By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | August 19, 2020

Books have encouraged, taught, and provided new experiences to children for many years.

Books play a significant role in a child’s learning environment. As they develop, they are introduced to many genres that encourage learning, resolving conflict, embracing imagination, and discovering new ideas.

Parents may not realize that many of the books their children read will instill life-long lessons about navigating relationships, decision-making, self-awareness, and social awareness – otherwise known as Social and Emotional Learning (SEL).

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

According to The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is the process through which adults and children understand how to manage emotions, set goals, show empathy for others, and nurture relationships.

CASEL supports teachers, parents, students, and even employers in cultivating healthy relationships, conscious decision-making skills, emotional management, and self-awareness.

As children grow into adults, SEL skills are put into action in everyday life. Especially with social awareness, kids learn how to accept a different perspective and navigate conflicts and unfamiliar social interactions in an emotionally healthy way.

Ways to Teach Kids about SEL

The majority of learning new life skills starts at home. As parents model appropriate behavior, the children will learn by watching, internalizing, and imitating their observations.

Additionally, CASEL recommends introducing the concept of SEL in classrooms through reading and other curricula. SEL is more than a 30-minute reading break or a placeholder in lesson plans. When presented as a systemic approach, SEL is infused into all facets of students’ lives: at home, in school, and the community.

Social and Emotional Learning Booklist

Here are books from our 2020 Wish List that focus on SEL.

Use these books in your classroom or at home to foster conversations about the value of SEL.

 

A Cat and a Dog / Un gato y un perro

By: Claire Masurel
Illustrated by Bob Kolar
A cat and a dog live together. But they do NOT like each other. Can they ever learn to be friends?
32pgs

 

Pig Wants a Peach

By: Liza Charlesworth
Illustrated by Ian Smith
Pig wants a peach. But pig gets many other foods. Will she get a peach?
16pgs

 

Please Write Back!

By: Jennifer E. Morris
Illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris
Alfie misses his grandma. He writes her a letter. Now he has to wait for her to write back!
32pgs

 

My Friend is Sad

By: Mo Willems
Illustrated by Mo Willems
Gerald is sad. Piggie tries to cheer him up. Will it work?
64pgs

 

Don’t Throw it to Mo!

By: David A. Adler
Illustrated by Sam Ricks
Mo loves to play football! But, he’s not very good at it. He’s small, and has trouble catching the ball. Can he help his team win?
32pgs

 

Brave / Valiente

By: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Being brave isn’t just for superheroes. We can all be brave!
32pgs

 

It’s Not Fair! / ¡No es justo!

By: Rebecca Gomez
Illustrated by Roberta Collier-Morales
Charlie really, really wants to go to Mexico for vacation. But, it’s not his turn. Will he get to go? Or, will he be stuck at home?
32pgs

 

I am Kind

By: Suzy Capozzi
Illustrated by Eren Unten
Are you a kind person? Are you kind every day? To your family? To your friends? To the Earth? Learn how to get even better at it!
32pgs

 

Something Beautiful

By: Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet
A little girl lives in a scary neighborhood. Instead of seeing the scary things, she decides to look for the beautiful things. What are the beautiful things in your world?
32pgs

 

Amber Brown is Tickled Pink

By: Bruce Coville, Elizabeth Levy
Illustrated by Tony Ross
A wedding is coming. But there are disagreements. Large versus small. Expensive versus cheap. Friends versus just family. Amber takes on the challenge of finding a solution!
176pgs

Social and Emotional Learning is a valuable part of a child’s upbringing and education. Developing these skills is critical to a child’s development as they transition from childhood to adulthood. If you have questions about helping your child or student with SEL, contact us.


By Rachel Benedict | Categories Blog | August 14, 2020

Exciting innovations in technology have wildly evolved over the last decade. You can hold the universe in the palm of your hand, view high-definition videos with lightning speed, and connect with people all over the world with a simple tap on a screen. Pretty cool, right?

But what do these technological innovations mean for old-fashioned reading? Is technology taking over?

The answer is yes, but the benefits of reading do not decrease as technology booms. In fact, the benefits of reading become more important than ever before.

Screen time use by children, tweens, and teens has doubled in the last five years and continues to grow. Teens are connected to screens for videos, TV shows, movies, social media, video games, and more. Phones, tablets, laptops, and televisions are a huge part of their daily lives—so let’s use them for good, and fun.

Technology + Reading = Win

Did you know that 8 to 12-year-olds use around five hours of screen time per day while teens average around 7.5 hours per day? These averages don’t account for homework or learning time. Reading for fun decreases the older a child gets, especially if reading isn’t established as a daily habit.

Only six percent of Americans name reading as a favorite evening activity—the lowest Gallup has recorded in its trend. More and more families are spending time watching TV as a favorite evening routine, while reading is dropping considerably.

Technology is an excellent way to enhance learning by increasing the brain’s ability to assimilate and decode information. This juxtaposition between increases in screen time and decreases in reading time is cited as one reason for the literacy crisis in America, where less than 35% of students are proficient readers.

There is a way to reverse both disparate trends. Make screen time reading time by simply turning on the closed captions. Every 30 minutes of screen time equals reading 30 pages of a book!

So how does Kids Read Now help?

When most people think of summer, they easily envision backyard barbecues, swimming pools, vacation, and long lazy days in the sun. When we think about summer, we think about the dreaded summer slide and how it disproportionately affects disadvantaged students.

Over summer, a divide plagues those from lower income families and places them at a sharp disadvantage in obtaining books or accessing online learning tools. Our reading programs are the easiest way to deliver high-quality, reading-range-ready books to kids at their home address—no technology needed! So, crack open that book to create a healthy, lifelong habit and turn on closed captions whenever you can!


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | August 7, 2020

Want a fun way to encourage your kids to read? Make it into a reading BINGO game!

Summertime should be a fun experience in a child’s life, but with the world’s uncertainties and extended time away from the classroom, our kids are glued to screens more and books less. As a result, experts are concerned that children will fall behind even more so than usual.

So, how can we keep kids motivated to read more?

At Kids Read Now, we put our heads together to come up with an exciting way to engage students and motivate them to pick up a book… Reading Bingo!

Reading Bingo is just like the classic bingo game, except that it encourages kids to try different and fun reading challenges. With the goal of completing the bingo card, kids will be eager to push through the various options. They might even find new books they enjoy!

Reading Bingo Printable

Kids don’t have to view reading as a school-time obligation. Reading is an imaginative adventure! By providing choices to a child with specific reading goals, we can help empower them to make fun and creative reading choices.

reading bingo card
Click on the graphic to download a full-size printable bingo card

Here’s how the bingo card works:

Ideas for Reading Rewards

reading bingo certificate

Kids get super excited when they have something to work toward with a prize at the finish line.

When your child has completed a bingo, make sure to reward them for their hard work! Rewards aren’t bribes, and they don’t have to be big-ticket items, but an opportunity for kids to reap the benefits of working toward a goal.

Here are some reward ideas:

Trying new things can be hard for kids, but with a little encouragement of a grand prize and the time you spend together while they’re working towards their bingo goal, you will have a bookworm on your hands in no time!

At Kids Read Now, we know our students like to have fun while learning, and it’s up to us to make that possible. Motivation is key, especially when regular school schedules have been disrupted.

A new incentive like the Reading Bingo game might be the answer to keeping your child on track this summer.


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | July 6, 2020

Bedtime routines are especially important for children. Regular schedules and rituals give our children the predictability they crave. When kids know what to expect, especially when it includes a bonding routine like reading, it can help eliminate nighttime distractions.

Most doctors and sleep specialists will tell you to incorporate soothing, relaxing activities at bedtime. Some examples might include soft music, a warm bath, and our personal favorite, a bedtime story!

Here at Kids Read Now, we are big fans of reading — especially bedtime stories. Spending 15 minutes each night reading to or with your child can give you both a sense of connection and help establish a healthy routine.

Importance of reading before bedtime

There are no hard and fast rules for bedtime, just a few guidelines that will help establish healthy habits with your child. Reading before bedtime not only sets a calm atmosphere, but it also helps their busy minds calm down.

Additional benefits of reading before bedtime include:

Healthy bedtime rituals can help your child fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested and refreshed. As your child grows older, an established reading habit at bedtime will be second nature. Establishing good habits will not only take away the stress out of putting a child to bed, but it’s also a great way to spend quality time together.

Every night before bed, have your child pick out a book, and read along with him or her for 15 minutes. Chapter books can help reinforce your nightly routine as your child will look forward to each new chapter before bed! Don’t be surprised if your child wants to read the same book over and over, either. Rereading books helps your child have a deeper understanding of the material and presents an opportunity for stability.

At Kids Read Now, we remain focused on keeping kids interested in reading and expanding their imaginations. We have book programs that keep children reading all year long! If you would like more information, please reach out to us to learn more. Let’s work together to eliminate the summer slide, close the achievement gap, and create beneficial bedtime routines for all students!


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | July 1, 2020

Summer Reading Slide : Summer Reading Program for K-3

The Summer Slide: Summer is a time for relaxation, sunshine, vacations, and… reading loss?

It’s estimated that a child loses two months of learning each summer, which accumulates each year, totaling almost two years of learning loss by the time they graduate high school.

This epidemic of the summer slide widely impacts all children, but more specifically those in disadvantaged and low-income families. Kids Read Now has made it our mission to combat the summer slide through a proven, in-home summer reading program.

Summer Reading Slide : Summer Reading Program

 

More about the importance of summer reading

Summer reading isn’t just about diverting their eyes from a screen to a book; it’s about keeping children’s minds ready to retain critical information. Even more so, studies show that summer reading bridges the achievement gap between the economic status of advantaged and disadvantaged children.

When schools close for the summer, reading opportunities diminish, especially for economically disadvantaged students without access to books. Some students live in book deserts, and without the oasis of an accessible home library will fall victim to the summer slide and widen the achievement gap.

This gap has a cumulative effect as students develop and progress academically and can account for significant increases in high school dropout rates and decreases in four-year college attendance.

From kindergarten to third grade, children learn to read. From fourth grade forward, children read to learn. Children who aren’t reading at grade level by the fourth grade are at increased risk to endure social and financial hardships throughout their lives, such as higher dropout rates, poverty rates, and incarceration rates.

Reading encompasses a myriad of subjects: math, science, social skills, etc. When a child reads, they exercise imagination and creativity, and they learn essential social and life skills to help them as they grow.

What is KRN doing about The Summer Slide?

Kids Read Now isn’t an average reading program. The difference? Kids are in charge.

Studies have shown that reading programs are most effective when children have access to self-selected books. Children are more likely to read voluntarily when they are in charge of choosing the book and subject matter. It’s more exciting and provides the child with an element of control.

How the program works

Designed for K-3 students, the KRN summer program allows students to select books from a large and diverse library of educator-approved titles. These books are delivered directly to the students’ homes, and they get to keep them forever!

Each book delivery comes with questions to aid students in comprehension and help parents engage with their child’s reading. Students who report reading every book on their list receive a completion certificate, a reward, and a celebration in Fall.

Kids Read Now sends weekly reminder calls, texts, or emails to the parents encouraging them to engage and connect with their child about the book they are currently reading.

A new study on the program, led by Geoffrey D. Borman, Ph.D., at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, found that, “Results indicate that the impact of KRN can more than eradicate the entire two months of summer learning loss experienced by low-income students.”

In short, the KRN summer reading program is eliminating the summer reading slide for students across the country.

Summer reading is vital to the success of our children’s education. If you are interested in learning more about the program, please reach out to us. Let’s work together to bridge the achievement gap for all students and families!


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | June 22, 2020

It’s in our nature to surround ourselves with those to whom we can relate the most; that’s no different for children. Here’s a list we’ve pulled together of some of our favorite books on inclusion, which you can include in your reading rotation.

Books are important visual tools for children and are some of the first items they interact with as they develop mentally, physically, and emotionally. Books are an exciting way to watch children connect the dots between what they read and experience.

Children should have access to books that they can relate to and see themselves as the main character in the book. Not only is this empowering for children, but it can help foster the feeling of inclusion.

The Importance of Inclusion in Children’s Books

By definition, inclusion is the simply the act of being included; however, sometimes parents may have some trouble finding fun and exciting children’s books that not only include their own children, but include children of different races, backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, and family structures. Promoting empathy and respect for all types of diversity is essential to healthy relationships through childhood and adulthood.

It’s human nature to surround ourselves with those we can relate to most, and it’s no different for children. The more books in your home library with diverse characters and situations, the more your child will learn to embrace diversity and inclusivity.

If you are looking for books that include your children and the world around them, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorite inclusive books from our 2020 Wishlist that you can put in your reading rotation.

14 Books for Children About Inclusion

Who Was Jackie Robinson?

By: Gail Herman

Illustrated by John O’Brien

As a kid, he loved sports. In 1947 Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the long time color barrier. Some of the fans didn’t like it. Some of his teammates didn’t like it. His story is as inspiring as he was. 112pgs

Who Was Jackie Robinson?

Beautiful / Bellas

By: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Every girl is special. Every girl is talented. Every girl is beautiful! 32pgs

Beautiful / Bellas

The Dot

By: Peter H. Reynolds

Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Can you draw? Vashti thinks she can’t. But oh, what a surprise! 32pgs

The Dot

Don’t Throw it to Mo!

By: David A. Adler

Illustrated by Sam Ricks

Mo loves to play football! But, he’s not very good at it. He’s small, and has trouble catching the ball. Can he help his team win? 32pgs

Don't Throw it to Mo!

Brave / Valiente

By: Stacy McAnulty

Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff

Being brave isn’t just for superheroes. We can all be brave! 32pgs

Brave / Valiente

I Love Our Earth / Amo nuestra Tierra

By: Bill Martin Jr., Michael Sampson

Illustrated by Dan Lipow

Our Earth is one of a kind. Let’s celebrate her colors, climates, and seasons! 32pgs

I Love Our Earth / Amo nuestra Tierra

I Want to Be a Doctor

By: Laura Driscoll

Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri

When Jack hurts his foot, his family takes him to the hospital. There he meets all sorts of doctors: bone doctors, eye doctors, baby doctors. How many different kinds of doctors are there? 32pgs

I Want to Be a Doctor

Something Beautiful

By: Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

A little girl lives in a scary neighborhood. Instead of seeing the scary things, she decides to look for the beautiful things. What are the beautiful things in your world?

32pgs

Something Beautiful

Dancing in the Wings

By: Debbie Allen

Illustrated by Kador Nelson

In dance, sometimes it’s important to blend in with everyone else. Sometimes it’s important to stand out. Has Sassy made the right choices? 32pgs

Dancing in the Wings

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, and other Tourist Attractions

By: Lenore Look

Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Alvin is afraid of everything. But in this book, he’s taking his fears to a whole new level. Or should we say, continent? 176pgs

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, and other Tourist Attractions

MTH #18: Buffalo Before Breakfast

By: Mary Pope Osborne

Illustrated by Sal Murdocca

Annie and Jack travel to the American plains, and visit a tribe named Lakota. When they meet up with a herd of bison, will they be safe? 96pgs

MTH #18: Buffalo Before Breakfast

Bud, Not Buddy

By: Christopher Paul Curtis

In 1936 Flint, Michigan, life is hard for motherless Bud Caldwell. His mother never told him who his father was, but she left a few clues. Once Bud begins his search for his father, nothing can stop him. 288pgs

Bud, Not Buddy

Who Was Harriet Tubman?

By: Yona Zeldis McDonough

Illustrated by Nancy Harrison

Harriet was born a slave, but grew into a brave and daring young woman. She was brave enough to escape from slavery and daring enough to help others escape, too. 112pgs

Who Was Harriet Tubman?

Who Was Sacagawea?

By: Judith Bloom Fradin, Dennis Brindell Fradin

Illustrated by Val Paul Taylor

Sacagawea is best known for helping the Lewis and Clark expedition map the Louisiana Territory and find a passage to the Pacific Ocean. But she was so much more! Read all about her amazing trip!

112pgs

Who Was Sacagawea?


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | June 19, 2020

Let children create their own personal reading nook to foster a life-long love of reading

There is nothing better than seeing children’s imaginations come to life while they are reading!

The benefits of reading at a young age are endless. For example, reading enhances vocabulary, reduces stress, empowers empathy, and develops creativity and imagination.

By letting your children create their own special reading nook, you are empowering them to foster a love of reading. With a reading nook, you and your children can create a spot specifically for reading, where their imaginations can flow, and they can enjoy their own space and quiet time.

The reading nook can be as simple or intricate as they choose, but there are a few essential qualities to consider when creating the perfect space.

Quiet and Well-Lit

Well-Stocked

A Reflection of Them

By creating a cozy little spot that is all their own, you have given your kids the perfect opportunity to fall in love with books. They will be lost in their imaginations and reading cover to cover in no time!


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | June 12, 2020

A vacation and a good book – name a more iconic duo! Books can go anywhere you go and can take you to more places than you could imagine!

Reading is essential to us here at Kids Read Now. Reading awakens children’s minds, sparks creativity, and provides an escape to another world, full of imagination!

As you begin packing for your next vacation, encourage your kids to pick out a few books to take with them. Empower them by giving them the option of choosing which books to take along. Choice goes a long way to creating an independent and encouraged reader!

In fact, many studies show when children self-select titles, they are more likely to read, comprehend, and enjoy the book.

Tips for reading on vacation with your child

Books can go anywhere you go: road trips, camping adventures, beach lazy days, mountain getaways, or even a staycation in your backyard. They never need batteries or a charger, and they are a great way to reduce stress, relax, and keep your mind active.

During our summer program, every book includes a Discovery Sheet on the inside of the front cover that encourages children to relate the book to other books, to themselves, and to the world around them. Families can easily replicate the same process on their own and join in on the fun with their books.

Here are a few tips for encouraging reading on vacation:

Vacations are a temporary escape from reality; a time to relax and let your mind wander – just like books. They should be enjoyed and revisited whenever possible. As you prepare for your next adventure, remember to add a few good books to your list, too.


By Leib Lurie | Categories Blog | Educators | Parents | Results | June 12, 2020

Dear Educators, Parents and Partners,

Racial injustice has plagued our country for centuries, and despite progress in many sectors, people of color are still overwhelmingly likely to be subject to tragic police brutality and fatal incidents. The sad incidents of the past few weeks, exacerbated by those who fan the fires of hatred and racial inequities will leave another layer of scars on all our children.

Black and Brown people in our nation are far more likely to be infected and die from the novel Corona Pandemic. The massive layoffs drag down a high percentage of Black and Brown families already struggling behind white neighbors.

The extended school shutdowns will leave children of color even further behind their peers, and more likely to be home without adequate supervision; much less access to high speed internet and full screen devices essential to leaning during this unprecedented crisis. These same children live in the scrublands of book deserts during the best of times. With summer schools and community programs cancelled or curtailed; the inequities grow starker every day.

The indisputable fact is that bias and systemic oppression of marginalized communities are deeply intertwined with many aspects of our culture and society. This is just one more form of intolerable racism that we all must work to recognize and overcome

We at Kids Read Now believe it is critical for the future of our country that we collectively and proactively engage in the difficult conversations to define equity and take action to create a more equitable system.

When I was younger, belligerent neighbors vandalized our home and a week later I was screaming in terror in the Audubon ballroom when Malcolm X was assassinated. A few years later, I was tear gassed in Washington at a peaceful demonstration that turned ugly with aggressive police presence. Sadly, this year feels like the 1960’s all over again.

We can, we will, we MUST do better.

Speaking up for the oppressed, working for justice, helping the disadvantaged is what we all need to do. Today more than ever.

Mailing 350,000 books to families over this extended summer is one way we strive for equitable home-learning, and assuring we deliver books to boost literacy, delivered to homes, overcoming the Covid quarantine measures.

We appreciate that our community of partners, educators and parents are committed to making a real difference.

My hope is that, together, we can help, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “bend the arc of history toward justice.”

Looking forward,


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | April 20, 2020

Claire Kliss believes that getting students excited about reading requires a commitment to building (and feeding) a community. In Language Magazine’s April 2020 article, Building a Community of Year-Round Readers, she discusses how she’s making a difference in her district.

Read the article here