By Rachel Benedict | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Curriculum | K-5 Literacy | Reading Instruction | Results | Summer Reading | November 20, 2020

Empowering kids to make their own choices

Being a kid can be rough sometimes. Sure, as adults we look back at all the snack times recesses and naptimes that we took for granted, but kids oftentimes don’t have much of a voice when it comes to curricula, learning plans, and homework. Ask just about any kid and recess = YAY!, and homework = BOO!

So how can we merge something fun with something structured? What is the bottom line and why does it matter?

We can start by treating kids as individuals and genuinely hearing what they find appealing.

No two kids are alike, and the same is true about books! Books can lead a journey to nearly any destination. A talking cat? Time travel? True stories? Uncontrollable giggle-fits? Mind-blowing facts? They’re all in books. Kids want to open a book and see themselves in the pages and to read stories about kids just like themselves. Acknowledging children’s individualism is just one step to ensure reading is fun and is not viewed as a chore. Celebrate your children’s reading choices from monster trucks, to pretty princesses, to wild animals, to spooky mysteries. Give kids a voice by simply listening to and supporting their book choices!

We can empower children to make choices.

Giving kids the ability to choose is an enormous, empowering gift that can help them feel heard, seen, and appreciated. As adults, we may rely on best-selling lists, recommendations from friends and family, or a book club to influence our book selections. Kids, on the other hand, can find that choosing their own book to be exciting! A good example of this would be to take kids to the library or a bookstore and let them browse for a while. Let them choose books with interesting titles or silly, colorful covers. Give children options when it comes to where and when they would like to read.

Partner with Kids Read Now for a groundbreaking, in-home reading program.

Kids Read Now offers student choice during our comprehensive summer reading program. All students get to choose 8 books from our Wish List of more than 100 titles. Kids get to choose from a variety of fiction, nonfiction, bilingual, multicultural, multiethnic, series, and award-winning books that are easily color-coded by reading level. We have also found that students who choose their books are much more likely to read them! In fact, Kids Read Now students across the country reported reading more than 145,000 books during the 2020 summer reading program! If you have any questions about student choice or the Kids Read Now in-home reading programs, contact us today!

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By Rachel Benedict | Categories All | Choices | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | K-5 Literacy | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | Summer Reading | November 6, 2020

Finding your children’s perfect reading range may seem like a daunting task at first. On one hand you want to challenge them but on the other, you don’t want them to get discouraged. So how do you find that fine line where reading is both fun and beneficial? Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

What Books Do Children Choose?

It’s not uncommon to assume most children read at grade level; however, here at Kids Read Now we have found that many students select books from outside their grade level. According to our 2020 book selection, 53.5% of all books selected were of reading levels outside a student’s grade level. Just because a student is in a specific grade doesn’t mean that he or she will enjoy or benefit from reading books specifically for that grade!

The Five Finger Rule

An easy way to judge if a book is in your child’s “just right” range at home is the Five Finger Rule. Let your child pick any book and open the book to any page. Put up one finger for each word your child is unsure of or doesn’t know.

If books are “Too Easy”, children may get easily distracted or bored. If books are “Too Hard”, children may feel discouraged and frustrated. Try to find books in their “Just Right” range and encourage them to read and ask questions about words they may not know. Also, consider reading “Too Hard” books together so you can discuss difficult words or passages.

Finding the Right Books with the Right Program

Kids Read Now has a wide variety of books that students can choose based on their “just right” reading range and individual interests. Each year our Wish List includes multicultural, bilingual, series, fiction, nonfiction, multiethnic, and award-winning books sure to spark creativity and a love of reading in all K-3 students. Contact us if you have any questions about finding your child’s “Just Right” reading range or for more information on our proven, in-home reading program.

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By Leib Lurie | Categories All | Challenges | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Classroom | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | Listening | Opportunity Gap | Parents | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | Social Emotional Learning | Summer Reading | 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

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Family | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | Opportunity Gap | Parents | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | Summer Reading | 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!

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By KRN Admin | Categories All | Choices | Critical Thinking | Curriculum | Early Education | Engagement - Community | K-5 Literacy | Reading Instruction | Results | 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

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By Christina Brownlee | Categories All | Challenges | Choices | Curriculum | Early Education | Educators | Engagement - Community | Engagement - Family | Equity | K-5 Literacy | Learning Loss | News | Opportunity Gap | Reading | Reading Instruction | Results | March 23, 2020

by: Aliah Williamson, WDTN NEWS

Link to the original post

TROY, Ohio (WDTN) – Every summer since 2012, the Kids Read Now organization sends books to 130 different school districts to combat “summer slide” or learning loss.

This year, as the coronavirus shut down could potentially keep kids out of school for at least 5 months, there are tens of thousands of students facing new challenges.

Leib Lurie, the founder of Kids Read Now based in Troy, says economically disadvantaged students are more vulnerable when it comes to learning loss especially during the shutdown.

“Just over half of poor households have no highspeed internet connection and only 30 [to] 40 percent only have a phone,” said Lurie. “We have a lot of parents struggling just to keep their kids fed…”

In response, the nonprofit is ramping up its program early for “Spring Fling.” Schools can enroll in the program and help their students pick a wishlist of books for the summer.

The books each come with Discovery Sheets to help students with reading comprehension. When a student is finished with a book, they text a code to a number and the next book in the queue is sent.

Lurie says more than 10,000 students are already signed up.

“We’re going to ship probably close to 600,000 books in the next eight or ten-weeks. Typically nine books reduce the summer reading slide by 27 days or 2 1/2 months of school days. Six hundred thousand books are going to get a lot of kids doing a whole lot of reading,” said Lurie.

Sending books on such a large scale does come at a cost, but it’s a price that Lurie is prepared to pay to see students succeed.

“Our mission is to improve literacy outcomes for children. So if we have to put another $1 million of cost into this to keep it going we’re going to do that,” said Lurie.

Kids Read Now is looking for volunteers as well as donations to keep their program afloat.

For more information on how you could help out click here.

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