why and how to keep children
reading this summer

The school year has ended, but be sure your children don’t take a break from reading and learning this summer. According to research from Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s book publisher, one in five children aged 12 to 17 and one in five kids in low-income families did not read any books last summer. Here are three great reasons why you should promote summer reading and learning with your children:

  1. Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, as well as vocabulary and reading speed (i.e., fluency).
  2. Children who read at least four books over the summer perform higher on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read only one or no books over the summer.
  3. Learning or reading skill loss that occurs during the summer widens the achievement gap year after year between more proficient and less proficient students. By the time a struggling reader reaches middle school, summer reading loss can lead to a two-year lag in reading achievement. 

So, make learning and reading a priority in your family this summer, and make it fun. There are incredible, free opportunities around the city and online. 


Summer Reading and Learning Opportunities for Children and Families


1.    Register your child for Houston Public Library’s 2018 Summer Reading Program, called Summer Block Party. Children can earn badges and prizes for their reading. To learn more about Summer Block Party and discover other fun events going on at a Houston public library near you, visit their website.

2.    Register your child for Harris County Public Library’s 2018 Reading Program, called Libraries Rock! Children can earn points every time they read or visit one of the library locations for an event. Every 100 points, children reach a new level and win a prize. To learn more about Libraries Rock! and discover other fun events going on at a Harris County public library near you, visit their website.

3.    Register your child for Children's Museum of Houston and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's Summer Reading Camp, Camp Adventure!, a two-week long camp, free of charge, taking place at Codwell and Atherton Elementary Schools. The camp will serve children from Kindergarten through 5th grade and will include an array of interactive reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking activities for the children. Additionally, the Houston Symphony will provide Community Embedded Musicians (CEMs) to support the camps and will enhance learning in our youngest campers with skills in phonological awareness, speech-in-noise perception, rhythm perception, auditory working memory, and recognition of sound patterns. To learn more about Camp Adventure!, visit their website

4.    Register your child for iWRITE’s Creative Writing Camp with “i” The Guy. iWRITE Literacy Organization founder and children’s author, Melissa Williams, will be holding a 4-day Creative Writing Camp in Pearland and two 4-day Historical Fiction Writing Camps at the Bryan Museum in Galveston. Campers will receive creative writing instruction, combined with exciting character development exercises. All campers will have a chance to enter their story for publication in the I Write Short Stories by Kids for Kids writing contest presented by iWRITE! To learn more about iWRITE’s summer camps, visit their website.

5.    Join Children's Museum of Houston for their Super Powered Summer series. From May 28 to September 3, Super Powered Summer will get you geared up and trained up as you put your powers to the test. Don’t miss incredible activities, epic showdown performances, character appearances and extraordinary events! To learn more about Super Powered Summer or to discover more fun events at the Museum, visit their website.

6.    Join Camp Wonderopolis , hosted by the National Center for Family Learning, which is a free, online summer-learning destination full of fun, interactive STEM and literacy-building topics boosted by Maker experiments. 

7.    Participate in Barnes & Noble’s Summer Reading Program, which encourages children to keep a journal of their reading and earn a free book as a reward for their accomplishments.

8.    Sign up for Scholastic’s Summer Reading Challenge, a free, online program that enables children to track the minutes they spend reading this summer. Children can “unlock” activities and earn rewards.