Jul 24, 2017

Make the Most of Your Summer Reading Program

The summer sun is high in Iowa: it’s that magical time of the season when parents have exhausted their supply of sunscreen and we’re beginning to think about the start of school. Hopefully this summer also has been a great time to launch a summer reading program with your child.


If you haven't gotten started with a program yet, several great local programs are still available to help excite children about reading:

Cedar Rapids Public Library - kids receive a coupon for a free book for signing up (through July 30)

Iowa City’s Public Library has a program for readers from infant to adult (through August 11)

The Cedar Rapids Kernels have this scorecard to track reading minutes (through August 31)

The Marion Public Library has a program for the whole family (through August 21)

These little programs are just plain fun- and they play an important part in helping your child enjoy reading and become confident in her skills. As you participate in these fun summer programs, here are some tips from our Grant Wood AEA literacy consultants on making reading fun for everyone:

Before reading:

  • We all need a little variety in life! Choose books that are both fiction (make-believe) and non-fiction (true, informational).
  • Look at the cover of the book and talk about what you see.
  • Ask your child what s/he thinks the book might be about.

During reading:

  • Stop often to ask “When”, “What”, “Why”, “Where” and “How” questions.
  • Have your child predict what might happen next.
  • With fiction books, talk about the characters-- -are they kind, how are theyfeeling, do they remind you of anyone, etc.
  • With non-fiction books, talk about the main points.
  • Talk about what some words mean. Think of ways to use those new words in your conversations.

If you child has trouble sounding out a word, help them by:

  • Asking her to say the beginning sound
  • Having them use the sounds they know and sound out the word.
  • Having them look for a syllable or part of the word that they might know.
  • Help them put the parts together and say the word.

After reading:

  • Talk about your favorite parts of the book.
  • Ask, “Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why?”

Read aloud with your child. Choose a book, and take turns reading a paragraph or page. Enjoy the dog days of summer together.

Literacy is an important part of our work at Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Check The Carpool Lane often for more tips on enhancing the reading experience for your learner, or subscribe to get tips sent to your inbox.