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Summer Reading

29 May

Do you remember the scene in “Grease” where John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s characters broke out into song about what they did during their summer vacation? I think it went a little something like this…

“For the Love of Books” comic strip illustrated by Michael B.

OK, so that didn’t really happen in the movie. Wouldn’t it be cool though if people sang the praises of summer reading? Fortunately, there have been studies doing just that- albeit without the musical numbers. The reports indicate that kids who read over the summer have better retention on what they’ve just learned and have an advantage for the following school year.

I know reading is the last thing on young people’s minds during this time of year. But there are more and more incentives out there for them to pick up a book.

Libraries nationwide are inviting kids and teens to “dream big” and participate in the many summer reading programs they are offering. In turn, there are prizes to be won based on how many books or pages they read. Check your local library for more information.

Barnes & Noble has again partnered with Scholastic to “discover more” with their Imagination’s Destination program. Once kids finish reading 8 books and record it in their Reading Journal, they can choose from a list of selected titles for them to keep. Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program kicked off on May 22nd and will last through September 4th.

Scholastic has their own Summer Challenge where kids can log in their minutes to earn prizes. Scholastic is trying to break the record of 64,213,141 minutes they set last year. They’ve chosen WordGirl as their “Ambassador of Summer Reading.” Check out a cute video from this crime-fighting superhero with a love of words here.

As I was checking out other incentives, I was surprised at how many other businesses and institutions have summer reading programs- TD Bank, Pottery Barn Kids and Chuck E. Cheese, just to name a few! Also, Google “summer reading program for kids 2012” to find even more!

Remember, leading by example is one powerful way to encourage reading. I know I’ll be participating in the adult summer reading programs at my libraries. And I’ve signed up as a Summer Reading Volunteer as well.

Will you or your kids be participating in any summer reading programs?

(Note: A version of this post was first published on “The Green Frugal.”)

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