For Immediate Release
June 22, 2005
Contacts: David Ottalini, 301 405 4076 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Maryland Professor Offers Best Summer Reading Tips
By Assistant Professor of Education Jennifer Turner
It is very important for children to continue to read while they are enjoying their summer break. We know that during the summer months, children lose some of the academic progress that they have made throughout the school year. So to help your children "keep their minds on reading" and maintain their academic progress, try these easy activities for summertime fun:
2. PLAN "BOOK TRIPS"
Many parents plan their summer vacations around trips to the beach, amusements parks, and other fun destinations. Parents should also plan "book trips" to places that have a variety of books for children to read, such as libraries and book stores. When planning book trips, remember to consider the age and interests of your children; younger children may only be able to stay at a library for 30 minutes, while older children may enjoy time on a book trip for an hour or more. During "Book trips," listen to your children and pay attention to the types of books they enjoy reading. Do they enjoy reading fairy tales? Fictional stories? Informational texts? This type of information will help you to get to know your child as a reader.
3. DISCOVER THE JOYS OF READING "EVERYDAY TEXTS"
When we think about reading, we tend to think of books. But there is so much more that we read everyday: magazines, newspapers, mail, signs, recipes in cookbooks, letters, instructions, etc. We read these texts because they are meaningful to us, and they help us to acquire new information in our everyday lives. When we think about the texts that we read everyday, we realize that reading plays an important role in our lives. Children like to read, or even pretend to read these "everyday texts," because they see adults and older children reading them. So parents can create opportunities to read with their children using these "everyday texts." For examples, when parents open the mail, they can read the contents aloud to their children, or have their children read the contents to them. Cooking with children using recipes is another fantastic way for parents to get their children interested in reading. Mailing cards is another great activity, especially for children who are just learning to read and write; my four-year-old son, for example, loves to read birthday cards that we mail to family and friends, and he is thrilled that he can actually sign his own name! Mail, cards, cookbooks, newspapers, letters, instructions---these are the "everyday texts" that we take for granted as adults, but when we make time to rediscover them with our children, we are instilling within them the importance of reading.
4. USE THE INTERNET FOR READING TIME
Many parents extensively use the Internet, especially during summer months. When planning vacations and family outings, for example, parents often use the Internet to find airline tickets, beach resorts, hotels, and car rentals. This summer, let your children get involved! Ask them to surf the Net to find information that will help you to plan your family vacation. Children will not only read the text on these websites, but they will also be learning how to process new information (e.g., comparing prices, weighing pros and cons). Parents can also encourage their children to read the Net for information on other interesting summer topics, such as gardening and barbecueing! And don't forget to ask your children to look up the weather forecast on the Net, they always want to know if the day is good for swimming!!!
Jennifer Turner- assistant professor, department of curriculum and instruction, University of Maryland.
Expertise - reading education; literacy - especially in urban schools; Dr. Seuss.Prof. Turner is interested in issues of culture and cultural diversity as they relate to classroom reading instruction and is particularly concerned with the improvement of reading achievement for African American students in public elementary schools .
Credentials - the author of numerous articles including Making Kids Winners: New Perspectives In Literacy From Urban Elementary School Principals and Teaching reading: Effective schools, accomplished teachers. Her current work centers on elementary reading teachers that have been successful with African American students.
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