Blessing in Creation!

Blessing in Creation!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It Takes a Village to Raise a Reader

Encouraging literacy is a community effort. Although home is the most important source to improve a child’s reading skills, it is wonderful to see community programs aiding parents and teachers and instilling the importance of reading to the young. It really does take a village to raise a reader.

We are lucky enough to live in a county with a fabulous inter library system and we have taken advantage of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library regularly.
Both of my kids look forward to trips to the library, especially during the summer months while the reading incentive rewards them with prizes. I was so happy to discover last year that middle school students can now earn Barnes and Noble gift cards. My daughter earned $15 worth last year and this year my son has challenged her to read more as he, too, can earn the gift cards now.

For younger children Barnes and Noble and Borders have reading incentive programs to complement the library’s reading incentive. Since some of the pre-chosen books weren't my kid’s top picks, I told them I would buy them each a book at the end of the summer if they completed all reading requirements. So for approximately $15 in books, my two children read for three months solid!

Additional reading programs include And for those of you in the eastern United States, TD Bank offers to deposit $10 into your child’s account for summer reading participation. Half Price Books also had an incentive offer last year for those who have one of their stores nearby I am on the lookout for more community reading programs and encourage you to look into what your community may offer too!

With all the fun incentives, neither of my kids considers reading to be school work. They like that they can read whatever they choose (as long as it is appropriate) and that they earn books and prizes. My son often picks Star Wars, but we also return from library trips with a stack of science, history, cooking, fantasy, and adventure books.

I’ll have to admit that trips to Barnes and Noble and the library never leave Mom empty handed either. My list of “to reads” is growing” even faster than my “have reads”. The last few library visits have loaded me up with books on freelance writing. And I am excited for summer reading too!


  1. Well written Laura! I can't wait for the new library to open in July!

  2. My sister and I always read a lot growing up. We still read, as do both parents. All of us are published authors, too. Reading can take you places you can never otherwise go.