Summer is a time that is filled with fun in the sun, relaxing at the beach and enjoying the great outdoors. It is also a time that is commonly associated with children tossing books to the side, and choosing other activities over snuggling up with a good book.
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American public libraries are trying to make an effort to change children’s perceptions of the summer season by offering summer reading programs. Summer reading programs are filled with activities, prizes for reading books, and enjoying the company of other like-minded children.
Summer reading programs show children that summer fun can still be mixed with a good book. The following are benefits children can receive by having their local library offer a summer reading program.
Keep Reading Skills Up to Par
Educational experts estimate that for every month a child is out of school they lose the equivalency of a month of teaching. Summer reading programs offer students a chance to keep up with their reading comprehension and increase vocabulary skills, all while enjoying the summer vacation.
Offer a Chance to Socialize with Other Children
Once summer vacation starts, many children miss out on the ability to socialize with children their own age. Summer reading program activities such as guest speakers, summer games and contests give children the opportunity to meet new people and develop friendships, or just hang out with friends from school.
Opens the Door to New Experiences
Most summer reading programs focus on a theme or event. This theme or event carries throughout the entire summer, and all activities revolve around it. Children are exposed to new experiences by taking part in this children’s reading program.
In addition to new experiences, children have the opportunity to learn about new things they might not have encountered in school or at home. Many libraries will invite guest speakers to their library, offer video presentations, and even have field trips that allow children to learn and explore new things.
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Encourages Children to Read
Children are reluctant readers. Children would rather play a video game, or watch a movie than pick up a book. Summer reading programs encourage children to pick up a book by offering great incentives for reading.
Summer reading program incentives such as prizes, exclusive parties, and contests encourage children to read as many books as they can. The best part is as the end of the program children can look back and see how many books they have read. This can develop a sense of pride in their reading skills, and encourage children to continue to read even after the summer program.
Summer vacation can still be about having fun, hanging out with friends, and experiencing new things. However, instead of spending time at the beach or at a summer camp, children can do this by taking part in the local library’s summer reading program.