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Reading Ideas for At Risk Students During the Summer

written by: Natasha Stiller • edited by: Trent Lorcher • updated: 6/17/2014

Many parents struggle with their at risk students, motivating them, as well as engaging in reading activities together. Here are some hints and tips that will benefit the whole family when it comes to reading over the summer.

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    Encourage your Children to Read

    It is important for all students to continue to read over the summer. For at risk students, this might be a challenge as a parent to continue to engage them in reading. There are several resources for summer reading programs and ideas for at-risk students that are exciting, engaging, and fun for students of all ages.

    • First, make sure you are not pressuring your child too much. It is easy to compare children when it comes to certain skills and abilities; however, when a child is struggling with a subject, do not compare or give the struggling learner more work to do. This only heavies their load, and makes them less interested in any study area, reading especially. Comparing can also lower their self-esteem, and chances are they have already done their own internal comparison of their siblings. Offer everyone the same reading assignments or challenges over the summer.
    • The first step is to get involved. There are many summer reading programs that help provide motivation for all children, but especially the at-risk student. Barnes and Noble, as well as Scholastic have reading programs that keep kids motivated to read. Barnes and Noble offers a passport, where after a child has read eight books, listing specific information about the book, they can go into a store and select a book for their age group for free. Many children are motivated by this program to read. Scholastic’s site offers a game show quiz after reading select books. Book Adventure also offers quizzes for select books, and as you accrue points on their website, you are eligible to receive prizes. The quizzes are similar to school’s involvement and quizzes through Accelerated Reader.
    • Another great summer reading idea for at-risk students is through, which offers e-books and quizzes. Utilize technology to its fullest and work with children and their interests, by allowing them to explore reading through e-books, which can be more interactive, as well as participate in quizzes that test their knowledge. Every individual feels a sense of accomplishment with good scores, or completing something. Take this into consideration when planning summer reading activities for your children, as well as any at-risk children.
    • A great resource to turn to during the summer is your local library. Most libraries offer summer reading programs that will encourage reading and involvement through character development, adventure, and keeps the motivation for reading in students alive. Libraries are known to accentuate their programs based on what is popular for children and will likely encourage our at-risk student to participate. If you are unable to locate a library in your area that has programs, locate one online. Many major cities have resources on their websites that will keep your children eager to read over the summer.
    • With movies that are being developed from books, many children are motivated to read the original text, before seeing a movie. If your student is not motivated by the book, perhaps they will be motivated to see the movie if you offer them a deal to read the book first. You could even read the book together as a family.
    • Reading together is the starting point for building great readers. It is important, no matter what age your children are, to continue to read to them and expose them to print-rich resources. Have a family reading time, where you read together and then independently. Work with and along-side your children to encourage them and be available to help them if necessary.

    Reading is an important learning tool that children will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Create in your at-risk student a passion for reading that will keep them persevering with their weakness by making reading fun.