Location: Arizona, USA
Position: Past Teacher/ Girlfriend
It’s summer and the kid’s are out of school… and we can’t let them s exercising their brains and reading skills! It’s junior high and, oh no, these kids aren’t interested in ready anymore! They are interested in each other and computers and sports!
What Becomes of this panic….
Programs built with rewards and incentives for reading books!
I remember the ones in the summer set up by the local libraries. There was a path and for each set amount of time you read, you filled in a step on the path. Your parents signed off on it and the next week at the library a book mark or other prize was in order, depending on how far you got on the path. The website for the organization that develops these programs is http://www.cslpreads.org/ .
My boyfriend remembers Readapolloza at his junior high. The school tested each student’s reading level and then set a point amount for them that they had to reach and assigned points to the books in the library (which sounds like a daunting task to me).
Great Idea but….
Both these programs have great intentions, to foster reading at times when it may drop off, summer and the teen years. However, both programs may have not hit their targeted goals. The library program is fun… for a while. Unfortunately, set prizes may not motivate every person the same way. In addition, a child could continue to read at a level that is not a push or challenge for them and actual skills may not be improved or even maintained. I am not saying these programs are for the dogs. I am merely saying that as a parent your extra involvement in these programs could get more bang for the buck as you can plan rewards that your son will actually enjoy as well as provide reading material that is challenging him and interests him.
The school based program’s challenges lie in accountability. By this point, may male students may have lost an interest in reading. For example, by boyfriend selected a series of books that would meet his point requirement and then watched the movie of it. Unfortunately forced reading may lead to similar tactics in other boys. Here a larger focus needs to be placed on the value of reading, and a larger choice of reading material, as points were provided only to books.
Not for Everyone
These reading programs may work well for some boys, and not for others which is the tune of many educational songs. Individualizing these kinds of programs or altering them to provide the most benefit to a large male population is a difficult task and I would be interested in any other ideas anyone has!