Re-New Habit of Reading

While many people are still mulling over New Year Resolutions, or maybe already broke the ones they made on January 1, I would encourage you to put reading at the top of the resolution list. 

Making reading a part of your family’s daily habits benefits everyone.  A study reported in the journal Science showed that reading literary fiction improves empathy which is a positive influence for both adults and children.

Parents who read may escape reality for a few moments into another world for a quick mental break or they may challenge themselves to learn something new which keeps their mental skill sharp, something everyone needs when helping with homework. 

For children developing a habit of daily reading sets them up for a lifetime of success.  By reading when they are young, they will gain the academic benefits of increased vocabulary and literacy skills plus they will lay the groundwork for making reading an integral aspect of their life.  Furthermore children tend to emulate their parents so one of the most power ways to encourage a child read, besides reading to them, is to have the child see you reading.

At the Stillwater Public Library we are encouraging children to develop the habit of daily reading with our Winter Reading Program.  Instead of measuring their achievements in number of books or minutes read, we are having the children mark each day they read.  Small prizes are given out after a cumulative of 5, 10, 15, and 20 days of reading.  There is still time to sign up as the program will run until February 13. 

One way to help make reading a part of your daily routine is to schedule a weekly or bi-weekly library day.  Having a consistent library day provides the structure for a child to know they will be able to pick out books to read and how long they will be able to read them at home before they need to be returned.  This also helps parents make sure that all the library books are returned on time.

Even if you choose to not make New Year Resolutions I encourage you to consider developing a daily reading habit for yourself and your child.