Nothing like a summer read to help children build literacy

Summer for many kids means fun and games, but those childhood pursuits needn’t be all it is about. The long, lazy days of June, July and August are a perfect opportunity for children to work on their all-important reading skills, the pathway to understanding and academic success.

Parents, here’s your chance to do your children a huge favor, one that will help propel them forward later on in life. Challenge them to read. Even more than that, demand that they read. Actually carve out time to spend with a good book or schedule regular visits to the local library. Oh, the children might sulk. Some will complain they are missing a play date with their friends or maybe one of those hours-long sessions with their video games. But years later they will thank you, big time. The door to greater learning is open right now, if only parents help them take the first steps. And guess what? More than a few kids will actually love the nudge. There’s entertainment galore in those pages, pure food for the imagination.

From a more practical standpoint, studies show students tend to experience learning losses when they don’t exercise their brains by taking part in educational activities during their recess from the classroom. Researchers also suggest this should prompt families to enroll their children in ongoing summer reading programs.

Meantime, check out the local library … and some of its materials during that visit.
Libraries play an indispensable role in fostering literacy, especially among those who most need assistance in developing literacy skills. Public libraries often offer enriched reading experiences, encouraging children to read themselves, hear stories read aloud and write about what they’ve read. Libraries also encourage parental participation in children’s reading, which is shown to greatly strengthen results.

Finally, for parents, trying reading, too. Children tend to read when others set the example. So turn the page for an even more fun and enriching summer.

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