"My favorite books were the ones I picked out myself." Regardless of their age or gender, children overwhelmingly agreed with this statement in a survey of reading preferences. Unfortunately, most summer reading programs generally do not actualize this. With "Find a Book ," children can choose their own books—based on their own interests and reading ability—giving their summer reading lists a much bigger meaning.
A personalized reading list for every child, by every child
During the last days of the school year, after testing is complete, you can take your class to the computer lab to use "Find a Book ." You can help each child enter his or her Lexile measure and then turn them loose to browse books by subject area or keyword. As they find books that interest them, they can add them to their reading list. You both can be assured that each book is in the local library by clicking on the WorldCat button next to the book. When they are finished, children can print, save or email their personalized reading lists. (Parents: you can do the same thing at home!)
Make sure parents know that their child is coming home with a personalized reading list based on his or her Lexile measure. Urge parents to get library cards for their kids and direct them to the public library's summer reading program, making sure to highlight the incentives and events.
Scholastic & Yankelovich (2008), 2008 Kids and Family Reading Report
New York Times article on the power of young people choosing what they read.
New York Times essay critiques point-based incentives for reading.