Reading is Powerful
Elizabeth Meeks, Library Team Leader & Teacher Librarian Grades 3-8

Reading ignites passions, sparks curiosity and takes us to other worlds all while we get to cozy up and stay in one place avoiding jet lag. Reading is mindful and known to reduce stress, inspire creativity, show us how to solve problems and how to empathise. Reading is powerful.

It has been said “Children become readers in the laps of their parents”, and promoting a love of reading and a family culture of reading is one of the many strengths of ISZL families. Here are some ideas to keep kids inspired to pick up books for pleasure reading as they get older:

  • Set up a family reading hour or D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything And Read) time each week: a special time to read a shared text aloud to each other or just share a space together as you all read independently. Modelling the importance and priority that reading has in the family helps builds a reader. Chat about what you are reading and what they are reading, use this as an opportunity to share your passions with each other. You might ask:
    What piqued your interest in this book?
    Which genre is your favourite right now?
    What do you like best for yourself: audio books, graphic novels, poetry, fiction or is it non-fiction you are drawn too?
    You could also read a book that has been made into a movie, then have a discussion of the comparisons of the movie and book.
    Chat about books you remember from your childhood and why they still have stuck with you. Share your reading habits and connect to theirs - “Did you judge a book by its cover like I did?”
  • Visit the library – stock up on titles your children can’t get enough of and chat with a librarian about ideas for new fantastic new books to read. Let interest be the guide when selecting books and remember it is ok not to like or finish a book. If you see your child not enjoying a book let them know there is nothing wrong with taking it back and getting something new. Congratulate them on trying it and learning a bit more about who they are as reader. There are tens of thousands of books in the library, not all will be the right match but many will, so persevere until you find that title.

  • Carry a book in your bag! Whether it be waiting for the dentist or a long trip in a train, always have a book at the ready –physical, digital or audio, any form, any language. Listening to an audio book is reading so why not listen to a book together in the car as you travel to school. Did you know the ISZL library has a large collection of audio books available to use via your smart device and bluetooth – we still have a few CD’s too. We also have access to amazing databases for online literature. Stop by the library anytime to learn more about how you can access these great resources as well as our fantastic print collection too.
  • Encourage your child to read just because they love the story. It is a magical thing to get so wrapped up in a story they don’t want to leave it when you call them for dinner or that they sneak a book to bed with them. We need to celebrate and smile whenever we hear: "Please just one more page/chapter…"
  • Embrace it when your child wants to reread a book. It is ok for children to reread a favourite text, know that they are getting something out of it at each reading. There is something special and comforting about revisiting the characters they have come to love in a story.

Reading for pleasure increases vocabulary, inference skills and opens conversations about worlds of possibility so keep up the amazing reading happening in your families. I am now off to finish the next few pages of the book I am reading...!

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