Reading together and being involved in what your kids are reading helps them in school while also reinforcing the joy of reading. And reading together doesn’t have to stop once your kids can read on their own. Reading anything—comics, poems, graphic novels, magazines or books—out loud together is a great way to spend time with older kids and teens.
- Get a free library card. A library card is your ticket to a world of resources for education and entertainment for the whole family: books, e-books and e-readers, digital audio books, movies, magazines, games, and many other traditional and digital resources.
- Read your school’s or school library’s newsletter to learn about special programs and family literacy activities at the school library.
- Attend storytime or sing-along class. Many libraries offer weekly programs for parents and caregivers and their babies, toddlers and kids.
- Nearly every state has a “children’s choice” book award targeted to the reading and interest levels of a specific range of grades. Your school librarian can connect you with these lists. Encourage your child to participate or, better yet, read the selections together.
- Ask your school librarian for book lists appropriate for your child’s reading and interest level and curriculum of your school.
- Anytime is a good time to read, but summer is an important time to keep it up. Participating in a library summer reading program can make the difference between summer setback and summer success, leading to better academic performance when kids and teens return to school in the fall. Plus, libraries make summer reading fun, with incentives, arts and crafts and special events designed to enhance the reading experience.
- Pick out books together. Try out award-winning books from the Association for Library Service to Children, like Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal winners and other notable children’s books and media. Visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on “Parents” to find lists and other resources for parents and caregivers.
- Thousands of books are published each year for teens. Go online and check out the Young Adult Library Services Association’s lists of award-winning books and other recommended reading to help explore new genres and discover new authors. Visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists.
- Every fall, Teen Read Week™, sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association, encourages teens to read for the fun of it. Check out your library for special programming during the week.
- Encourage your teen to join a library book club. Book clubs are a great way for teens to get together outside of class and talk about the books they want to read for fun. Comics clubs for teens at the library are similar to book clubs and can focus on popular media like comic books, graphic novels, manga (Japanese print comics) and anime (Japanese animation).
At home and in the community
- Be a role model. Let your kids see you reading just for the fun of it. Bring a book, e-reader or magazine everywhere. Talk with your kids and teens about what you are reading.
- Read to your kids, starting at birth. Being read to and hearing nursery rhymes — in any language — teaches a baby about emotions and expression. For tips on fostering a love of reading, visit the Association for Library Services to Children’s website at www.ala.org/alsc. Click on “Parents” then “Born to Read.”
- Reading doesn’t have to stop when you’re on the go. Check out audiobooks of family-friendly titles or movies for your next road trip. Check out Odyssey Award winners, honored as the best audiobooks produced for children and/or young adults, or look for children’s videos that have won the Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video. Visit www.ala.org/alsc and click on “Awards and Grants,” then “Book and Media Awards” in the left navigation.