Ten Reason Your Kids Should Participate in a Summer Reading Program

by Rebecca J. Gomez When my kids were young, summer reading programs were a sure thing. For the most part, my children were avid readers, especially my girls. A summer reading program wasn't necessary to encourage them to read, but we participated because it was a fun addition to summer. And the free pizza, books, and water park tickets definitely didn't hurt! There are lots of reasons to participate in a summer reading program or challenge, and here are ten of them: 1. Many summer reading programs offer prizes. And while we all know that reading is its own reward, some kids haven't figured that out yet. For those kids, a prize is just the incentive they need to stick their noses in a book now and then over the summer. 2. It's a fun way to reward those kids who will be reading no matter what! 3. For some families, trips to the library may help break up summer monotony.  4. Summer reading programs promote reading together as a family, especially for those with very young

A Read, Discuss, Do! National Poetry Month Celebration


by Rebecca J. Gomez

Will you celebrate National Poetry Month with us? Each Friday during April we will be highlighting a different form of poetry, sharing book recommendations and example poems, and encouraging people young and old to try their hand at writing different kinds of poetry. 

To get started, we are celebrating poetry in general. There are so many wonderful anthologies of poetry for children and children at heart. Here are a couple of recommendations for you to share with the young readers (and budding poets) in your life:

The Hutchinson Treasury of Children's Poetry, edited by Alison Sage

This book is full of a rich variety of poems, from classic nursery rhymes to more modern poems. There is truly something for everyone to love in this book! A couple my family's favorites from this book are "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes, "Do Not Disturb the Dinosaur" by Gina Douthwaite, and "Missing Persons" by Colin Thiele.

The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry, compiled by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson. This is another fabulous collection of poetry that you shouldn't miss! Every poem is accompanied by vibrant illustrations by various artists. A favorite from this book is "The Wolf" by Georgia Roberts Durston.

Be sure to discuss your favorites from these books or any you have at home or find at the library. And then, have your kiddos try writing their own. Perhaps they could pick a favorite from the book and write a poem in a similar style or about a similar topic. 

Here's the schedule for the rest of April: 

Friday, April 8: Haiku

Friday, April 15: List poems

Friday, April 22: Concrete poetry

Friday, April 29: A special post for Poem in Your Pocket Day