Don’t let your reading muscles shrink over summer holidays

Once upon a time, when there was no internet, smartphones or any wireless devices we had books.

Still, one of my fondest childhood summertime memories is when I got my first library card. I remember how grown up I felt when my mother handed me that yellow card. I was also very lucky to have a librarian aunt, who literally fostered the love of reading in me. I would go to her library all summer long to pick books of various types and genres. Summer was the only time I was allowed to stay up late most nights to devour my books.

However, children today would rather play computer games, watch TV or spend time online than read a book. But how can we make sure children choose a book over a screen when looking for fun? The key word is “Choice”.

According to a new research by Childwise, children in the UK are spending more time on the internet than in front of the TV for the first time. They still find traditional TV programmes engaging but are increasingly watching them online or on-demand. This means children seek out content of their choice and when you let them choose the books they want to read, they are more likely to enjoy and finish reading that book. It is a fact that children who read for pleasure often overtake the ones who don’t.

Reading over the summer is incredibly important for pupils and their academic achievement. Between the end of one school year to the start of the next, students risk summer reading loss. But a Summer Reading Programme can prevent this from happening. Just 30 minutes of reading per day can help students amass knowledge during the summer months and improve their skills.

This good news couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Arcadia Summer Reading Challenge encourages children to read what they want, which helps instill a love of reading for pleasure. The 12 step reading programme, which can be completed in any order, is an interactive, fun programme where children are invited to use different applications and online platforms to complete it.

As a parent I understand how packing books for a vacation could be difficult, specially if it is a school library book. But thanks to smartphones, IPads, Kindle, etc. you can carry dozens in a single device. It is for this very reason that we, at Arcadia, are using Epic! to support the students’ summer reading. All students in KS1-2 are given access to Epic. Please check this link for more information.

I hope you all have lots of fun and exciting moments this summer. Have a happy holiday.

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