Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer Reading Programs

I think as parents we look forward to a more relaxed summer schedule as much as our children do. One thing I hope you won't relax on this summer is reading and keeping your children academically engaged. I will try not to bore you with too many facts but here are a few things to keep in mind:
* All young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. (RIF)
*On average, students lose approximately 2.6 months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. (RIF)
* Students can experience an average summer learning loss in reading achievement of over two months. (RIF)
Keep your children's brains from turning to mush by setting aside a specific time everyday to read and make sure you have plenty of grade level reading material available. If you or your children need a little more motivation try one or two of these programs or ideas.

Half Price Books has a great program to help keep kids reading this summer. Kids who are 14 and under and earn a $3.00 gift card for each week that they spend at least 15 minutes a day reading.

Visit your local library weekly. Many libraries will have programs or contest available to school aged children to help promote literacy.

Book Adventure is a FREE reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 7,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. Book Adventure was created by and is maintained by Sylvan Learning.

Borders/Waldenbooks is running the 10 Summer Reading Double-Dog Dare. If your child is 12 or under, they simply read 10 books and record them on the Double Dog Dare Form to get a free book from one of ten popular children’s books!

Barnes & Noble - Participation is fun and an easy way for kids to earn free books. They simply read any eight books – library books, books borrowed from friends or books bought at Barnes & Noble – write about their favorite part, and bring a completed tear page to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. Children then choose their free book from a list of paperback titles. Also, check your local store for other summer events.

Pizza Hut’s Book It! - From June 15 - August 15, any kid who is in K-6 and reads five books has a chance to win a summer prize package!

Start a Summer Book Club with friends of your children or neighbors. Each family reads the same book at the same time and then gets together to talk about the book. Ideas for conversation: What was your favorite part of the book? Who is your favorite character and why? Were there any words that were new to you in the book?

Host a book exchange with friends or neighbors. Everyone can bring one, two or more books that they are willing to part with and then swap for a new gently-used book that someone else has brought.

Connect books with activities! Read a story that mentions something yummy to eat and then try out a recipe at home. (ideas: “Bunny Cakes” by Rosemary Wells or “Strega Nona” by Tomie dePoala) Read a book about a physical activity and then try it with your children. (ideas: “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle or “Making the Team” by Nancy Carlson). Take a trip to visit a location mentioned in the book.

Some ideas from Family Reading

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