Summer reading instills love

By Ken Esten Cooke —

School’s out for summer. So that means it’s time to break out the books.

It’s good to get a breather from the rigors of the school year. But after we celebrate graduation or promotion to the next grade level, let’s not let academic progress slip.

Educators have noted that the most critical time of year for students is not the period leading up to the STAAR test. It’s summertime, when some slip back into brain-sapping activities like limitless television and video games, while shelving books for nearly three full months.

We commend Fredericksburg Rotary Club for their work with “Books for Babies,” which gives new moms books they can read to their infants.

We also praise Fredericksburg Elementary School staffers for keeping its library open from Tuesdays through Thursdays during June from 7:30-11:30 a.m. to let students check out books. (Parents must accompany children.)

Also, we are grateful for the primary campus’ OTTER (Our Time To Enjoy Reading) program, which brings in readers for children who may not have a “reading role model” at home.

Pioneer Memorial Library is holding its annual summer reading program on Wednesdays through July with weekly programs at 9:30 a.m. It’s free and students who read 12 books by July 21 can get a foot-bag prize.

It’s easy to encourage learning:

• Find books that correspond to your child’s interests.

• Incorporate reading into your child’s summer routine.

• Find new ways to make reading fun by using e-readers, tablets or smart phones to explore a new platform.

Reading also instills a lifelong love of learning. That’s good for our schools, for our community and for our society.

As the late, great poet Maya Angelou stated: “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

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