Monday, June 9, 2014

Teaching life lessons through Summer Reading

It's that time of year: Summer Reading Time. Most people (and all librarians) should know by now the importance of reading over the summer for school age children. Research shows it helps them succeed in school by preventing the "summer slide". Today I got to considering how in addition to this, it teaches a few valuable life lessons. Here are just a few I could think of. Feel free to add more in the comments!

Be patient: The kids at my library need to wait a least a few weeks to redeem reading logs for prizes. This is done mainly to promote honesty; there is no advantage to coming back two days later and saying you have completed your reading log. However, I'm sure this waiting period requires a little patience for at least some kids. Yoda values this virtue, therefore so do I.

Don't procrastinate: On the other side of the coin, there are some kids that procrastinate. You know, kids like this:

Some of these kids may learn their lesson when they miss out on the best prizes. We may be out of certain prizes by that point, and the selection of free books (their final prize) is a little more limited.

Practice makes progress: I confess I first heard this quote on an episode of "19 Kids and Counting", but I think it applies pretty well here. Kids that participate in Summer Reading get reading practice, and therefore progress in their reading skills. If Summer Reading participants don't realize this on their own, it is definitely worth pointing out to them.

Keep track of your accomplishments: Finally, kids that participate in Summer Reading programs learn to keep track of their reading achievements. Making goals and keeping track of how you achieve them is a major skill that will come in handy throughout life.

Reading/libraries can be fun. This is the most valuable lesson I think Summer Reading programs teach. As a librarian my hope is that everyone learns this at one time or another.

If you can think of more life lessons that would apply I would love to hear them. Hope everyone is having a great summer so far!

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