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OPINION: Pick up a book, or two, this summer

by Annette Beard | June 9, 2021 at 10:09 a.m.

The personnel at the library are hosting a summer reading challenge, encouraging children to read throughout the summer.

Teachers regularly state that if young children aren't practicing their reading during the three months they're out of school, they tend to fall behind and the early days of the next school year are spent trying to bring the children back up to where they were the previous May.

Reading is an essential skill. It is foundational to all other areas of learning. If one does not (can not) read, one hinders his or hear ability to learn in any other subject and narrows the field of experience from which one can draw.

I realize it's 2021 and that many people are attached to their smart phones, iPads, computers, Kindles and video games. But, it would behoove each of us, adults as well as children, to schedule in reading time every day this summer.

What a blessing my brothers and I had in a mother who was a teacher who valued reading. We were provided books of any genre and given the time to read. Many a summer afternoon found us in the backyard on a blanket reading and exercise our imaginations, traveling to far-away lands and "meeting" historical figures.

Even if one does not have an innate love of reading, one can acquire it and foster it in one's self and in one's children. Find good books on a subject in which you're interested and begin the reading journey. Set a goal for yourself of one new book a week and trade an hour on the computer or television for an hour in a book.

Determine to learn a new skill or hobby or learn about a new location that you may be able to visit one day.

Summer allows a small break from the hectic schedules of the school year. Use the time fruitfully.

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Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years. The opinions expressed are those of the author. She can be reached at [email protected]

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