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Summer Reading

Beat the Summer Slide

Summer slide isn’t a piece of playground equipment — it’s the tendency for students to lose some of the progress they’ve made during the academic year. But there are ways to keep your students’ skills sharp and have fun all summer long.

Resources and great reading ideas for all ages:

  • Read aloud together with your student every day, at every age! Find a fun location with a comfy spot and share stories together.
  • Let your student choose what they want to read, and form book clubs with their friends.
  • Pick up some great magazines to enjoy in the car, at the pool, or under a tree! Magazines are gateways to other reading, and foster visual literacy.
  • Pick out some special books to read over the course of the summer with your student. Try to incorporate some fun activities (make a recipe that was mentioned in the book, or visit a location that was referenced in the story) as this will really round things out and make it a reading experience! Keep it light and fun.
  • Before vacationing, get books about your destination. Planning a trip to the Outer Banks? Visit your library to get nonfiction books about lighthouses! See if there are any fiction books available that incorporate lighthouses. Read and discuss these books on the way there, and visit an actual lighthouse or two! Visit some historic sites and collect the pamphlets and flyers from each destination. Create a binder of all the neat things you learned over the summer. Your school and public librarians are wonderful resources to help you make these connections.
  • Check out our HCPS Libraries site for information and resources and follow us on Twitter (@hcpslib) for great opportunities all summer long.
  • Road-tripping this summer? Why not check out an audiobook and listen as a family? Audiobooks can be great resources to enrich vocabulary and enhance auditory skills. Audiobook titles (including lots of titles available on apps for mobile devices) are available for loan through Henrico County Public Library with a free HCPL library card.
  • Opt outside. Bring your book, read on your device, or download an audiobook and enjoy on a walk, a jog or a hike!  
  • Try muting the volume on your TV and turning on the closed-captioning feature so students can read what’s being said, instead of hearing it. You can also try this while leaving the volume on.
  • Check out cookbooks and try some new recipes this summer.
  • Have a read-in with friends! Buddies can all check out a book (either the same one or different selections), choose a hangout spot and bring their books. Designate someone to create a music playlist to enjoy while you all get your read on.
  • Have your student ask a family member about their favorite stories. Check them out from the library and see if they like these books too.
  • Form a writing club! Friends can choose a topic and send each other short stories, poems or texts throughout the summer.
  • Check out some great graphic novels, then fold and staple blank paper into a “book” and let your students create their own.
  • Remember, if you want your student to read, give them ample opportunity to see YOU reading, too. Find a special summer reading spot – a sunny spot under a tree, a cozy corner in your room, a nice chair at your favorite coffee shop, or a great nook at your local public library – and read uninterrupted!   
  • Explore the beautiful Henrico County Public Library locations! Each local library has dedicated spaces and programming for children and teens. Go on a tour and see which spaces are your favorite. Be sure to check out their great programs, activities and events. Your school librarian will be working with our public libraries to share summer reading activities, assignments, lists and opportunities with all students.
  • Don’t forget to check out Henrico County Public Library’s summer reading program! 
  • Spend some time outside this month. Henrico County Public Libraries’ nature and birding backpacks (created by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation) are great for exploring your neighborhood, a Henrico County park, or a Virginia State Park. Each kit comes with everything you need to spend an afternoon (or a whole weekend) learning about the ecosystems in our community.
  • Start a new hobby! Look in the crafting/gaming/building section in your public library and explore the possibilities.
  • In love with a book, a character or a genre? You can find something similar using HCPL’s “My Next Read” service: