A 2005 Scholastic study discovered that kids are more successful in school if they believe they are good readers and they read for fun. Typically, kids stop reading for fun around the age of nine. In order to combat this problem, I set up a book club in my local elementary school and created book kits (each containing discussion questions, ideas for activities related to the book, recipes the kids can take home, and information about the author).
Promoting literacy among elementary students is an important issue to me. I believe you can improve literacy among children and establish a parent-child bond by starting and developing a book club that will keep kids reading for fun while they develop many other helpful skills.
From my own experience, I know that reading when you are young is very important to your success. When I was in fourth grade, my mom asked if I wanted to be in a book club with her and other mother-daughter pairs. As a nine year old, it sounded like fun so I decided to try it out. At the time, I didn’t realize how much that book club would come to affect my views of the world today or how my relationship with my mom would benefit from being in the club.
Looking back, I realize how greatly I have benefited from being in a book club with my mom. In the club, I learned to express myself confidently while still respecting differing opinions, lead a discussion, and appreciate diverse literature genres. Seeing issues from other perspectives helped me have a greater appreciation for wide-ranging views. I improved my public speaking and debating skills and learned how to politely disagree. These are the same benefits I believe both boys and girls can gain when they become part of a reading group.
By starting an elementary school book club, I also wanted to encourage the parents of participants to start a book club with their child. My hope is that this connects people in the community through books and develops a strong tie between parent and child, which is an important connection to maintain, especially once the child becomes a teenager.
I am also happy to let my work benefit other book clubs everywhere. So I’m making the book kits I created available for free. If you want to receive a copy, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a note about which guide you would like, and I’ll send it to you. Here are the titles available:
- The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
- Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
- Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
- The Phantom Toll Booth by Norton Juster
- Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
- Boy by Roald Dahl