Incorporating reading into your summer agenda

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Summertime is upon us and most school age students are making preparations celebrating their hiatus from school. Summer school may be the only option for some, but most school-aged students are anticipating spending time with friends, vacationing, unlimited TV and video game playing, and temporary summer jobs.

Fun is the rallying call uniting many students seeking a refuge from the academic scene. You may find some students who want no part of a planned routine and are opting to only lay about doing as little as possible with their circle of friends. But one must also be aware of the age-old adage ‘an idled mind is the devil’s workshop.’ Boredom, as well as lack of parental supervision, are two of the primary culprits contributing to criminal activities among many children. Parents should be adamant in making sure their children adhere to a summer program that will be socially, physically, and academically stimulating.

Some form of intellectual and academic stimulation is practiced by most successful goal driven students. And what better stimulation can be derived than from reading. The rewards from reading are numerous. Reading stimulates the imagination, enhances creativity, and improves writing and communication skills. Reading vicariously takes you all over the world, offering you the option never to be bored. There are books to cater to whatever your interests, whether it is sports, drama, suspense, love, comedy, biographies, history, cars, magic, travel, fiction, nonfiction, etc. There is no excuse not to read.

Unfortunately you find too many children quick to express their dislike for reading. It is as if it is a form of punishment. This attitude toward reading must be addressed and changed. Reading (and reading comprehension) is needed to be successful in one’s professional as well as social life. A love for reading should be embraced in one’s formative years and nurtured as one develops.

Ignoring the fact that a child loathes reading and avoids it only adds to impending academic and behavioral problems to come. The longer a child harbors a hatred for reading, the harder it is to overcome. All too often those posing behavioral problems in school are masking their inability to read effectively. There are programs and resources available in public schools to correct the problem when identified.

Parents must be the primary initiators in making reading a vital and crucial part of their child’s academic lives. This can be better served when young children watch you read and seek to ape your actions. Reading to a child daily (especially when they are young) encourages and motivates them to want to read.

Games evolved around reading should be practiced. For example, a sense of joy and excitement must be generated by an ‘out loud’ reader that is inviting to the listener. Reading should not be only for learning or informative purposes but as a form of relaxation, stimulating your senses.

Reading a good book should bring a smile to one’s face and excitement as you relay what you’re reading to a listener. A good book should be likened to a good meal. Reading is a form of enhancing one’s consciousness and making one more aware of the world. Therefore, I invite young students to read as many books as possible during the summer—not out of pressure or as a burden, but because you enjoy the content being read or you want to enhance your potential. Remember, reading builds character, offers entertainment, and is the practice of conscientious champions. Reading is surly a win-win for anyone in the know. Be in the know.