Read to Them offers ideas for summer reading

read to themRead to Them has launched a nationwide reading program designed to help students read together and stay connected over the summer.

Students will read a high quality children’s novel with their families and are invited to participate in a series of online activities and engagements provided by Read to Them on social media. The summer titles are Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin, by Lisa Shurtliff (June); Toys Go Out, by Emily Jenkins (July); and Nim’s Island, by Wendy Orr (August).

“We know how important it is for students to keep reading and build their reading skills over the summer. #OneBookConnects is the perfect way to meet this need. It keeps students engaged, it animates families, and it helps schools stay connected,” says Read to Them’s director of programs, Bruce Coffey.

Read to Them is a Richmond-based non-profit promoting family literacy, with literacy programs that have reached over 2 million families in over 3000 schools in all 50 states.

A growing body of research demonstrates that children who are read to at home become better readers, are more confident in school, and experience greater academic success.

Literacy skills provide the basis for a lifetime of learning and productivity.

“We’re very excited for our books to be part of #OneBookConnects,” says Melanie Nolan, VP & Publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. “Reading together at home is so important, especially now when children are not together in a physical classroom, and we’re so glad to be a part of a program fostering connectedness and a love of reading.”

Read to Them provides a set of engagement packets for each participating school – trivia questions, discussion questions, and activities – to share with their families. Students and individual families can also participate in a wide range of online activities via social media – author videos, daily contest provocations, a weekly blog, chapter readings, and live activities on Instagram and Facebook.

“I’m so happy that EllRay Jakes was one of the books selected for #OneBookConnects,” says Sally Warner, author of the May title, EllRay Jakes is a Rock Star! “Being part of this valuable family literacy program, part of an entire school’s consciousness, and part of individual families’ lives as they read together, especially at this particular time in our lives, is something that means a lot. Keep turning the page, and—read to them!”

Penguin Random House authors enjoy interacting with young readers and are lending their enthusiastic support to #OneBookConnects. Authors are providing tailored welcome videos; reading the first chapter of their respective titles online; and engaging in online interviews with Read to Them staff and social media Q&A sessions with readers.

Warner penned a fulsome blog entry offering five tips on growing up and a suite of advice and suggestions for families dealing with being sequestered.

Shurtliff will be sharing homemade videos making Troll Sludge and performing a Rumplestiltskin Reader’s Theatre with her family.

“Reading together connects us in powerful ways, and the #onebookconnects program makes it all the more enjoyable,” says Shurtliff. “I’m so thrilled for my book Rump to be a part of this wonderful program so we can all read and eat troll sludge together. It’s going to be a blast!”

Read to Them rolled out #OneBookConnects in April, in order to help schools engage with students and families during the COVID-19 sequester. The goal was to provide a fun way to maintain constructive reading habits, without adding to the toll of digital schoolwork.

Schools and families read A Boy Called Bat, by Elana K. Arnold in April, and EllRay Jakes Walks the Plank! in May.

Read to Them plans to continue #OneBookConnects in fall whether schools open or not.

“#OneBookConnects has been a great addition to our programs curriculum,” says an educator from West Texas. “Our students are participating more and really engaging with the story. It is one of the best parts of our day!”


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