To the Editor:
For most children summer means one thing: Fun. But you can help teach your children that summer is also the time to Read. It is crucial for them to practice the reading skills they learned during the school year if they are to maintain and enhance those skills.
The fact that you are reading this article shows that you are well ahead of the game. As a newspaper reader, you are an excellent reading role model. By encouraging your children to read newspapers during the summer, you can help ensure that they improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills and gain a wide range of knowledge.
Providing access to newspapers is just the first step. Engage your children with the newspapers every day by discussing articles and talking about other parts of the newspaper that are of interest to them.
Another closely related area of reading practice involves the public library. Visit your public library with your children and help them obtain public library cards and select books.
The Indiana Library Federation provides a list of excellent books in a program called the Young Hoosier Book Award. Most Indiana schools participate in this program. For a list of the 2011-2012 Young Hoosier Book Award books for primary, intermediate, and middle grades, go to http://www.ilfonline.org/clientuploads/YHBA/2011-12YHBANominees w.logos.pdf.
Research shows that students who read throughout the summer continue to grow academically. Those who do not read can lose up to three months of academic growth. Use your newspaper and public library to make this summer one that develops strong readers for now and next fall. You can help your children understand the value of reading as a lifelong activity.
Middle Grades Reading Network
University of Evansville