This new survey from Reading is Fundamental tells us that kids are spending 3 times as much time watching TV or playing video games then they are reading during the summer. Even so, we know that Oakland kids are reading: so far, 1000 more kids are participating in Oakland's Summer Reading Challenge than at this time last year.
A couple of bullets jump out to me from the report:
- Last summer, children who read because they wanted to were twice as likely to read than children who read because they had to.
- Parents who consider reading to be extremely or very important are twice as likely to have a child who reads every day
Making reading fun is what we do best at OPL, but we can't do it without you. As your child's first teacher, you can help them succeed in the Summer Reading Challenge if you:
Let them read what they want. Research shows that kids read when they get to choose the reading material. Though reading "on their level" is important for learning, it is also important that they build confidence in reading, and the desire to read, by reading whatever they want, even if it is "below" their level.
Read for fun yourself. Your kids will learn take joy in reading if they see you doing the same. Take some time to open a magazine on the porch, or take a picnic to the park, or beach, and make sure your child has fun reading materials they've chosen themselves so they can do the same. When they see you reading, they know that reading is important.
If you haven't signed up for the Summer Reading Challenge yet, it's not too late. We know that a little game and a little prize can help you to introduce that "fun" element into reading. We have tons of entertaining reading for your children, and are happy to help you all find the perfect book, or comic, or magazine to read. Read by yourselves, read to each other, any kind of reading counts...as long as it is fun.