Parents want their children to do the best they can at school. And reading every day is one of the most effective ways to become a lifelong reader and learner.
“Research shows that for young people, reading is the gateway to holding a job, understanding the world and knowing themselves,” said Francie Alexander, chief academic officer at Scholastic. “But becoming skilled at reading -- just like playing sports or learning an instrument -- requires a lot of practice. Parents should encourage children to spend at least 20 minutes a day reading.”
One way to encourage good readings habits is to have a wide selection of books at home and to allow children to choose their own books. Here are some ideas to help you start a home library and get your kids more excited about reading:
• Make sure the books you get -- whether they’re from the bookstore or on loan from the local library -- are appropriate for your child’s age and reading level.
• Books should also be on your child’s physical level, meaning where they can easily reach them. But you don’t need a fancy child-size bookshelf -- a milk crate or “trunk of books” can suffice for most young ones.
• Just as adults are more likely to pick up reading materials that interest them, so are children. So stock your library with books, magazines and newspapers that encourage their natural interests. You don’t have to limit yourself to print materials. Computer-savvy kids may enjoy reading classic stories online or on an e-reader, so let them.
• You don’t need to spend a fortune to furnish your library. Garage sales and thrift stores are great for inexpensive classic tales and popular favorites. And look for special promotions in your area. For example, Scholastic Book Club is offering a book (up to a $5 value) with the purchase of two specially marked Kellogg’s products available exclusively at Walmart, such as Eggo waffles, Keebler snacks and other Kellogg’s cereals.
Parents and kids can choose from among hundreds of titles available for $5 or less from Scholastic, including new and classic favorites such as “Captain Underpants: Super Diaper Baby” or “Clifford the Big Red Dog,” For more information, including details and official rules, visit www.scholastic.com/kellogg.
“From starting the day with a healthy breakfast to helping kids learn to read, parents can help set their children up for success,” said Kris Charles, vice president for Global Communication and Philanthropy, Kellogg Company. “The most important factor is to be a good example yourself -- parents who read have kids who read.”