Friday, June 5, 2015

Ready, Set, Read!

Summer. This one simple word often has the ability to bring joy to people young and old. For children especially, summer brings the promise of freedom, fun and adventure. While parents enjoy summer as well, it can sometimes be accompanied by thoughts, "how do I keep my kids busy for three longs months!?" and "what will I do to keep them from forgetting everything they've learned this past school year?"

With summer at our doorstep and these questions on our mind, I wanted to share one of my favorite summer activities growing up. The library's summer reading program! Now you may remember this from when you were young and hopefully you've already taken part with your child. The more Help Me Grow works with local libraries the more I realize that these awesome programs have changed a lot from when I was young and have more to offer than ever before. Here are three things to look forward to:

1. Summer reading programs aren't just for kids. Libraries have always encouraged parents to make reading a family affair, and participating in a summer reading program will help you do just that! Libraries across the state offer different summer reading programs for children, teens, and adults. Some have even developed a toddler programs. This summer encourage everyone in your family, including yourself, to sign up!

2. Not all programs are just about reading. Some libraries have expanded their summer reading programs to include other activities as well. For example Salt Lake City Libraries have come up with a Super Summer Challenge. Not only do families read as part of the challenge, they can also accomplish other goals to better themselves and their community. Even if your library hasn't expanded their summer reading program, they usually have other fun events and opportunities available throughout the summer. 

3. There are great rewards! Yes, many of the libraries are offering incentives for following the summer reading program, but that's not the reward I'm referring to. Reading together is one of the best things you can do for the development of a child and yourself! The National Education Association has said that "children who are read to, and who read for pleasure, are significantly more successful in school than children who do not." Reading improves brain development, communication skills, school performance, and so much more. 

Summer Reading Programs are starting soon so check out your local library today and get your entire family signed up today! You can find the library nearest you by clicking here. You can also find more reading resources by visiting utahkidsreadytoread.org

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