It’s time for Summer Reading Club (or SRC as we fondly call it) again! The professional life of a children’s librarian revolves somewhat around this yearly ritual. It is something we work on. All. Year. Long. It may sound like I think it’s tedious, but really it’s a wonderful thing, for lots of reasons. Let me tell you about one of the reasons by way of a story…
I’ve been a member of several book clubs in my life. One of them has met almost every month for over 15 years and I hosted last night. I know these women really well, and as readers and library users they understand how consumed I am right now with final SRC details.
Last night I got a shock. One of the book club gals said that she gave her sister-in-law’s kids some books as a gift recently, thoughtfully chosen based on their ages and genders. When she inquired later about how they had enjoyed the books, the sister-in-law replied that she doesn’t expect the kids will read them for several months. “They have so much reading to do during the school year” she says, “that they need a break over the summer.”
“What?” I nearly choked on my gazpacho with grilled shrimp. My friend’s response was, “This is what I married into.”
This makes me sad. It is critical to children’s literacy that they read early. Read often. Read to them before they can read themselves. Read the same books over and over. Read the signs on the street while you’re driving in the car together. Read the packages at the grocery store while you’re out shopping for dinner. Read the newspaper out loud at breakfast. Read a bedtime story (or three) at night.
Most kids will spend plenty of time getting outdoor exercise this summer. Maybe they will ride bikes, and play basketball and soccer, and they will swim, and they will run after a Frisbee. That’s all good exercise for the body…but what about exercising the brain?
There are studies, following studies, following studies that show kids who spend time reading during the summer do better when they return to school in the fall and better in school overall. Why? Because results can only be achieved with long-term, sustained activity. Like exercise. Reading exercise.
Reading is Your Superpower.
Following are all the ways you can encourage your child to develop their superpowers this summer. Click the blue links to "supersize" to read more easily.