For most across Tennessee, it is just about “back to school time” and the official end of summer is just around the corner. Reading with children over the summer months is an essential activity. If you read with your children this summer, you played an important role in maintaining and expanding their vocabulary, expanded a love of reading and likely prevented your children from the summer slide, a term used to describe the loss of reading achievement during idle periods (e.g. breaks on school).
Throughout this summer, Tennessee Imagination Library affiliates have encouraged summer reading and promoted ideas and resources for families. Many affiliates partnered with local libraries for summer reading programs. Having access to reading material, like Imagination Library books mailed each month, enhances reading development all year round. This is especially true over the summer months when not all children have the same access to books in the home or transportation to libraries. According to Governor’s Books from Birth’s recent Impact Analysis, parents of children receiving Imagination Library books say they read together more often and this activity, coupled with close adult-child interaction using Imagination Library activities, improves the child’s speaking skills and vocabulary.
Summer is not over yet. Children may be headed back to school, but the weekends leading up to Labor Day are perfect for incorporating reading in your late summer activities. Here are some ideas for how to encourage more time for reading before the official end of summer:
- Combine reading with summer activities. Going camping? Headed to the beach? Planting a garden? Pick books that involve that activity to read before and after the outing.
- Take advantage of library reading programs and events. Check your local library website for information.
- Explore the Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL), which provides more than 400,000 free resources for children and teens, from magazines, e-books and encyclopedias to videos, podcasts and test preparation materials.
- Visit the Governor’s Books from Birth website to download reading activities for Imagination Library books.
How did you incorporate reading with your children into your summer activities? Tell us about your summer reading adventures. Share your pictures, videos and stories on our Facebook page. We love seeing how the Imagination Library has made an impact in the lives of children in Tennessee. Share your pics or videos, and we will send you a Tennessee Imagination library give-away!