For Academic Success, Focus on Summer Reading
School’s out for summer, but that doesn’t mean kids should put learning on hold. Summer is the perfect time for kids to hone their reading skills, which are crucial building blocks for future academic success, especially for young children.
More than 1 in 3 American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read. However, children that have access to both digital and traditional libraries at home increase their chances of reading above grade level by 53 percent.
What can parents do to encourage kids to build good reading habits? Check out these tips to help children understand the importance of reading and enjoy it year-round.
Choose a family reading time.
Set aside 20 minutes a day to read with your child. Why 20? Research shows that if children read or are read to for 20 minutes a day, they will hear an average of 1.8 million words per year. They are more likely to score higher on standardized tests in the future. Whether it’s a physical or digital book, reading aloud will help give children an even bigger competitive edge in the classroom.
Leverage free resources.
Reading books encourages children to explore the world around them. Discover new authors and topics by visiting your local library. Many libraries host author readings and children’s events, especially during the summer, at no cost.
Start with their interests.
Use your child’s hobbies and interests as a guide to discover books they’ll love. Whether it’s traveling, playing sports or caring for animals, there is a book for every interest. (Check out United Way’s summer reading picks for ideas!) The best part? With all that reading, they’ll be more than ready for school when fall rolls around.
Take action now:
- Looking for book ideas that kids and adults will love? Check out United Way’s Summer Reading Lists!
- Learn more about how United Way supports providing safe and nurturing environments in our region.
- Share this story with family and friends to help spread the word about positive reading habits.
Alexandra Council is a proud Mizzou alumna, editor and St. Louis native who enjoys correcting grammar for fun. Besides pinpointing misplaced commas, she believes in hardcover books over Kindles and won’t turn down a good Netflix recommendation.