While it may seem easier to let kids beat the heat by spending lazy days in front of the television or tablet, parents should take advantage of the many learning opportunities the summer offers.
Why is learning so critical this time of year? During the summer months, many children will lose some of the skills they obtained during the school year. Students who lose reading ability over the summer rarely catch up. In fact, research from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that 75 percent of students who are poor readers in third grade, a critical grade for literacy skill building, remain poor readers in high school.
Improved learning, one child at a time
To help children keep and develop this essential skill, Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) has joined forces with Macy's to help keep kids laughing and learning with enriching summer activities and children's book favorites. The key to helping children maintain and even improve their literacy skills over the summer is providing access to quality books that they can choose based on personal interests. When children have books readily available to them, they are motivated and empowered to read, helping improve their overall success in school and life.
Macy's is helping to ensure children have access to high-quality books through its Be Book Smart campaign. The store invites customers nationwide to give $3 at their local store to help provide a book for a child in need. As a thank you, customers get $10 off a purchase of $30 or more, plus 15 percent or 20 percent off storewide. All proceeds go directly to RIF to provide books and learning resources to children who need them most. Customers not only give children the opportunity to build their literacy skills, but also the opportunity to experience the magic and power of books.
Inspire your reader
As a parent, you can help increase your child's reading ability. Whether it's playing games, singing songs or taking a trip to the local library – use this time to create new experiences together.
Adopt some of these everyday activities to help your children thrive during the summer months:
* Boost your child's vocabulary by talking about everything under the sun. Visit the library and check out books for the entire week. Pick one about birds or insects and go on an adventure walk to see if any live in your neighborhood.
* Reading is contagious, so let your kids see you reading books, magazines and even cereal boxes.
* Have books available in your child's reach.
* Play the alphabet game by finding letters starting from A-Z while in the car or on a walk.
* Play easy word or rhyming games with your child.
* Use sidewalk chalk to make a mural with your family. Don't forget to title your masterpiece.
* Have a "book-nic." Grab a blanket, snacks and books to celebrate a beautiful summer day.
Help your kids retain the essential skills they learned in the classroom and plan for a season full of new adventures in reading. You can also provide books and reading adventures for kids who need them most by visiting your local Macy's store this summer and giving $3. Visit http://www.macys.com/rif for more details.