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Tips to Avoid the Summer Slide

No, we aren’t talking about an amusement park ride. The “summer slide” is all the progress kids lose during the summer months if they don’t keep their reading skills sharp.

When it comes to reading skills, the old saying is true: If you don’t use it, you lose it!

It might seem impossible to get your kids to sit down and open a book during those endless summer days, but it’s well worth the effort. Reading improves concentration, reduces stress levels, improves language skills and develops imagination. Children who read and are read to from an early age do better at school – at all subjects and all the way through school.

So while your kids are planning for summer fun, help them make reading a part of it:

Get to know the local library. Take your kids to the library and let them choose what they want to read. Ask about summer reading activities; most libraries offer programs and prizes to motivate young readers. Best of all, it’s free!

Set a good example. Try to avoid phones and screens when your children are present. Instead, show your kids how much fun stories can be. Reading aloud to your kids, even older kids, is the single most important activity for reading success and (thanks to your library) it’s free, too!

Read a variety of materials. Comic books. Audio books. Podcasts. Newspapers, magazines and newsletters. You can even turn on the closed captioning while watching TV. It all counts! Build reading into your everyday routine by having your kids read the grocery list, the street signs, recipes and labels.

Kick Start Summer Reading Fun! Here are a few great suggestions your kids will love:

The Paper Bag Princess
By: Robert Munsch
A bestselling modern classic, Princess Elizabeth is set to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon attacks the castle and kidnaps Ronald. (Ages 4-8)

Those Shoes
By: Maribeth Boelts
A relatable story about a young boy who longs for the trendy shoes his classmates are wearing but which his family can’t afford to buy. (Ages 5-8)

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach
By Carmen Agra Deedy
In this humorous retelling of a Cuban folktale, a cockroach interviews her suitors in order to decide whom to marry. (Ages 6-9)

Mistakes That Worked
By Charlotte Foltz Jones
Learn about the fascinating stories behind familiar things, including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, potato chips, X-rays and Velcro, along with hilarious cartoons and weird and amazing facts. (Ages 8-12)

Chasing Vermeer
By: Blue Balliett
When a precious Vermeer painting disappears, 11-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal in this puzzling mystery adventure. (Ages 8-12)

The Worst-Case Scenario: Everest
By Bill Doyle and David Borgenicht
As part of a group of young adventurers trying to climb Mount Everest, YOU must make decisions about how to survive and then experience the consequences of your choices. (Ages 9-12)

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