Thursday, June 3, 2010

Need a Summer Reading Challenge

When I was a little girl, I lived within walking distance of my elementary school.  They would keep the library opened in the summer for anyone that wanted to participate in summer reading.  I don't remember my age but I do remember one summer of walking up to check out books.  It was the only summer I remember doing that.  

Fast forward 30 years.  I LOVE reading.  I wish I had more time to read.  I try to do read alouds with my kids.  Some seasons are better than others.  This summer we are working our way back to that.  

Every summer I usually take my kids to the library to get involved in their summer reading.  For me, this is a disappointing experience.  The library requires only a few hours of reading, not books.  My older kids usually blow this out of the water within a week or two of summer starting.  They get bored and so do I.  When we're on top of the read alouds, my little ones can reach their goals quickly as well.  This summer will be different though.  No more low expectation library reading programs.  We're going to follow the Veritas Press Summer Reading Contest.  It was announced in the June edition of epistula.  Here are the details:  
For many of us there are fond memories of summer reading contests, where you could win a prize for doing something that you already loved. Reading has always been a part of my life. You have heard the old adage that books are your best friends, and that was definitely the case for me. Growing up in Miami, I was at the beach quite often, and my favorite thing was sitting on the beach reading a new book for a day. Even now when we go on vacation, one of the first things that I google before going are used book shops. I will ask my poor husband to drive an hour out of the way in hopes of finding that one perfect book. Our shelves are full of those treasured finds. Recently, a good friend of mine was looking for books to interest one of her children. I went to the shelves and found some books that I had read as a child. They were yellowed from age, and some were no longer in print, but I was sure they would pique his interest. I dropped off my treasure, and the next week at church he ran up to me to share about Mad Scientists’ Club, and we now had a treasure to share. That’s how books are: they cause a common bond that crosses any age difference.

This summer Veritas Press is sponsoring a reading contest. It begins immediately and continues through September 15, 2008Click here to download a reading chart to track your student’s progress. We only ask that you as parents or teachers verify what the children have read, and then after they have met their goals, complete the online entry form. Please encourage them to read good literature, not just look for a book that meets the page count criteria.

Veritas Press Reading Contest Rules
1.       Reading Quantity
a.       K – 2nd Grade: 40 Easy Readers (ex., Frog and Toad are Friends)
b.       3rd &; 4th Grades: 25 books at least 125 pages (ex., The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
c.        5th &; 6th Grades: 25 books at least 150 pages (ex., Treasure Island)
d.       7th – 12th Grades: 25 books at least 200 pages (ex., The Fellowship of the Ring)
2.       Entries must be submitted online by 5:00 PM EDT, September 15, 2008.
3.       The first 250 submissions in each age division will be given a $10 gift certificate.
4.       A drawing will be held from all submissions and will be announced in the October epistula. There will be three winners from the drawing.
a.       $150 First Prize
b.       $100 Second Prize
c.        $70 Third Prize

Happy reading!

Laurie Detweiler 
(If you can't open the links, please refer to the link I provided above.  I can't figure out how to get the downloads link up here.)
I was looking at the list of recommended books and noticed that some of the books in the 7th - 12th grade list are books my older two have already read.  So I am going to use some of these recommendations to get them started.  They are excited about the challenge this summer.  So much better than what the library reading has to offer.  They usually offer a twaddle-type book so the 20 hours of reading.  These kids can do 20 hours in one week.  So I am love that this is going to challenge them as much as it is.  Even my early readers can get involved in this.  Check it out.  

1 comment:

  1. I feel the same way about our library's reading program. There are so many amazing books out there, it's just a matter of getting organized. I need to raise the bar and inspire my children to read books that build their character and knowledge base.

    I love your blog! Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring thoughts!