3 children reading

Summer Reading—Great for Children and Their Adults

Make reading part of your summer routine.

Heart of Indiana United Way works holistically, addressing the interconnected issues of health, education, and financial stability. One area of our work that I find most exciting is how we help families embrace their power in raising readers. Why? 

Children’s ability to read and understand what they are reading by the end of third grade is a great predictor of both student and community success. This pivotal time is when students transition from learning how to read, to being students who read to learn. And ensuring children’s success with reading helps ensure they are on a path to be successful in school and life. 

Heart of Indiana United Way helps children with early literacy by investing in programs that help families have access to books that help foster a love of reading. We fund programs like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library which delivers a book a month to children ages newborn to age five. And this summer, we are providing culturally affirming books for children who are participating in summer programs at Sherman Street Church of God and at Bethesda Baptist Church.  Each participating child will receive a book each week to add to their personal library and enjoy. 

If you are looking for ways to help the children in your life maintain those reading gains they made over the school year—and most importantly, have fun with reading over the summer, here are some ideas: 

  • Make trips to the library a regular part of your summer routine. Libraries’ summer reading programs and activities help make reading fun! Anderson Public Library’s Summer Reading Program is available for all ages and runs from June 1-July 31. Visit https://www.and.lib.in.us/reading-programs to learn more. 
  • Let your child choose books that most interest them, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, or magazines. The key is that they want to read it. 
  • Set aside time to read and enjoy books together each day. Sometimes life is too busy—and that’s okay. It doesn’t matter where or when you read—what matters is that you try to have your child read a little while every day. 
  • Don’t feel guilty for taking time to enjoy a book, a magazine, or The Herald Bulletin…you are showing the children in your life that reading is fun to do no matter how old you are. Plus, children are more likely to develop a love of reading if they see their parents or caregivers enjoying reading.  
  • Enjoy low and no-cost ways of having fun reading like build a blanket fort or set up a cozy area—just for reading. Have children read aloud to pets, stuffed animals, or siblings. Incorporate reading into fun activities like reading recipes when you cook or follow instructions to do a craft. 
  • Ask your child questions before, during, and after reading together. For example, before beginning, ask your child what they think the book will be about based on the cover or title. While reading, pause and ask about the story, characters, or illustrations. After you finish, ask your child what the book was about or to share their favorite part. 

Making reading part of your summer routine, will not only help the children in your life—it will make memories you will all cherish.