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Summer 2022 Reading - It’s Important

“If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.” Maya Angelou

Reading over the summer months - reading for pleasure - really does make a difference to your child’s learning. Students gain a better sense of themselves and their world through reading literature and rich non-fiction for pleasure. Research shows that k-8 students who read four or more books over the summer are better prepared for the coming school year and do not go down the ‘summer slide’—the loss of reading and learning skills that can occur during the summer break. 

Here are five easy-to-implement ways you can help your child reduce summer reading loss:
 

  • Guide them to recognize that  reading is important. Be a role model for reading and call out the literacy skills you use. Let your child see you reading throughout the day and use daily routines as reading opportunities. Cooking, looking for information online, reading directions, or following a map all provide authentic reading experiences. 
     
  • Give your child the power of choice. Having reading materials available is key to helping kids love to read, and the reading materials kids choose themselves are the best. In fact, 92% of children and teens say they are more motivated to read and are more likely to finish a book they have picked out. Help your child find texts that appeal to his or her interests, yet are age-appropriate and ‘just right’ in difficulty.
     
  • Set aside time to read every day. We know that the more kids read, the better they become at reading and the more they will enjoy reading. During the summer, encourage your child to read for at least 20 minutes per day. Make reading ‘down-time’—an opportunity for family members to read together, either aloud or quietly to themselves. 
     
  • If your child is learning to read, read to, or with your child, talk about the pictures, and guide them to make connections with their own lives and experiences. Have them find different letters and sight words. For a list of the essential 100 sight words, click here.
     
  • Talk it up. Talking about books during and after reading helps improve comprehension. Encourage kids to share their ideas and opinions by asking open-ended questions. Tell them why you liked a book, what you learned from it, or how it helped you— soon they might start doing the same. 
     
  • Be part of a reading challenge. Redwood City Public Library has a 2022 Summer Reading Challenge program to help engage and motivate K-8 readers. Kids set a goal, track books they read, and receive incentives for achieving goals. You can even create your own family reading challenge. 

Note: The public library also has a program for lending devices to students.