Keep Your Kids Reading!

Keep Your Kids Reading!


Samantha Knowles

Maybe I am dating myself, but electronic gizmos used to be reserved for grown-ups. Specifically, working grown-ups with office jobs. Today, it seems that almost every child has some type of electronic gizmo. I call them \”screens\”. We have a screen for television, we have a screen for games, we have a screen for all forms of social media and yes, there is even a screen for books. I am old school and have refused to conform. Don\’t get me wrong, I love a little (or a LOT) of screen time but when it comes to books, there is something about opening a new book and cracking the spine that appeals to me. I love the smell of books both new and old.

When I look around, there are very few kids that are carrying aroud books. In doctors offices, restaurants, and in the airport, all I see are a sea of screens. I know from my own kids that these screens are not full of words from a famous author but rather, a game like Angry Birds. I wonder if this newer generation is missing out. They aren\’t required to read the classics in school, and in fact, most kids that are reading, are reading via an e-reader of some kind. Does it minimize the experience that they don\’t get to go to the library to check out a book? The experience in and of itself is outdated. And then I considered that maybe I am wrong about screens. If it makes a book more accessible to a child, isn\’t that more important?


Whether you choose a screen or the written word, make the time each day to get books into the hands of your kids. Books can guide, educate, and inspire your children. I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows as a child. It was the first book that made me cry. Then I graduated to my best friend\’s Judy Blume collection and never looked back. Now that I have kids, trying to instill that same feeling in them can be challenging. When both of my kids were babies, we started with Moo, Baa, La, La, La, and Goodnight Moon. Standard. Then moved through the Magic Tree House Series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Captain Underpants. We made the journey to Hogwarts with the Harry Potter series and my husband and I even used to fight over who would get to read to our oldest son every night.

This is the power of the written word. It can transport kids to different places and give them a different point of view. I know our days are so busy that sometimes, books take a back seat to television, computer games, sports, and other things. I encourage all of you to find a way to get more books into the hands of your kids! Whether it is a special trip to the book store, library or simply picking something out online, find a way to engage them. I promise it is time well spent!

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