Sunday, June 1, 2014

Avoid the Summer Slide!

I cannot say enough about how important it is for your child to keep READING during the summer.  Some families take the attitude that their children should not have to do anything academic during the summer. After all, summer is the time for fun, right?  Right.  However, I can't help but point out that reading is a part of living, not just a part of school.

I don't know about you, but I read constantly - I read street signs, grocery lists, menus, directions, Facebook posts, text messages, recipes, catalogs, Tweets, magazines, poems, advertisements, scriptures, and the list goes on.  I am able to do this because my parents read to me, they read with me, they took me to the library, they let me order from the monthly book order at school, and they read in front of me, modeling how important it is to continually feed the mind with nutritious, delicious morsels - even during the summer.  Literacy knows no season.

Nostalgic Note:  Every week during the summer, my mom took my sisters and I to the public library.  We were allowed to check out as many books as we would like and I took advantage of that, walking out the door each week with 10-15 books.  You would have thought I'd won the lottery, I could hardly contain my excitement and was anxious to get home, crack open those covers and begin devouring the adventures inside.

Sometimes I selected books I'd read before - yes, I am one of THOSE people - I love to reread favorites and revisit the worlds of my fictional friends.  I read the Little House books until the covers fell off (my own copies, of course).  Other oft-repreated favorites included the Ginnie and Geneva series and the Cherry Ames series.  If you have a daughter in the 9-13 age range, see if your public library has these.  Neither of these series are classics by any means, but they struck my fancy and I read them over and over.

Most public libraries have summer reading programs and many have recommended reading lists on their websites.  Get your child involved in your library's summer reading program!  Most libraries have wonderful kick-off events, great prizes for those who participate and a fun end-of-summer party.

Be sure to keep current on what's happening at your local library by checking their website once a week. Most have calendars, pages for special events, book club information, etc., all posted online.  One of my favorite libraries is a great resource for recommended titles - Provo City Library.  Their neighbor, the Orem City Library has staff recommendations alongside printable booklists.  I know these libraries well because those were the libraries I took my own children to every week during the summer.  My current local library, El Dorado County Library, has a list of links to free ebooks, sites about reading, books, upcoming sequels, etc...  Every library with a website will have a different way of sharing information to encourage their patrons to keep reading.  If your library doesn't have an online presence, I encourage you to advocate for it.