As a child grows in stature so should their knowledge and understanding of the world. One way this is accomplished is by nurturing your child’s reading ability. While reading skills are taught and reinforced in the classroom, we also encourage reading at home – as an activity that can be enjoyed between parent and child. One way we encourage extracurricular reading is through book clubs!
From October to February, 40 third, fourth and fifth grade students in the Mock Newbery book club read one book per month and vote on their favorite, similar to the Newbery Award Committee. Each student receives a copy of the five books they will read, and they meet regularly to discuss their thoughts on the current book. Meetings also include themed snacks that accompany the discussion.
“Book clubs are a great way to expose kids to books they might not normally pick up,” said Catherine Denman, librarian and technology integrationist at St. George’s Memphis campus. “Not only do they help to foster a lifelong love of reading by engaging students with discussion and activities, but they also give students opportunities to practice building bridges as they consider others’ perspectives on the same book.”
The Mock Newbery is not the only book club at St. George’s campuses. “We have summer reading book clubs, Mother Daughter Book Club and a Guys Read Book Club,” Denman said. “This past school year, we had a March Family Book Club where families of pre-kindergarteners through fifth graders read The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary and interacted with us through email and social media to discuss the book.”
Countless studies have been conducted on the value of reading to or with your child. Students who read at least 20 minutes per day often academically surpass their counterparts. Reading exposes children to new vocabulary, can expand comprehension abilities, strengthen visual imagery skills and increase attention spans.
Are you interested in encouraging reading in your household? Beyond joining a book club, Catherine Denman offered a few tips and recommendations to make reading an integral part of your family routine:
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