Encouraging children to become lifelong learners on Child Health Day

Alexandra Wladich  //  Oct 5, 2015

Encouraging children to become lifelong learners on Child Health Day

Today is Child Heath Day, a day to raise awareness around supporting and developing children’s health. In addition to proper nutrition, ensuring all children have access to books is critical to a child’s success. At Scholastic we believe that the right book at the right time can light an emotional spark within children that opens a world of possible and motivates them to read more and read joyfully.

To celebrate Child Health Day, here are some tips to encourage children to become lifelong readers and learners.

Let children select their own books! "Value and praise the minutes your child reads, for every minute spent with text is building his reading muscles. We tend to focus on the titles they choose, but it is as important, if not more, to build their reading stamina.”—Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitLife and LitWorld

In their book, Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want – and Why We Should Let Them, co-authors Jeffrey D. Wilhelm (Boise State University) and Michael W. Smith (Temple University) present what they learned over five years of researching the pleasures that motivate avid adolescent readers of texts often marginalized by parents, teachers and cultural commentators. Wilhelm and Smith found that there is real educational and psychological value of pleasure reading, showing that students can learn powerful lessons and do rigorous intellectual work reading genres like vampire books, romance, horror and dystopian fiction.

Start early. Ages zero to five are critical formative years. We need to invest in early childhood opportunities to insure self-efficacy and resilience to barriers to learning before they begin. 

Be a reading role model. Let your kids see YOU reading! Education can start with any caring adult. Children are more likely to achieve success and become lifelong readers and learners if they have role models at home and in the community. Research demonstrates that family and community engagement improves student attitudes toward school, predicts student success, and improves attendance, reducing the dropout rate.