Summer Reading with a Greater Purpose

Many of us are encouraging our children to continue reading throughout the summer months, and this task is made easier by the myriad of summer reading programs sponsored by local libraries and bookstores. These programs usually offer incentives for children who read a certain number of books or pages, such as a free slice of pizza or a special book. My son’s elementary school is asking each student to read at least 20 minutes a day for a minimum of 20 days; all students who participate in the “Sea of Summer Reading” will be named “Deep Sea Divers” and will be treated to an ice cream social once school resumes. Sounds like a great idea to my son!

Our elementary school also provided the links to a number of local and national summer reading programs. One such program is Clubhouse Magazine’s (Focus on the Family) “Read to Raise the Roof” summer challenge, which my son is eagerly participating in. From the program’s website:

“Clubhouse is joining with Widow’s Might to build a ministry outreach center in Rwanda. This building will include:

• a kitchen to provide meals to needy children.

• workrooms to give older orphans jobs—including making school uniforms, so poor children can go to school. (In Rwanda, you must have a uniform to attend school. Many families can’t afford a uniform, but children will be given one through this program.)

• classrooms to teach kids English and the Good News of Jesus Christ. Groups in Rwanda encourage kids to memorize the Bible.

• dorm rooms, so orphans have a place to sleep.”

You can find sponsor forms here and a suggested reading list here. You may also want to refer to Mary Alice’s super reading lists (also here and here) for suggestions of great books for your children to read. Also, don’t forget that younger children can also participate in summer reading challenges by having a parent read to them. And please continue to read to your older children – independent reading is great, but so is reading together out-loud with your kids!

Happy Summer Reading!


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