By Rachel Benedict | Categories Blog | 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!

By Rachel Benedict

Rachel has always been a reader – in fact, her first job was in a library! Growing up surrounded by books ignited her passion for literacy and her history volunteering with Special Olympics Indiana and local community organizations solidified her need to improve communities, especially for kids. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her bachelor’s in Homeland Security and Emergency Management in 2014, and her Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Community Development in 2017. She joined the Kids Read Now team in 2018 and manages our social media, Latest in Literacy blog, and helps involve communities in their schools’ reading initiatives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, tending to her garden, chilling with her chickens, working out, playing piano, coaching baseball, and reading.


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