Summer reading programs are taking it outside.
According to the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge,™ the world record for number of minutes read collectively in a summer reading challenge was set last year at 176,438,473 minutes. The group is looking to break the record this year.
This summer, Scholastic kids are taking it outside to do some reading under the stars. Take a blanket or sleeping bag and flashlight and you’re set.
Teachers, educators, and librarians across the country are adding a dose of fun to this summer’s annual reading challenge by encouraging reading anything, anywhere.
Amy Dickson, 5th Grade Literacy Teacher at Westerly Creek Elementary School in Denver, Colo. says, “We have a school-wide summer reading program called “Book It to the Creek”. Students read whatever they want and log their hours.”
Educators are allowing students to choose their own books this summer to emphasize fun in reading over importance of material. No “War and Peace” on this list. If kids learn to love reading as children they will become life-long readers. There’s no need to get hung up on reading levels either. Each child is different. Allowing kids to pick their own books gives them ownership of their learning.
British author, Darren Shan, writes for The Guardian explaining the thinking behind “enjoying (rather than enduring)” reading.
Like most writers, I have a million suggestions, which can be overwhelming. Boys and reluctant readers are a perennial challenge in summer reading programs. The best advice for them is to give a few choices, not some giant list.
My personal favorites for boys (and girls) and reluctant readers are non-fiction sports books and realistic action-adventure travel stories.
For sports, I like Andre Agassi’s non-fiction book, “Open”. This action-packed memoir details the ups and downs of the tennis star both on and off the court.
For action-adventure travel, I like the first book in the Crime Travelers series, Brainwashed. This is an action-packed middle grade novel in which a group of teenagers race through Paris to sabotage a global kidnapping ring.
Whether your child is reading under the stars or under the stairs (or down by the creek), it doesn’t matter. This summer, take reading anywhere … even outside.