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Monfredo: Has Your Child Finished His/Her Summer Reading?

Saturday, August 09, 2014


Literacy is moving forward in this community and this year the “Worcester: the City that Reads” Give a Book Program has given out over 30,000 books to schools, churches, social agencies, and to the city’s Wheels to Water program.  In eight years we have placed over 200.000 books into the community.

Giving a book to a child is the first step, but getting the home to be part of the process is the next big step.  Parents need to set the tone in their home and model reading.  Parents, please take the time to read to your child and have your child read for at least 20 minutes a day.  Many parents did indicate to me that they are nervous about reading to their child.  Some were not successful in school, and some told me that they were not good oral readers.  Well, you’re not alone, for these are some of the reasons many parents don’t read to their child.  So here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Practice makes perfect.  Find a book that you enjoy and practice reading it aloud to yourself until you feel comfortable.
  • Remember that everyone makes mistakes.  It’s not bad to make mistakes, for your child will learn that it’s okay for him to do so and not give up.
  • Get your child to be part of the story. Involve him/her in turning the pages, or reading the next paragraph.  Ask him/her what he/she thinks will happen next in the story.  If there are pictures, ask him/her what they are all about.
  • As you feel more comfortable try changing your voice to show the characters’ feeling – sad, happy or scared.  The changing of the voice can make the story so much more interesting.
  • All types of reading material are a welcome addition to literacy.  Read the comics with your child, poetry and a wide variety of different books.
  • Remember, children can listen and comprehend at a higher level than they can read and comprehend in the early grades.  Reading picture books and chapter books aloud to your child will continue to build vocabulary, as well as a love of books and reading.
  • Most importantly, enjoy your time with your child and have fun.


Parents can also visit the Worcester Public Library and take out an audio tape to play for your child and be ready to ask questions about the story.  Reading to children is essential in the growth of your child, for research states that children who are read to frequently are nearly twice as likely as other children to show three or more skills associated with emerging literacy for pre-schoolers.  My advice is to make reading an everyday occurrence and make it a priority in your home.

We only have a few weeks left for summer vacation.  Has your child finished his/her summer reading?  Information was sent home in June about summer reading, and I’ll give you a summary of what is expected when your child returns to school.

  • Grades 1-2… choose to read 5 books or 800 pages.  Remember the best bargain in the city is the Worcester Public Library, for all you need is a library card and you can take out books each day… it’s free!   Your child needs to have a paper ready to bring back to school with the following information:


Title/author…. Who read with them… A comment about the book… Parent signature and where you got the book… library/purchased/ had it at home/or Worcester: the City that Reads.

  • Grade 3-6… again, 5 books or 800 pages… Once read. the reader must choose an activity for each book… Illustrate your favorite part… Design a postcard… Create a character sketch… Write a letter to a character or to the author… Write a journal or diary entry using a character… Design a book jacket.    Have the papers ready to bring to school.
  • Grade 7-8… students must read three books… Book One- Visit www.worcesterschools.org to download Double Entry Journal Sheets… Book Two – Illustrate Role… draw a picture from a scene in your book.  In writing, explain what you drew and why you drew it… Book Three – Your free choice, choose one… Letter to the author… Comic strip of a favorite scene… Rewrite the ending of the book… Retell the story form a character’s point of view… PowerPoint summary– at least 10 slides… Write a song or poem… Write a movie script or play about one chapter of the book… Interpret a scene into a video.
  • Grade 9-12… students must read three books… Book One – Double entry journal, visit www.worcesterschools.org to download double entry journal sheets… Book two – Compare and contrast this text to any other you have read.  Supply evidence from reading… Book Three – Read and complete a creative project ( a poem, script, drawing, photograph or video)


Students were given information on their sheets, such as when you select a book be sure you read the back of the book to see if you are interested in the topic or story.  Read the first couple of pages and make sure that you can read most of the words.

Parents were given advice, such as provide a space in your home with a variety of reading materials; books, newspapers, magazines, atlases, travel brochures, dictionary or thesaurus.  In addition, parents are asked to find the time to read.  Share a book with your children.  Keep one with you and in the car, beach bag or tote to read and discuss while you are on the run.

Again, visit the library, for it provides a world of free reading opportunities and offers a comfortable, air-conditioned, quiet place to bring your children and share a book.

The bottom line is make literacy a PRIORITY in your home!  Also, let me know what’s working for you at home this summer for I’d love to share your ideas with our readers… You can reach me at [email protected]


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