MADISON (WKOW) -- Summer is now in full swing, and as families plan their activities, parents should have their kids work reading into that schedule to avoid the "summer slide."
Studies have found that the average child loses almost two months of learning over the summer while they're out of school, which puts them behind when they start a new grade in the fall.
To combat this problem, many area libraries and book stores are encouraging children to read through incentive programs. Half Price Books is doing it through its "Feed Your Brain" summer reading program.
Children 14 and under can participate by picking up a reading log at their local Half Price Books, or downloading one at its website. The kids can then take it home with them and fill out the number of minutes they spend reading each day and have it signed by their parent or guardian.
Kaitlin Springmier, a manager at Half Price Books, says kids are encouraged to read at least 15 minutes a day, five days a week, or 300 minutes a month. She says once they complete their minutes each month, they can return their log to one of the stores for five Bookworm Bucks in June and July. There are also prizes given to the top readers in each age group.
If you are unsure of how to get your kids engaged in reading, there are many creative ways to do it. Springmier says some ways to engage them would be to find a book on their favorite topic, get them to read the recipe box while helping out with dinner, or find a book or a magazine about your family's summer vacation destination. She says really just find any type of book or magazine that will interest them. She says they'll earn more about that subject and will get the added bonus of a bigger and better vocabulary.