The dreaded words our four children would cry out every summer several weeks after the close of another school year. I knew that unless there were plans and activities to replace the boredom, summer would not only be hot and sticky but really long!
Now my school-age grandchildren are burdening their parents with those same words: “I’m bored!” So with their parents’ blessing the idea for a summer reading club for the cousins got its start.
The “Cousins Reading Club” was created to engage a child in discovering the fun and enjoyment in reading. Here’s how to get started:
- Decide on a start and end date—we do six weeks.
- Select two to three age-/grade-appropriate classics. Our choices include The Pilgrim’s Progress, The Swiss Family Robinson, and Aesop’s Fables.
- Set goals: Decide on daily reading minutes both for silent and oral reading. (This makes for good listening skills for younger siblings and for family times.)
- Keep a daily goal sheet to track progress and use stickers as rewards.
- Provide a notebook in which children can write short sentences like “What I read…” and “What I learned…” Encourage club members to keep a list of new words.
- Each club member receives a Cousins Reading Club certificate, gift card, and prize at the end.
I prepared “CRC” boxes with the following materials and supplies:
- Note to parents with goals, expectations, instructions
- Selected books
- A notebook and pencil
- Reward stickers
- A personalized “Cousins Reading Club” t-shirt
I read along in the same book to encourage and cheer them along. Since distance separates me from my grandchildren and the cousins from one another, the reading club binds us. We’re making memories!