Summer Reading Programs for Children

Source: sxc.hu Photo: bies
Source: sxc.hu Photo: bies

Summer is a great time for teaching your child about the wide world of books available to them at a place like the local library.  Many parents are good about bringing their children to the zoo or the local swimming pool, but few are as good about sending their children to the library to do a little catch-up work with their books.  When school comes around, they are less prepared than their classmates, and may lose some of the skills they worked so hard to improve the year previous.

Some libraries are even offering reading programs for all ages of students, from teens to kindergartners.  These are often totally free of charge, and can provide an hour or two of free babysitting, as well as some entertainment or some study and life skills.  If you’re the lucky parent of some children who bring home a few books now and again, then all the better – your children will spend a little quiet time reading throughout the week, giving you some stress-free hours at home where you can feel good about what they’re doing.

In the workshops for younger children, librarians will read to them, or help them get through some famous picture books.  They may do a little bit of vocabulary work, and will always give some time for the kids to explore the children’s section of the library for some books to bring home.  Particularly for younger children, this is a great program because it will engage their curiosity and make them feel good about the library as a place of education.

For the middle aged children, anywhere between 3rd and 8th grade, these reading programs will focus on mysteries and other longer books that appeal to the imagination of the students.  Often times, they will tackle a classic novel, and other times they will be programs where small groups will choose which novels they want to read.  In either case, the groups will provide motivation for children to enjoy reading their titles week in and week out so that they have something to contribute to the group discussion.

Older students will likely spend time learning study strategies like speed reading or spend their time learning about things that are related to, yet beyond the scope of their high school classes – reading biographies of the historical figures they learned about in world history, or reading the great works of the twentieth centuries most prolific authors.

No matter what the rationality is of signing your students up for these reading programs, you should make sure to do it quickly.  These programs are usually open for the duration of the summer, but do not often admit new participants midway through the school year, so it’s important to get involved as quickly as you can.

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