Recently, The Washington Post ran this article “Why We Should Let Kids Choose Their Own Summer Reading Books” highlighting research that demonstrates that the best way to combat summer slide is to let children select their own reading materials!
We’ve long known that reading over the summer helps children retain their literacy skills, but this study shows that what they read matters too. . .and in an unexpected way. It’s not about reading quality literature; instead, it’s about reading for fun. Children who were allowed to select their own reading materials were more likely to read than those who had materials selected for them.
Make it a Program
Then on the ALSC blog, Abby Johnson, Children’s Services Manager at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, shared her Kid’s Choice program. The post discusses some of the issues with letting children make their own selections, such as parental disapproval of books they deem “too easy” and the stress teachers and other adults place on children to read “at their level.” Johnson explains how her library supports reading for fun and how she encourages children to recommend books for their peers.