Patch, AOL’s local news platform, and James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead recently partnered to reach parents with the message that they should urge their students to read more over the summer with a new summer list, “Patch and James Patterson’s/ReadKiddoRead’s Summer Reading List.” Lauren Wohl, the Program Director at ReadKiddoRead joins us today to tell us more about the importance of summer reading.

SC: Why is continued learning throughout the summer important for students?

LW: The facts are that kids lose one to three months of reading achievement over the summer if they don’t read. Over the years, this can add up to putting your child as much of two years behind in school. The way to stop this “summer slide” is easy: make sure your children read four to six books during the summer vacation. It’s your job as parents.

The best part of it is, you’ll be adding to your child’s enjoyment with every book. Think back to those books you recall from your own summer reading: the nights when your mom and dad let you stay up later so you could finish that novel; the passing around of a favorite with your friends; the rainy, lazy days, when all you did was sip cold drinks and read, read, read. Give those experiences to your children, and not only won’t they lose skills, they’ll build a love of books that will last their lifetime.

SC: What makes the James Patterson’s ReadKiddoRead’s Summer Reading List different from others?

LW: Simple. Every book on the list was chosen because of its proven kid-appeal. These are books kids love – books kids want to tell their friends about – books they want more of. Beyond that, they are books every parent can feel comfortable giving to their child; they tell great stories, feature relatable characters, have authentic information, and offer fine writing and illustration.

SC: How do you hope the summer reading list will reduce summer “brain drain?”

LW: It isn’t easy to walk into a bookstore and find the right books for your child. So many choices! We’re hoping that with Patch.com’s broad reach to families and communities, our summer reading list will make finding a book that match a child’s abilities and passions a lot easier!

SC: What role do parents play in summer learning?

LW: Summertime is step-up time for parents. Teachers are not making demands on children’s time. So parents can set up the rules. Give your child a pass on summer chores if he’ll read for a half-hour every day instead. Move bedtime ahead, if she’ll read during that extra half-hour. Make time every day to read a book together. Talk about the books everyone in the family is reading around the dinner table, and listen intently as your child describes his book. Ask questions what do you like about that book? That will help you guide him to another when he’s finished this one.

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