“Book” Summer Reading for Fun and Growth

As the school year comes to a close, we begin thinking about summer activities. Many families plan a vacation and parents enroll in children in sports, arts or academic camps. Older kids may land a summer job. A reading plan is another item to “book” for the summer.

Research shows that to maintain or grow a skill, we must practice it. Likewise, students who read during the summer break maintain and even grow their vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

Studies also show that students who do not read over the summer lose two to three months of proficiency. The “summer loss epidemic” can lead to falling behind in complete grade levels over several years.

While that sounds a bit scary, it’s easy to avoid: summer reading is low pressure and fun! Let your kids choose books that match their interests. And don’t forget non-fiction! There are so many age-appropriate non-fiction books available today – from exploring careers to science and nature, history and geography, there’s a book about all interests.

Participating in a summer reading program is another way to incorporate reading into your children’s break. Griffin-Spalding County Library is offering a summer reading program for kids of all ages. Kick-off is on Thursday, May 31 with a show at the library. Story times, activities, and events are planned through the summer. An event series has been planned specifically for teens, and teens are also invited to volunteer with the program. Learn more at the Summer Reading Program page.

If your child is motivated by competition, Georgia’s Summer Reading Challenge is part of a nationwide program to bolster student achievement over summer break. Kids are challenged to read every day for at least 15 minutes. The program suggests that kids set a goal for the number of books to read over the summer: 10 books for Kindergarten to second grade, eight chapter books for grades 3 to 5, and five fiction and five non-fiction books for grades 6 through high school. Learn more here, and scroll down to the bottom for access to free digital books all summer.

Looking for book ideas? Check out the recommendations at squeakycleanreviews.com, commonsensemedia.org, and www.thrivingfamily.com.

Happy reading, and happy summer!