Read On! 10 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Read
Friday, February 12, 2010
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel knew what he was talking about. Reading is the key to unlocking untold worlds for your child, from scholastic and professional success to personal enrichment. The challenge is figuring out ways to create a thirst for reading that will serve your children throughout their lives. At a time when some 30 million U.S. adults function at the “below basic” level of literacy skill, according to ProLiteracy Worldwide, the importance of concentrating on reading at an early age cannot be over emphasized.
“The family that reads together has the right idea,” said Steve Mogck, executive vice president and brand leader for Country Inns & Suites By Carlson (and father of three). “We hear from our guests – families, educators and business travelers – that reading is a vital part of their everyday life which is why we developed the Read It & Return Lending Library for our hotels.” Enticing kids to read at a young age is the first step to creating a lifelong reader. Here are 10 ways to help make this happen:
- Lead by example. If your child sees you reading, he or she will get the idea that reading is fun. Make it a point to talk about books at the dinner table – maybe even start a family book club.
- Leverage every reading opportunity. The next time you plan a road trip, look for hotels that provide books for guests to enjoy and offer specials that enable you to broaden your family book collection.
- Encourage family reading time. Even if it’s just once a week, consistency counts.
- Get to know your library. The community library is at the heart of a good reading program. When traveling, introduce your child to the Read It & Return Lending Library at more than 450 Country Inns & Suites hotels around the country. Your child can take out a book, and return it the next time you stay.
- Steer your child to television programming that promotes reading. One good example is the Emmy award-winning PBS children’s series, “Reading Rainbow,” a show designed to encourage a love of books among children ages 4-8.
- It doesn’t have to be a classic. If your child enjoys nature, then a subscription to National Geo Kids or Ranger Rick magazine will be something he looks forward to every month. Graphic novels are a terrific way to appeal to ‘tween and teen readers.
- Read out loud. The practice of reading aloud at bedtime is the earliest positive imprint a parent can convey that reading equates to comfort, safety and dreamy pleasure. Even older kids will enjoy the ritual, especially if they’re hooked on a story line or a serial book and can also take turns reading pages.
- Treat books with respect. Teach your children that books should have a designated place in their room, and they should be treated with care. Give the child a bookmark of their own, to prevent pages from getting dog-eared.
- Keep an open mind. As your child gets older, he or she might make book choices you wouldn’t have expected. As long as the material is age appropriate, support the choice and be interested in the content.
- Movie ties-ins can inspire. If a movie – like the Harry Potter series, gets kids excited about books, that’s just great. Make a list of books that have been made into film, from Little Women to Black Beauty and The Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, and read the book, then see the movie. Everybody can weigh in on what they like, or dislike, about each medium.
For more information about Country Inns & Suites literacy initiatives, visit www.countryinns.com.