If you want to help your children develop their reading skills this summer, get them an egg. A raw one.
I’ll explain about the egg — but first, let’s talk about reading. For children, reading during the summer is not just about entertainment (although it can be that too, of course!). It’s about keeping up those literacy skills that they worked so hard to build up during the school year.
Studies have shown that children who don’t exercise their reading muscles over the summer can regress up to three months back in terms of reading level.
How to beat this so-called “summer slide”? It’s simple: encourage your child to devote a bit of time every day to reading. Just 20 minutes a day is all it takes. And it doesn’t just have to be books — read a recipe with them, the back of the cereal box, or even a comic strip. An easy way to get them excited about reading is to have them participate in our Summer Reading Club.
This year’s club is going to be — you guessed it — just a little bit different than every other year. Although we won’t have in-library drop-ins for children the way we usually do, we’ll still be offering many opportunities for readers to connect with books and with other readers.
Our club co-ordinator, Sophie Edney, has a real passion for reading, and has been hard at work planning all sorts of fun activities.
You’ll be able to pick up Reading Logs on Mondays (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.) and Tuesdays (12:30 to 1:30 p.m.) at the Victoria Street entrance. We’ll include that week’s stickers, craft supplies, book lists, and other surprises. If you prefer to go the online route, visit bcsrc.ca to set up a free account for you and your child to track their reading in a fun and interactive way.
Also on Mondays, Sophie will be releasing Book Talks (on YouTube and Facebook), in which she’ll recommend her favourite picture books, chapter books for ages 6-9, and chapter books for ages 10-12.
For those children interested in connecting with other readers, Sophie will be hosting Zoom book clubs for ages 6-9 (Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.) and ages 10-12 (Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.). Unlike traditional book clubs in which everyone reads the same book, for these book clubs each child will talk about any of the books they’ve been reading recently. There will be great discussions and lots of games.
Wednesdays are our craft day. Using the materials picked up from the library on Monday and Tuesday of that week, parents and their children (all ages) can watch Sophie’s instructional videos posted online and follow along.
Being the best day of the week, Fridays at 9:30 a.m. will be Game Days — with live games, Kahoot quizzes, challenges, and more!
To keep up to date with all of this, you can find us on Facebook at @NelsonBCSRC or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive our weekly newsletters. You can also call us anytime at 250-352-6333 for more information.
Before I go — I bet you’d forgotten all about that egg, right? One of the crafts this year is going to be my all-time favourite: the egg-drop. Sophie’s an engineering student with a Physics Olympics background, and she’ll be walking you through the process of how to protect that egg so you can finally let it go.
Because when it comes time, and it will someday, no matter how far off it might seem, you’re going to want to have done everything you can to have set that egg up for success. Which includes, of course, reading.
Avi Silberstein is the children’s librarian at the Nelson Public Library. Check This Out runs every other week.