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December 4, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Guest: How a summer club got Seattle kids and parents reading together

reading thermometer dayna provitt

A reading thermometer the Summer Reading Club created to track student progress (Photo by Dayna Provitt)

Something magical happens when a child reads out loud, to an adult or around his or her peers. There’s a sparkle, a pride, a joy. Many parents haven’t experienced this, and we all absolutely need to.

This is the thought that kept me up late one night in May last year. I was thinking about some of the children in my first-grader’s class, the emerging readers whom I worked with weekly.

Could I impact their reading this summer, even though I don’t have a connection with their parents? Many work full time and can’t go to school functions. How can I share this experience with them? I had seen their kids grow so much this year. Many now read with confidence, and I was rewarded with lovely, toothy (and toothless) grins. Yet summer was coming, and their days may not include such joyful reading and proud smiles. Could I change that?

Thus the Summer Reading Club was born.

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