's bed rather than "twin book time" in my bed. What this actually does is make mommy drop off to sleep by the end of the third read aloud. :) But, they love it and depend on this nightly.
Please, please read to your kids- your own and your students! No matter how old they are. EMU Professor, Mary Bigler, always says in her presentations that you should: "Read to kids from the time you get them until the time they leave your home." Wouldn't that be powerful if the whole country did that? Think about it- an end to poverty through reading? What a great concept.