To parents of reluctant readers…

Parents today face a lot of pressures.

Make sure your child eats 6-8 fruits or vegetables a day.
Make certain your child gets 8-12 hours of sleep each night.
Limit screen time to 1-2 hours a day.

Easier said than done, right? I get it… I’m a mom too. The same goes for reading. We know our kids benefit from reading, but what can we do if our child hates to read or really struggles with reading?

As a Youth Specialist at KDL, I can assure you that you are not alone. We regularly hear from parents who just don’t know how to get their kids to read.

My best advice is to let your kids read whatever it is they are drawn to. If they love to tell jokes, let them read joke books. If too many words intimidate them, try graphic novels. If your fifth grader wants to check out books that were written for third graders, that’s OK. And if your child wants to read the same book over and over again, encourage them. Any and all reading benefits your child.

I would also invite you to sign your children in grades K-3 up for our Mission: Read program. The mission is to read for 1,000 days. I know 1,000 days sounds like a lot – and it is – but Mission: Read makes it fun and easy! We don’t want to make reading feel like a chore. So, any amount of reading counts…from reading billboards on the way to school or the back of the cereal box in the morning. We want to make reading a habit. Plus, incentives make everything better and this program gives kids a chance to earn prizes along the way, including a book and a tablet reader. Stop by any library in Kent County to get signed up.

Raising children takes a village and we want to be a part of your tribe. We are here to help. Our libraries are a fun and educational place for kids — visit us often. We love to find just the right book for just the right person. And sometimes just one book can spark a lifelong love of reading!

Hope to see you soon.

Hennie, Youth Specialist at the Kentwood Branch