Summer Reading Incentive Programs at Public Libraries Pros and Cons

Summer reading incentive programs can be a great benefit to the development of your child, but that does not mean they are perfect. Deciding whether or not to put your child into one involves weighing the pros against the cons, but first, you have to ask yourself some questions about your child.

Do they read on their own? If so, you would probably do bets to leave them to their own devices. If you have a book you wish them to read, buy it for them. But to put a child who reads anyway into a reading program could backfire in a big way. For the child that reads the book is its own reward and no amount of stickers or cookies are going to change that fact.

A child that reads on his or her own that is forced into such a program will immediately contrast the books they encounter against what they would read in their free time. Nine times out of ten, free time wins. And thus they might take to the point of view that all reading is required reading. They might make the association with reading for pleasure to the feeling they got that summer. If they read what the school tells them to, then during the summer what the library tells them to, where is the time for them to read what they themselves desire?

Remember that any reading is better than none.

If you have a child that does not like reading or seems teetering on the brink, these programs might be a good solution. By giving them incentive to read you are hoping they will eventually get caught up in the journey and forget about the incentive entirely. And once the spell is cast, you have them for life.

There will be mercenary children who read just for the prize. They will skim to the parts that are necessary, skim instead of read, and in general do the bare minimum to get what they truly desire. If your child shows these tendencies you then have to decide whether you think their actions constitute true education and make your decision based on that.

The most vital thing is to make sure the curriculum matches what you desire your child to be exposed to. It would help if they are books you have read, so you will be able to converse freely with them about their experiences and help ingratiate them even more into the memory banks.

Every local library has a summer reading program and they can be beneficial in expanding your child’s horizons as far as quality reading is concerned. If you want your child to learn about the joy of reading or specifically to be exposed to certain classics, it is a great tool. Who said reading cannot be a social activity?