Whether you're a parent, teacher, family member, coach, neighbor, or friend, one thing is for certain, there will be children close by in need of positive influence and learning. Children are little sponges, absorbing information from all around them --the good, and not so good. That is why it's SO important they receive the good stuff; the kinds of things that will carry them throughout their entire lives. Love, compassion, inner strength, positive self esteem, the ability to trust their instincts, resourcefulness, to teach themselves anything they wish to learn, independence, to have a voice, and to follow their dreams, are just some of the things we can teach them. These gifts last throughout their lives and are greater than anything money can buy. Most of all, be someone they can trust and talk to about anything. Although each child is unique, they ALL need to be safe and loved.
What's at the library?
Summer reading programs
Ideas and knowledge
Nurturing Your Future Bookworm-Inspiring Kids to Love Reading
Getting children to be enthusiastic about reading can sometimes be a challenge. Compared to the television, with all of its stimulating jingles, colors, and characters, reading may seem quite boring. That’s why the earlier they begin their lifelong love of books, the better. Books with vibrant art, rhyming, and lively characters is a great place to start. Soon they’ll be hungry for new words, worlds, and of course, special time with you.
*Make sure to read with them daily. Although schedules get hectic, carving out 15 minutes for a story goes a long way.
* Take turns reading aloud, alternating pages.
*Use funny voices or accents sometimes just for fun.
*Get them a library card and show them how to use it. Spend time there together and allow them to choose subjects of interest. You may also want to participate in some of the activities/programs that your branch has to offer.
*Bring them to the used book store for new reads and encourage them to donate and share books they’ve outgrown.
*Make story time your uninterrupted one on one time together.
*Laugh! Reading should be enjoyable and fun.
*Discuss the story and characters- always encourage questions. Rouse their imagination by asking how they would’ve chosen the story to end or what happens afterward.
*Have lots of literature at home and available to them. Make it a fun project to build and decorate a bookcase for their bedroom filled with favorite books.
*Prompt them to bring books along for trips, car time, waiting areas, picnics, etc.
*Teach them to respect books, their pages, and to take good care of them. Allow them to develop a bond with reading in general.
*Create decorative book markers together for every season for some craft time fun.
*Be an example. If kids see that reading is your norm, it’ll be theirs.
*Most of all, inspire them to make books and reading a part of their everyday life. Read signs, menus, games, flash cards, magazines, comic books, etc. Take them to libraries, bookstores, annual book sales, and flea market tables. Sound things out together, teach alternative meanings, challenge, and praise them often.
“What is another word for mommy?” Bibliophile. Bibliophagist. Logophile. Bibliosmiac. Bookworm. Happy.
Volunteer opportunities for children and families
Why volunteer? It's a great opportunity to participate in meaningful work dedicated to helping others. Meet new people, help your community, develop a sense of accomplishment. Even if you only have an hour a week to spare...your time, energy, and caring means more than you could imagine! Check online, your local churches, and town/city directories. Do what you're comfortable with...what touches you heart, or you feel pulled toward the most. There are plenty of opportunities out there! My son was around twelve or thirteen when he began teaching chess at the library and doing the afternoon meals on wheels delivery program. Both wonderful choices to start with! Here are a few to check out in your area.
Kids & Food Allergies
Summer Reading Fun!
Summer is here and it's time for fun in the sun! No matter the amount of time spent camping, fishing, sporting, swimming, and jungle gym-ing, there will always be time for reading and relaxation. How can you get kids to keep their reading minds sharp? Continue to make literature part of their everyday habits. Reading is just as important as other activities and should be encouraged daily.
* Visit the library 1+ X's a week.
*Participate in summer reading programs offered at the library, school, and even at home. Challenge them to read at least one book a week.
*Limit TV & electronics to make room for reading.
*Have a subscription (or two) of a super cool kid's magazine sent in their name.
National Geo Kids
Sports Illustrated Kids
Highlights for Children
Fun For Kidz Magazine
Disney Junior Magazine
Have them choose reading material to throw in their book bag for trips to the pool, car rides, and leisure time instead of electronics. It's really up to you to make daily reading a lifelong habit. Soon, it'll be second nature for them to make time for a bit of reading. And we know what that means...learning, growth, better vocabulary, writing, communication skills, imagination, as well as the ability to retain/comprehend knowledge. (Minimum)
*Take them to your local book store for story time for a variety of new ideas. www.barnesandnoble.com has some fun events on Saturday's and throughout the summer.
*Whenever they get a bit tired and need some afternoon down time, have them lie down on their bed with a book for a half hour or so (see how fast they're snoring away for a nice nap and a break for you.) :) :)
Happy Summer Reading!