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What Makes an All Star Reader

Help your reader hit it out of the ballpark with literacy tips from Grant Wood AEA

The phrase “summer slide” refers to the tendency for some students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. Some young students get busy during the summer break from school, and it becomes easy for parents to forget to include reading into their busy schedules.

“Helping your children enjoy reading and become confident in their skills are some of the easy wins that come from spending time with them when they’re reading,” shared Grant Wood Area Education Agency Programs and Services Administrator Kris Donnelly. Literacy is one of many services provided by Grant Wood Area Education Agency. Grant Wood Area Education Agency’s team provides support to over 72,000 students and 5,000 teachers in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Washington counties in east central Iowa.

This summer Grant Wood AEA has partnered with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in support of the team’s summer reading program. After children read 250 minutes and reach “first base” on their Kernels reading scorecard, they will redeem their card for prizes and the student’s parents also will receive reading tips from GWAEA literacy consultants. At second base the readers receive additional coupons and prizes, and parents will receive log-in information to access some of Grant Wood AEA’s free online resources including ebooks and research databases.

“Throughout the year Grant Wood AEA staff work alongside teachers and students to help ensure children have the tools they need to be successful, lifelong learners, and parents can help with that effort at home by engaging with the child with some simple tips and questions,” add Donnelly. Here are some tips from Grant Wood AEA’s literacy consultants to help young readers hit a home run with reading this summer:

Before reading: •We all need a little variety in life! Choose books that are both fiction (make-believe) and non-fiction (true, informational). •Look at the cover of the book and talk about what you see. •Ask your child what s/he thinks the book might be about.

During reading: •Stop often to ask “When”, “What”, “Why”, “Where” and “How” questions. •Have your child predict what might happen next. •With fiction books, talk about the characters-- -are they kind, how are they feeling, do they remind you of anyone, etc. •With non-fiction books, talk about the main points. •Talk about what some words mean. Think of ways to use those new words in your conversations.

If your child has trouble sounding out a word, help them by: •Asking her to say the beginning sound •Having them use the sounds they know and sound out the word. •Having them look for a syllable or part of the word that they might know. •Help them put the parts together and say the word.

After reading: •Talk about your favorite parts of the book. •Ask, “Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why?”

Read aloud with your child. Choose a book, and take turns reading a paragraph or page. Enjoy the summer as your child looks ahead at a winning season of reading!

Call Grant Wood AEA with any concerns or questions about a child’s development. The AEA can connect parents and caregivers with staff who can help evaluate such things as a child’s speech, hearing, emotional development, behavior or pre-school readiness.

Grant Wood Area Education Agency 319-399-6700

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