CHECK IT OUT: Engage a child's brain through reading

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:03 AM.

Did you know that if a child goes all summer without engaging his or her brain by reading, he or she could lose some of the previous school year’s lessons? Educators call it "summer loss."

Did you know that if a child regularly reads throughout the summer that he or she can make gains in reading vocabulary and comprehension?

The research of James Sangil Kim, assistant professor of education at Harvard University, suggests that students who read at least eight high-interest books at their level over the summer can achieve approximately the same reading growth gains as summer students.

Notice he said "high interest" and "at their level." That’s why it’s so helpful to bring them to the library to choose their own books.

We’ve taken several steps to help you find a book at your child’s level, and the five-finger rule helps. Here’s how it works: Once they find a book that interests them, have them open it to the middle and read a whole page aloud to you. Every time they stumble on a word, they put up a finger. If they miss five words, that book would be great for you to read aloud to them, but would probably be frustrating for them to read alone. If a book is too easy, it helps with fluency and confidence, but may not produce summer gains.

Not only do we have a great selection of high-interest books, but we also help motivate rising first-graders and older! Pick up a reading log in front of the Story Room or print one from Every day that participants read at least 15 minutes, they earn a funny money dollar. If they turn their reading log in by July 24, they can come to the Crestview Community Center on July 30 to shop at the Funny Money Store.

Let’s make this a "summer gain" kind of summer!

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