By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | October 21, 2020

Do you think you know what kind of reader you are? We are certain your personality and reading style go hand in hand!

This ten-question quiz will score your answer and name you a Weekend Warrior, An Intellectual, A Book Juggler, a Re-Reader, or a Series Lover.

 

Take the Quiz

 

  1. You have an hour to spend at the bookstore, where do you start?

a. Adventure
b. History
c. Browse all of the genres
d. In the middle of all my favorites

 

  1. Choose the word that best connects to you or describes you the best.

a. Fast
b. Curious, always learning
c. Energetic
d. Detail-oriented

 

  1. You have to read one book from cover to cover, today. Which will it be?

a. A fun, uplifting title
b. Tale of Two Cities
c. I have to choose one?
d. A classic I’ve read at least 10 times

 

  1. What’s your favorite kind of book?

a. A quick and easy title
b. One that’s entertaining and enlightening
c. One that keeps me sucked in
d. An easy one to read over and over again

 

  1. Which would you like to do at recess?

a. Get ahead on reading my new book
b. Dive into learning something new from a challenging title
c. Run around to burn off all of the extra energy
d. Discuss what I’ve discovered in my most recent book re-read

 

  1. What do you look for when choosing a book?

a. A page-turner that keeps me interested
b. A challenge and something to learn from
c. A book that keeps my attention
d. One that begs to take me back again and again

 

  1. How many classics have you read?

a. All of them – usually in one sitting
b. Too many to count
c. I’m in between many
d. Many of them are still on repeat

 

  1. What your favorite way to read a book?

a. Old-fashioned book
b. Audiobook
c. E-reader, so I can take all the books wherever I go
d. All of the above

 

  1. Your favorite author comes out with a new book, you:

a. Run to the bookstore and never put the book down until you are done
b. Brew a cup of tea and dive in
c. I don’t have a favorite author. I love all of them!
d. Race to the bookstore

 

  1. What’s your bookmark of choice?

a. What bookmark? I never put a book down long enough to mark a page.
b. An old tattered bookmark that’s seen as many books as you!
c. I have many
d. Anything from my favorite series

 

Results:

 

A Weekend Warrior

If you answered mostly “A”, you are a Weekend Warrior! Those big chapter books are no match for your weekend binge sesh. You enjoy diving in and not coming up for air until the very last word! Extra challenging chapter books are your jam!

 

An Intellectual

If you answered mostly “B”, you are an Intellectual Reader! You enjoy pushing yourself to learn about literature, history, poetry, science, and more. You stretch your imagination and reading comprehension skills and can’t wait to share what you’ve learned with your fellow intellectuals.

 

A Book Juggler

If you answered mostly “C”, you are a Book Juggler! There are stacks of books on your nightstand ranging across all different genres – everything from adventures to history. You never can make up your mind about which to pick up or put down, so you taste test all of them!

 

A Series Lover

If you answered mostly “D”, you are a Series Lover! The continuation of stories keeps you sucked in and dying for more. The only thing you don’t like about books is having to wait for the next book in the series to be released!

 

A Re-Reader

If you answered a mix of all choices, you are a Re-Reader. You love all kinds of books and keep them on a steady rotation. You find books relatable and comfortable, and some of your best friends reside in the book universe!

 


By Leib Lurie | Categories Blog | October 16, 2020

We call it the “achievement gap” – but isn’t it really an opportunity gap? A closer look at socioeconomic reading disparities — and how we can help your child to close the gap

opportunity gap
A gap of .8 means a testing gap of 3 years

For decades, efforts to reduce the racial divide on test scores has relied on federal funding to supplement efforts to boost scores among minority students, and this has seen results.

However, regardless of race, the fact is that rich and poor Americans are living, learning, and raising children in increasingly separate and unequal worlds. The income gap is huge, has not narrowed in 50 years, and leads to a large gap in test scores. For high school children, this gap averages four years between students from the highest 10% and lowest 10% income levels.

The gap starts in kindergarten and continues to widen through the eighth grade. Generally called the achievement gap, it is really an OPPORTUNITY GAP.

Students in poverty generally have fewer opportunities to succeed. They are less likely to have two parents at home; their parents are less likely to have a higher education. Children living in poverty generally attend schools with less experienced teachers, are less likely to have books in the home, and are more likely to have food insecurity and home life disruptions. Every one of these opportunity gaps have been shown to hurt learning progress and outcomes.

Two other situations slow down learning progress.

Ubiquitous learning loss experienced by low-income students over the summer

Recent analysis of reading tests given to most low-income students finds that learning loss over the summer varies dramatically. Our experience at Kids Read Now confirms this. Kids, regardless of race, income, or English language proficiency at home, can and do achieve markedly higher learning gains over the summer when parents are engaged, ensure kids read the books that they choose and we provide, and set time to discuss those books.

Talking about books, using the Discovery Sheets inside every book we mail boosts skills significantly. Each Discovery Sheet has questions and activities specifically written for the book. They ask kids to compare what they read with other knowledge they have and different characters they know (text-to-text and text-to-world), to discuss their feelings and experiences (text-to-self), and to go beyond the covers to write and draw stories that spring from the book to the world beyond (imagination/creativity).

Independent research shows that for less than 10 cents a day, kids in our program increase reading scores by 1-2 months over summer. The COVID-19 extended out-of-school time and difficulties with remote learning make this type of mailed reading intervention even more critical.

Rapidly growing dependency on screen time replacing reading time

Tweens spend 5-6 hours a day on screens and teens 7 hours or more on screens. We endorse a simple helper here: #ClickCaptionsON! is a great way for students in 4th grade and beyond to continue reading via captions while absorbing screen content. A dozen studies have shown this will build their reading abilities. Watching a show with captions on for just 30 minutes is the equivalent of reading 30 pages of a 5th grade book.

Closing the opportunity gap begins by having schools using parents as viable, valuable learning resources. Building and focusing on parental engagement processes are proven to work. These “parent training interventions” cost far less than traditional intervention programs that have not narrowed the gap in 50 years.

For more information, contact us.


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | October 14, 2020

If you have a young reader in your house, you may have heard different terms like Lexile, Developmental Reading Assessment, Accelerated Reader, and others. These terms and more are used to determine the reading levels of books.

 

But what exactly do they mean? How do we know that if a child can read a book on one level they can also independently tackle another level? The different reading levels can quickly become overwhelming, but don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

 

Generally, teachers will perform several reading assessments with students over the course of the school year. These assessments determine their reading level which will help guide their choices when selecting books.

 

Typically, these reading levels are also used to categorize books in school libraries; therefore, the child can easily select books for themselves from that particular section. It’s important to understand that these assessments aren’t meant to restrict your child, but to determine the best way to help them progress as a reader.

 

Always encourage your child to read books on their level and to try more advanced titles. Stretching their comprehension skills will help them progress through the different levels.

 

There are a number of different ways that books are assessed. Here are some of the most popular methods and their explanations.

Common Reading Level Assessments

Accelerated Reader (AR) ATOS Level: AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage a student’s independent reading practice. The child picks a book read at their own pace. When finished reading, the student takes a comprehension quiz on the computer and receives points and feedback based on the quiz results.

 

Children select their own books to read instead of having one assigned to them, which gives them a sense of control and makes reading a more enjoyable experience.

 

F&P Text Level Gradient: Fountas and Pinnell Reading Levels are not solely based on the child’s skill levels. Instead, books are classified according to various factors such as word count, number of different words, high-frequency words, sentence length and complexity, word repetitions, illustration support, etc.

 

While students tend to have a wide range of reading comprehension skills at a young age, each reading level is associated with the school grade level in which the child belongs.

 

For example, kindergarten students read books on the A, B, C, or D levels; first-grade students read on E-J levels, and so on.

 

Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA): With DRA, each student’s reading level is based on an evaluation of three components: reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension.

 

The assessment is a combination of oral retelling, written comprehension responses, and overall student engagement. Once complete, teachers use the DRA Continuum to assess each student and select learning activities according to their skill set.

 

The Lexile Framework: The Lexile Framework is a popular system used to measure a student’s reading ability and level books on text complexity. When measuring both of these components, educators can “forecast” the success the reader will have with that book.

 

Even across the different level assessments, it’s important to note these indicators are meant to help your child – not restrict them. If you have any questions about how your child’s reading levels can be improved or wish to learn more about our program, reach out to us at info@kidsreadnow.org.

 


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | October 2, 2020

At a time when most of our communications are reliant on and provided by technology, we like to give Kids Read Now kids something different to look forward to – mail.

Technology can provide us with a sense of instant gratification, so have we forgotten that the anticipation can be fun as well? Sometimes jokingly referred to as “snail mail”, receiving mail is one of the greatest surprises, especially for kids. Since all our books are delivered via the United States Postal Service, we like to think we add an element of surprise to kids’ lives, especially when they know a brand new book is on the way!

5 Reasons a KRN Book Delivery is the Best Snail Mail

1. It’s personal. Kids love knowing something is coming just for them. As a personal and authentic touch, all KRN books are addressed with the student’s name which makes kids feel important and encourages ownership at a young age.

2. They wait for it. Especially now, with a limited amount of outside entertainment, our students wait with tremendous anticipation to receive their next set of books.

3. It’s a learning experience. Kids select the books they’d like to receive and have so much fun getting them in the mail, they may not realize they are learning and enhancing critical and creative thinking skills.

4. They can travel anywhere. These books let them sail the oceans, hike across the country, discover new friendships, and open their imaginations. KRN books are the perfect way to travel to another place, even if you have to stay where you are!

5. It’s safe and convenient. There’s no need for parents to schedule specific time to visit a bookstore or library. All KRN book deliveries are contact-less and delivered by the postal service, so you never have to leave your home!

For more information on our programs, contact us today.


By KRN Admin | Categories Blog | September 28, 2020

It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a summer and Kids Read Now students across the country are returning to school, either in classrooms or remotely. If there is one thing we know for sure about our students, it’s that they pick some pretty amazing books to read over the summer!

Here are the most requested titles of 2020:

  1. National Geographic Kids: Jump, Pup! By: Susan B. Neuman

Do you like dogs? Then, I bet you love puppies! What do they do all day? Tag along on an adventure to meet new friends and see amazing sites. 24pgs

AR: 0.5 | Lexile: 130L | F&P: E

 

 

 

 

  1. My Friend is Sad By: Mo Willems Illustrated by Mo Willems

Gerald is sad. Piggie tries to cheer him up.

Will it work? A sweet read about two friends who stick together. Gerlad the Elephant is down in the dumps and his best friend Piggie is determined to cheer him up.

64pgs

AR: 0.7 | Lexile: 220L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt By: Ben Clanton

Illustrated by Ben Clanton

Narwhal and Jelly unleash their inner superheros in this new book! They learn to use their inner powers and discover the joy of friendship in three new stories. Join them in their adventures!

64pgs

AR: 2.6 | Lexile: GN510L | F&P: N

 

 

 

  1. The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto By: Natalie Standiford

Illustrated by Donald Cook

The children of Nome, Alaska are very sick and need medicine. Balto goes to the rescue with a sled dog team to save the children on this grand adventure!

48pgs

AR: 2.5 | Lexile: 510L | F&P: L

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Tigers By: Laura Marsh

What is the biggest cat in the world? A tiger, indeed! These giant jungle cats are beautiful, strong, and powerful predators. Learn more about this endangered species.

32pgs

AR: 3.3 | Lexile: 550L | F&P: K

 

 

 

  1. Big Shark, Little Shark By: Anna Membrino Illustrated by Tim Budgen

A great lesson about apologizing and including others in this funny, light-hearted story. 32pgs

AR: 0.9 | Lexile: 150L | F&P: F

 

 

 

 

  1. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish By: Dr. Seuss

Illustrated by Dr. Seuss

A Dr. Seuss classic! Follow your beginning reader on all the funny, rhyme-worthy adventures! “From near to far, from here to there, funny things are everywhere.” You will love Dr. Seuss’s funny creatures and clever rhymes. 72pgs

AR: 1.7 | Lexile: 270L | F&P: L

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Storms By: Miriam Busch Goin

Storms are scary, but it’s fun to learn what’s going on when Mother Nature strikes! Learn the facts about tornadoes, lightning, thunder, monsoons, hurricanes, and more!

32pgs

AR: 2.7 | Lexile: 500L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. Pete the Cat’s Train Trip By: James Dean

Illustrated by James Dean

Pete the Cat takes an adventure on a train and gets to see the engine and honk the horn!

Take his groovy trip with him!

32pgs

AR: 1.7 | Lexile: AD460L | F&P: –

 

 

 

  1. National Geographic Kids: Swing, Sloth! By: Susan B. Neuman

Come meet the all the creatures that make their home in the rainforest! Simple and lively text make this an easy read for those just beginning with books.

24pgs

AR: – | Lexile: 100L | F&P: –


By Leib Lurie | Categories Blog | September 9, 2020

When a family clicks the CC button on their TV’s remote control, or clicks the CC option on YouTube, or video games like Fortnite, the text that appears on the screen is synchronized with the script and the on-screen action. This shows captions, or subtitles at the same speed as those on screen are speaking. Captions display only a few words at a time to better link the words spoken with the text displayed.

Watching screens with Captions ON triggers the mind to go from BI-MODAL (sound and action) into TRI-MODAL mode, where part of the brain is reading the text, part of the brain is registering the word sounds, and also registering the visual action. Camera studies show that the eye jumps back and forth between the visual and the on-screen captions.

This is the same process young readers use when a parent or teacher reads a book out loud, while showing the pictures and pointing to the words. This proven pedagogical process exposes children to text within context, in visual and auditory modes, combined with the visual action on screen. Captions do the same thing – with the huge number of channels and content for every age.

How has Caption.Cool calculated that 30 pages of screen time with Captions ON Is the equivalent of reading 30 pages of book?

First, we looked at how fast typical actors on TV shows speak, which is typically about 4-5 syllables per second, or 150 words per minute.

https://wordcounter.net/blog/2016/06/02/101702_how-fast-average-person-speaks.html

Then we looked at reading speeds or how fast children read. By the beginning of fourth grade, students should be reading close to Caption speed, and catch most words on shows broadcast at 150 words per minute. This speed increases each year to the adult typical speed of 250 words per minute, and speeds up more as students spend more screen time with Captions ON

https://www.readinga-z.com/fluency/fluency-standards-table/

Then we looked at how many words are on a page in great books students read. This web site has the calculations for thousands of titles…

When using this web site, set the reading speed to 150, and enter a book title.

https://www.readinglength.com/book/isbn-0142410381

For a great book like THE BFG, which has 38,425 words, a child would read that many words on screen in just over 4 hours of screen time.

 

By Leib Lurie, Co-Founder, Caption.Cool


By Leib Lurie | Categories Blog | September 4, 2020

Every book we mail home has a book-specific “Discovery Sheet” on the inside front cover.

PARENT TIP: For books you get from other places, you can help build reading skills by making up questions or activities like these and talk about EVERY BOOK when your child finishes reading it.

It has room for your child to write in his/her name as the proud owner of the book. Pride in book ownership is a crucial first step on the path to loving reading.

Each sticker has four activities that will help your child better understand the book and improves their reading comprehension. These are written at the reading level of the book, so kids can read them easily. Some questions suggest working on an activity and/or discussing with a parent. Questions in Read-To-Me books are designed to be done with a parent. Most can be answered by talking about them or drawing a picture. Upper-level books have fun or challenging activities that match what is being taught in class to become a stronger reader.

Typically, each sheet includes the following four categories which work together to help a child better understand the book. To think how it fits into what they have read elsewhere, already know about themselves, compare with other books or shows, and use their imagination or creativity. For example:

Text to Self:

Text-to-self connections are highly personal connections that a student makes between parts of this book and their own experiences or life. For example, “What are some of the ways these animals take care of their babies, and how is this like how your mom takes care of you?

Text to Text:

Sometimes students are reminded of other things that they have read; other books by the same author, stories from a similar genre, or perhaps on the same topic. For example, “Pick two animals in this book. How do they take care of their babies? How are they the same? Or, different?

Text to World:

Text-to-world connections are the larger connections that a student brings to this book. We learn about things through school, teachers, parents, television and videos. For example, “What would happen to most of these animals if their parents did not take care of them?” or “Have you seen a program on television that talked about animal babies? How was it the same or different from this book?” Keep asking your child to talk more about it. The more they talk about what they have seen, the more they will learn and internalize it.

Creativity / Imagination:

This activity might ask your child to do something creative, such as draw a picture, draft a letter to the author, or imagine what might happen in a sequel to this book.

Always encourage longer explanations:

Brainstorm with them! Look up new facts, make up a play, or perform a puppet show about the story.

Ask your child to use new words they may have learned in this book.

Talking more about books helps make children better readers!

ELL FAMILIES

The Kids Read Now app (iOS | Android) helps foreign language-speaking parents better help their children. The Discovery Sheet activities can be viewed in over 150 languages.

Click here for a sample Discovery Sheet


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.