Keep your child reading this summer

by on May 16th, 2012

Books are filled with wonders. Stories capture the imagination, can take readers places they’ve never been, teach empathy, fill the reader with confidence or inspiration, and even infuriate. And while reading can be entertaining, it is much more than that. As National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Walter Dean Myers, succinctly states, “Reading is not optional.”

Studies show students who read more, read better. They also write better, spell better, have larger vocabularies, and have better understanding of complex grammar. Finding books that capture a child’s fancy may be the surest way to encourage them to learn to read. So keep your child reading, and visit your public library this summer.

Literacy is crucial to success. Many of the doors literacy opens are simply practical. Without reading well, access to information is limited, the wonders of science are more difficult to grasp, math problems a blur, job application forms difficult to complete. Reading is a survival skill as necessary as food and shelter
in today’s economy.

Reading skills develop from infancy. Even before a child can read themselves, the building blocks for successful reading are put in place when parents and caregivers engage children by talking, singing, reading, writing and playing. Children who enter kindergarten with a rich vocabulary and an awareness of stories and the printed word have an immediate advantage. The gap widens as some children continue to read over the summer and others do not. Studies have shown most students can lose an average of one month of school learning over summer vacation.

In the words of Dr. Seuss, the master of making learning to read fun, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Make sure the children and teens in your life have lots of options by making reading as central as tooth brushing in their daily routine. The Iowa City Public Library has a large variety of collections, programs and resources available. Let your public library be your partner. And sign up for Summer Reading Programs at the Library beginning June 3. Because kids who read really do succeed.

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