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6 Ways To Keep Kids Reading This Summer

by Heather Novotny, Librarian


At McGillis, we value books and treasure time spent reading. We are living through a time of flux and change, but books and reading remain a haven, a safe harbor, and a respite from the wider world’s uncertainties. Reading can bring us joy, make us think, show us ourselves, and let us see others. As adults, let’s invest the time and energy into creating a space where our children are free to grow as joyful readers.


This summer will likely continue to look different than most, and as we strive to find engaging activities to keep kids learning, here are a few tips to keep kids reading for fun all summer long.


  1. Free choice. Kids who chose their own books read longer and more often. Offer a variety of formats, like graphic works, nonfiction, audiobooks, and picture books. The McGillis Library’s curated Summer Suggested Reading Lists are designed to offer a wide variety of books so that every kid can find something they connect with. 
  2. Include diverse books. All readers deserve the affirmation of seeing their own identities reflected in books, just as all readers benefit from looking outward through the windows books offer into the lives and experiences of other people. Luckily, the quality and variety of children’s books are outstanding right now. The McGillis School’s Book Fair has lots of diverse selections to choose from. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and McGillis students are celebrating by reading books that speak to all of our students’ lives.
  3. Visit the library together--online or in person. As our public libraries re-open to in-person service, you may wish to visit with your child. Many libraries continue to offer curbside pickup. Its easy-you place holds on your library’s website, then follow the directions to arrange a time to pick books up. Our area public libraries also offer summer reading programs for all ages. This is a great incentive to read!
  4. Try different formats. Some students who don’t self-identify as readers have a preference for nonfiction, graphic novels, eBooks, and eAudiobooks. You can find lots of titles to choose from on our summer reading list, our book fair, and on Sora, the student reading app from OverDrive. Install the Sora app on your personal devices, or read online at All 3rd - 8th Graders have been trained on using Sora, and there are how-to videos on the McGillis Library’s Canvas page. Graduating 8th Graders are welcome to read McGillis library books all summer long.
  5. Let your kids catch you reading. Parental modeling is really powerful, which is one reason public libraries have summer reading programs for grownups in addition to children. Why not sign up for grownup summer reading, and let your kids catch you enjoying a book? And, wherever you go, bring along a book bag stocked with fun reads for grownups and for kids.
  6. Read every day. Habits are built by small everyday actions. Encourage your children to make reading a habit by reading every day.


Please email me with any questions!