Dear Watchung Parents:
Research suggests that when summer comes along, many students experience “summer loss” particularly in reading. In order to keep student’s progress in reading through the summer months, it is very important to have your children continue reading. The purpose of a summer reading program is to enable children in all grades to practice independent reading with fluency and comprehension. The long term goals of reading are to develop the skills children will carry with them into adulthood: critical thinking, problem solving and creativity. On the other hand, students will discover the pleasures of reading for enjoyment.
The key to becoming a proficient reader is to read. Children show significant gains when they read for as few as 15 minutes a day. Reading also leads to improvement in writing, spelling and overall language development.
Getting books into the hands of students is key. The following are some suggestions for you to promote summer reading.
- Schedule weekly trips to the public library to pick out books they want to read. Also, have your child select books that they would like you to read aloud to them. Remember, reading aloud to children is crucial for reading fluency and shows your child that you value reading. The Middlesex Public Library is challenging the elementary schools to enroll in “The Book Counting Program”. Go to The Middlesex Public Library to register and log your books. Every 5 books read earns your child a prize and gets our school closer to the Summer Reading Trophy.
- Set aside a regular time of the day - after dinner, twilight, or before bed - when everyone is reading. Encourage your child to read in bed before falling asleep. Record your books on the Watchung School fish reading log.
Get kids hooked on a book from a series. If they find a series or author they like, they are likely to read many more of these books.
Sizzling Summer Resources - There are many resources available that parents can use to help promote summer reading. Here are a few ideas:
- Scholastic Books runs a summer challenge program, which Mrs. Erchick has sent home with student user name, passwords and instructions. If you need further assistance email Mrs. Erchick @ firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal is for students participating to surpass last year’s reading world record.
- Barnes & Noble Summer Reading – Read 8 books and earn a free book.
- TD Bank Summer Reading – Read 10 books and get $10.00 put into a new or existing TD account
- Chuck E. Cheese Reading Rewards Program
- Courier News Super Summer Reading
- RAZ Kids – RAZ Kids will be available throughout the summertime. Encourage your children to continue “Razzing”!
- Reading Rockets – www.readingrockets.org offers information and reading resources, as well as 2014 summer book lists for children of various ages.
These are but a few examples of the resources and reading incentives that are available. Children need books that are interesting to them and that are on their level of independent reading. While these are suggested summer reading programs, we at Watchung School recommend focusing on at least three programs. The books your children read will apply to all programs, so take advantage in participating.
1. The Middlesex Public Library Book Counting Program
2. The Scholastic Reading Challenge “Summer Reading Booklist”
3. The Watchung Fish Log
Have a safe and healthy summer and please encourage fun summer reading in your home. We look forward to seeing you in September!