Growing up every summer my mom would offer a summer reading incentive for her five children. If you read one book per week, you got a candy bar (usually a Hershey bar). For some of us, this incentive was the only thing that motivated us to read for pleasure. For me, the reading was the prize! This was before the myriad of library summer reading programs that exist now. For much of my growing up we did not have a library in our community. We had a book-mobile instead. It came to our neighborhood in New Jersey and for me it was the best day of the week!
You had to wait your turn to get on and peruse the selections. The selections were limited, but there always seemed to be enough from which I could choose. It wasn’t until 8th grade that a library was built in our town – Old Bridge, NJ – and our biweekly trips to the library occurred among the stacks with that new book smell instead. But there’s something romantic about the book-mobile experience. I treasure those moments when I found something that sparked my imagination and occupied my summers.
In this day and age of electronic books, you can easily download your summer reading list. You don’t have to leave your backyard hammock or your beach umbrella to get your next book. Research suggests that summer reading helps to close the achievement gap. It also shows that it prevents the summer learning slump. Are your kids reading this summer? Are you? If not, let’s find ways to engage kids, parents, and yes, even teachers in summer reading.
Your local library is a great place to start. For those who need that “carrot” to read for pleasure, summer library programs offer that. There are adult summer reading programs available as well if you need a social reason to read. And finally, publishers like Scholastic, offer online summer reading programs.
What are you reading this summer?
My goal is to read 10 books this summer….that’s a lot for me; I’m a slow reader. The first book on my nightstand is A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.
Create your own Good Reads bookshelf of you and your child’s summer reading! It’s a great way to chronicle your summer reading and share your experiences with others. It can be our virtual book-mobile! Let’s get started!