The Benefits Of Summer Reading Programs
Summer reading programs are designed to encourage reading during the summer months for students of all ages. Some benefits of summer reading programs include helping to build reading excitement, getting students a better understanding of the value of reading, and preventing summer learning loss. Usually, there are some incentives offered when the reader meets a set of requirements as well! These programs can also be a great way to get your kids to UNPLUG from screen time and engage with others. Learn more about these programs to see if they may be right for your child.
Who traditionally offers summer reading programs?
- Public libraries. Reading programs at libraries are often organized in conjunction with local school districts. That means the local school district may house a summer reading program, too, and there will be an adult in charge of the program at the school. This design helps reach more children by making the program easily accessible.
- Children’s bookstores. Bookstores often attract children to their stores through book talks, author visits, book character dress-ups, and other fun, creative ways. Plus, your child can explore the shelves to find a book that most interests them!
- Book publishing companies. Publishing companies usually target specific authors or genres to be read. Discounts for purchasing the books that are on the summer reading list are usually provided.
- Individual teachers. Teachers may list suggested books for summer reading that are age-level appropriate. The Caldecott Award-Winning books are selected annually as the most distinguished American picture books for children, and Newbury Medal books are awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. You can rely on a teacher to help your child find a great book to read!
What are the incentives?
One great benefit of summer reading programs for kids is that they often include a reward to help get children excited about reading! When children finish a required number of pages or books each day/week, they may be presented with prizes—or be invited to participate in a fun activity. Prizes could range from pencils and stickers to bookmarks and paperback books. The activities are usually a mix of arts/crafts, games, or field trips.
There may also be a theme for the summer reading program. In these cases, students may be invited to an activity that supports this theme when they meet a specific goal. For example, an animal theme might reward kids with passes to the local zoo!
What can you do to supplement summer reading programs?
Let’s face it. Reading is a critical skill. When children become avid readers, they are more confident and successful in their school work. They can transfer the reading skills to real-life skills. And they are more apt to become lifelong learners. Here are some ways you can get your children excited about reading outside of summer reading programs:
- Take your children to the library and bookstore to explore books and engage in the activities they have open to the public.
- Plan frequent reading time at home where you share books and read and discuss them together.
- Play fun reading-related games!
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