Boost Summer Reading – Let Children Choose the Books!

Sylvan Learning centers
present five tips for parents to
encourage summer reading

As summer vacations tempt the nation’s students away from their books, Sylvan Learning centers in the Jacksonville area are bringing parents some hopeful news: With a little nudge, children do not have to fall victim to summer learning loss.
Research shows that summer months that go by without engaging in learning activities present a real academic risk for school-age children, particularly for those from low-income families. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the National Summer Learning Association found that 77 percent of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that students who participate in a summer learning program are better prepared for school in the fall.
Summer reading is the key to avoiding this learning loss. But when summer fun calls, reading often suffers. According to a new Sylvan Learning survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive among 1,190 youths ages 8-18 from March 14-21, less than half of American youths identify reading as a favorite summer activity.
Playing video games ranked highest as a favorite summer activity among boys (83%), while reading books ranked 6th, with just over one-third (34%) saying this is a favorite thing to do in summer. In contrast, girls are almost twice as likely as boys to report that reading books is a favorite summer pastime (64%), and it ranks 3rd on their list.
That’s the bad news. The good news, according to the survey, is that the vast majority of those youths – 94 percent – report that they like reading when they can choose books themselves. And they are also more likely to read when those books align to their interests.
“The overwhelming majority of teachers agree that summer reading is key to overall academic success,” said according to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning. “Summer does not have to be a time when children lose important reading skills.
Research indicates that children will read when they choose books themselves.”
Five simple tips for students and parents
• Browse your community library
• Combine favorite activities with reading
• Negotiate a reward
• Get an e-book reader
• Use those movie-book tie-ins
Sylvan Learning is the leading provider of tutoring to students of all ages, grades and skill levels with over 30 years of experience and more than 800 centers located throughout North America. Sylvan’s trained and Sylvan-certified personal instructors provide individualized instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, study skills and test-prep for college entrance and state exams. For more information, call
1-800-31-SUCCESS, visit

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