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

National Poetry Month Celebration: Concrete Poetry


Read, Discuss, Do! continues its celebration of poetry this week with concrete poetry! Concrete poems, or shape poems, are a really fun type of poetry because the words form a shape. These types of poems can be rhythmic and rhyming, or read like free verse, or even simply be groupings or lists of descriptive words arranged to look like or represent the poem's subject. These types of poems can be a great way to impress young readers who claim they don't like poetry. So, read some concrete poems and have fun writing and designing some too!

Wet Cement: A Mix of Concrete Poems by Bob Raczka is a great place to start. It's a wonderful "mix" of concrete poems covering lots of topics.

Meow Ruff: A Story in Concrete Poems by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Michelle Berg is a unique and clever story told completely in concrete poems!

A Poke in the I: A Collection of Concrete Poems by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Christ Raschka, is a colorful and playful assortment of poems aimed to please the reluctant poetry reader.

Some examples of concrete poems:

And here's one from our own Rebecca J. Gomez:

Learn more about writing concrete poetry from this lesson at Poetry4Kids.