BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — 23ABC is participating in Disney’s Magic of Storytelling campaign with the Kern Literacy Council to give children new books, but summer is quickly approaching and kids might not want to read when they're not in school.
"Reading is kind of the secret sauce, we think, to avoiding the summer learning loss," said Kern Literacy Council executive director Laura Lollar Wolfe.
Wolfe said learning loss during summer breaks is a real concern, especially this year with the pandemic.
“We are just really thinking that that’s going to be hyper-extended after having the kids having been [on] online learning all this time," she said.
Wolfe said reading is a great way to counteract learning loss.
“Have books in the home that are the kids’ very own. So at any random time, they could just say, 'You know, I’m tired of my device,' or 'It’s too hot to play outside. Let me go grab a book,'" she said.
But not all kids necessarily want to read during their summer break. Wolfe said letting them pick books they’re genuinely interested in can help.
“Once they get a little older, maybe third grade and above, then you maybe want to worry about the content somewhat, but again, if they’re interested in it, they’ll read it," she said.
And it’s okay to get strict if necessary.
“At some point, you do have to say, ‘You need to read. You need to take at least fifteen minutes a day and read,'" said Wolfe.
If parents are struggling, incentives also help.
“The library has reading programs and a lot of theirs [are] online so you can go in and you can just put on the computer what you read, and then you get stickers and different things," said Wofle. "I think sometimes you’re eligible for prizes, but the parents might take that and also reward the kids with just ice cream or something.”
And the Kern Literacy council has reading diaries. You can call them at 661-324-3213 to get one for your child.