Books Arriving for K-6 Students
Summer Reading Program Expanded
Kalamazoo Public Schools students can look for their books — in the mailbox!
Rising Kindergarten through sixth-grade students will begin receiving books in the mail from the KPS summer reading program. This is the first year the reading program has been expanded to include Kindergarten through second-grade students, who will receive three books each.
Older students will each get seven books - about one every week and a half. They are asked to fill out a postcard with a mini-review and mail the stamped, self-addressed postcard back to their teachers. Teachers will respond with encouragement or feedback and the next book.
The summer reading program began in 2008 and is designed to help students maintain their reading skills over the summer months.
Research has shown that students are more likely to read if they are given books over a longer period of time — rather than being overwhelmed with a large collection at once.
Justice acknowledged that just having the books doesn’t mean that a child will be inspired to read. Parents and other adults can help keep up interest in reading throughout the summer, said Susan Warner, the head of youth services for Kalamazoo Public Library.
“The idea is not to have a child off in the corner reading by themselves,” Justice said. “This is a family opportunity. Make reading exciting for them. It needs to be pleasurable.”
American Library Association Tips to Encourage Reading
• Start sharing books when your child is born, and don’t forget to keep reading with children into their teens.
• Make a time and a place for reading in your home and encourage talking about reading in your family.
• Take advantage of a “waiting” time to share books: on trips, at the doctor’s office, in line at the grocery store.
• Set a good example — read on your own.
• Allow your child to select books to read and be aware of your child’s reading interests.
• Give books as presents.
• Get to know the children’s librarian at your local public library/
• Register your child for a library card.
• When preparing for family road trips, stock up on audio books from your library. Let your children choose some stories to listen to in the car.
• Have family members share favorite ghost stories and/or adventure stories around the campfire at picnics and on camping trips.
Angela Justice, KPS the Kalamazoo Public Schools coordinator of English language arts, social studies, and library services, offered these suggestions:
• Read the book with the child. Partner read. Just open up the book and start reading a couple of pages. Even older children like this activity.
• Have conversations about the book. Flip through and look at the pictures and ask questions like, “What do you think about this?” Read the book jacket and say, “What do you think will happen?”
• Try to find activities in the community that are related to the stories they are reading.
• Don’t be afraid to listen to books through audio players. It doesn’t have to be just eyes on books. Listening comprehension is just as important as reading comprehension.
• Look for reading opportunities in everyday activities. Ask your child to help read your shopping list or let them read the directions in the cookbook as you make dinner. Let them read you the information on their Pokemon cards. Have them read the directions when you start a new board game.