Summer break is a time for children to finally relax and enjoy a break from school. However, educators know that students still need to continue learning and practicing skills – especially reading. During the summer months, it’s easy for kids to forget what they’ve learned during the school year, which can lead to a difficult start when school resumes in the fall. However, getting students to pick up a book isn’t always easy, so I’m sharing some strategies for boosting summer reading in your school.
Create a Fun Reading Challenge
A reading challenge is a great way to motivate students to read over the summer. You could create a simple challenge where students need to read a certain number of books, or you could get creative and design a scavenger hunt-style challenge that requires students to read books of different genres or on specific topics. Make the challenge engaging by offering prizes, like bookmarks or small trinkets, as students reach different milestones.
Create a Reading List
Create a list of summer reading recommendations for students. Include classic books, new publications, and books on a variety of genres. Share the list with students and inspire them to read by telling them about the books and why they’re important. Emphasize the importance of reading in developing skills beyond literacy, such as critical thinking and empathy-building. Share this list with parents so they can help their children choose their books.
Host a Family Reading Night
One way to boost summer reading is to get families involved. Consider hosting a family reading night at your school library. Parents and students can come to the library and participate in different reading activities, such as reading aloud or making bookmarks. The event can also include a book swap or book sale to encourage students to grow their personal libraries.
Collaborate with Local Organizations
Partner with local organizations, like the public library or bookstore, to promote summer reading. Almost every public library has some kind of summer reading program. If your school lets you, invite someone from the library to come in and introduce the program to your students. Some bookstores have a program as well. They may even be able to help you plan events or donate books for your library. You could also work together to create incentives like free book passes or library cards, to encourage students to continue reading after the program is finished.
Keep Students Accountable
It’s essential to hold students accountable for their summer reading. Consider creating a log or tracking system where students can record the books they read. This could be a physical log that they keep in the library or an online form that they submit. You could also require students to write book reviews or summaries to share with the class or with future students.
Summer reading programs are crucial for promoting literacy skills and maintaining academic progress over the summer. By implementing these strategies, you can make reading fun and engaging for your students while keeping them accountable for their progress. Remember, the key to a successful summer reading program is to make it fun, engaging, and inclusive.
Looking for some help planning a summer reading program in your school?
My Summer Reading Challenge Activity pack has everything you need to get started. It includes reading logs, reading bingo cards, reading response pages, book review templates and more! I designed it to be used in grades K-5 so it is versatile and easily adaptable.