Encouraging your kids to keep reading over the summer is so important for maintaining their reading proficiency, and it doesn’t have to be a struggle. With a little creativity, it can even be fun!
New Vistas Center for Education, a Chandler private school for children from preschool through high school, has developed a special program that turns summer reading from a chore into a game, complete with a theme, goals and rewards.
Linda McFadyen, reading director at New Vistas, developed the “Book a Trip – Ticket to Read” program to engage preschool through grade school readers by encouraging them to log their reading hours and achieve their goals.
Preschool through second grade students strive to log 300 hours of reading over the course of the summer, while third through sixth grade students must reach or exceed 600 hours. At the start of the school year, McFayden plans to distribute awards to recognize students who complete their reading goals.
McFayden also organized an accountability system called “Check and Chat,” through which students have the opportunity to come in to three sessions throughout the summer, which serve as check points to keep students on track.
The program at New Vistas is inspired by the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, which provided the reading list from which New Vistas students have made their summer selections in subjects ranging from mystery to mathematics.
McFayden says parents have been instrumental in facilitating the reading program, coming up with creative ways to keep books accessible and fun for their young readers. Some have begun to keep books in the family car, developed their own special incentives for meeting reading goals and organized neighborhood book clubs.
You can inspire your own young reader in similar ways, developing curiosity, vocabulary and confidence. Just get creative, and read for fun with your child this summer! — Sadie Smeck