Summer is a Great Time to Nurture Young Readers

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Brad Choyt
“To become skilled at almost any activity requires extensive and continual practice, whether the skills are physical or cognitive in nature. Just as an athlete’s performance diminishes during the off-season if he or she practices less, students’ reading performance falls off during the summer months if they don’t read,” wrote 
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Professors Richard Allington and Anne McGill-Franzen from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in their Educational Leadership article, "Got Books?"

From years of being a principal and head of school, I couldn’t agree more with their statement, particularly for our youngest readers. In fact, I sometimes think of emerging readers as needing a similar level of daily care as newly transplanted saplings. They should be watered every day to form deep roots. But once these roots are established, miraculous things happen. For example, students may progress from learning to read to reading to learn--one of life's most impactful developmental steps.  

Of course, as Professors Allington and McGill-Franzen point out, regular reading is also important for readers who are progressing along this continuum. And when provided with the appropriate book levels and interesting subjects, we all know reading can provide one of life's great joys, too. So make time for your child(ren) to read this summer. The roots they grow will serve them for the rest of their lives.   

In my next blog post, I'll make a few suggestions for how to find "just right" books for the months ahead. 

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