Editorial Roundup: A vacation from reading shouldn’t be part of  summer

Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Steamy temperatures, kids’ camps, crowded city pools. The summer has catapulted into action.

With all that activity for kids — and this area is lucky to be rich in opportunities — it’s also important to recognize that a vacation from reading should not be part of summer.

“Summer slide” is not a new phenomenon. Every school summer break, kids who don’t spend time reading end up regressing in their reading skills, according to education experts.

Email newsletter signup

That doesn’t have to be the case. You don’t have to sit in a school desk to absorb the benefits of opening a book. As author Stephen King said: “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

And that includes hardcovers, paperbacks, comic books, e-books and any other written word that grabs a kid’s attention.

It makes sense to let kids choose what they are interested in so they stick with the material.

Lisa Von Drasek, curator of the Kerlan Collection of Children’s Literature at the University of Minnesota, said parents should take time to explore different book options with their children at the library. Allow kids to select three books to take home and give them permission to change their minds if they lose interest, she said.

Keep in mind that children’s librarians are experts in helping determine what reading materials match kids’ interests.

Reading doesn’t have to exclude taking to the great outdoors either. On nice summer days, bring the books outside, Von Draskek said. In North Mankato, young kids can even participate in story time at the Spring Lake Park pool.

All of the area libraries offer summer reading programs that include fun activities, entertainment and incentives to read this summer. It’s not too late to sign up, and if you do so in person, check out a pile of books to get started right away. Summer has a habit of speeding by.

— Mankato Free Press, June 20

About Editorial Roundup

Editorials from newspapers around the state of Minnesota.

email author More by Editorial