What family doesn’t relish the first days of summer vacation? The whirlwind of running to school and activities is over – the lazy days of summer stretch ahead.
Summer is a great time for families to recharge their batteries, to enjoy the freedom of camp, vacation and hanging out. It’s also a good time to enjoy reading together, not only for the pleasure of what a good book offers, but to prevent “summer slide. Did you know that kids who don’t read over the summer can actually lose up to two months of learning?
So how do you encourage youngsters to pick up a good book? Why not entice with activities that reinforce the messaging in books? Read about Jewish baseball great Sandy Koufax; then attend a baseball game. Share a story about mitzvot, then talk about and perform mitzvot at home. Learn about Emma Lazerus, the author of the poem on the Statue of Liberty and visit the Statue with your family.
Reading programs at local libraries and bookstores encourage reading, offering prizes when children reach milestones. This year, the Macks Center for Jewish Education (CJE) has implemented a reading program for six to 12 year olds. Read books by Jewish authors for prizes, including the chance to win a grand prize of $150.
Check out these summer suggestions from Rebecca Levitan, Macks CJE librarian, and PJ Library:
- Don’t Sneeze at the Wedding by Pamela Mayer – June is wedding season and who doesn’t love a wedding? Anna tries everything not to sneeze at her aunt’s wedding, but does it work?
- It’s a–It’s a–It’s a Mitzvah! by Diane Heiman – It’s full of fun animals doing all sorts of helpful mitzvot.
- The Key to My Heart by Nira Harel is an easygoing story of a dad and his son and their day out. Kids will easily identify with Jonathan playing on the playground with his dad, or the anxiety he feels about his haircut.
- Sami’s Sleepwaway Summer by Jenny Meyerhoff is a great introduction to sleepaway camp. Sami’s not sure if she’s going to like Camp Cedar Lake, it’s scary to be away from home! Will it be a summer to remember?
- You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?! by Jonah Winter is a wonderful read about Jewish baseball great Sandy Koufax.
- Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser. Read about Emma Lazarus who wrote the famous poem to raise money for the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.
Learn more about PJ Library.