Dive into a Great Summer Reading Program

0 comments Posted on June 1, 2013

by Karen Whiting and Ava Pennington

Ah, summer.
A time for lazy days that stretch into vivid sunsets and relaxing evenings.
A time to put away our schedules and lounge by the pool, sit on the beach, or recline in the backyard.
A time to feel warm sand or cool grass beneath our bare feet.
A time to…read?

Yes, read. Now is your opportunity to pick up that novel you’ve been wanting to read—the one that will transport you to a different time or place. Or that non-fiction book you’ve wanted to explore—you know, the one that will help you grow spiritually, or enable you to develop better communication skills for your marriage, or hone your parenting skills.

Let’s not forget the children. Summer is the perfect time to encourage your kids to experience the joys of reading, and the new and improved 2013 Summer Reading Program is the perfect vehicle to help you do it.

New and Improved
We’ve all rolled our eyes at the phrase, “new and improved.” It often means someone slapped a new label on an old product to convince us to check it out again. Despite our reservations, we do, and realize the only new thing is the packaging.

So when we say the 2013 Summer Reading Program at your local Christian bookstore is new and improved, we won’t blame you if you’re feeling a bit cynical. Still, if you keep reading, you’ll discover there really is something for everyone—from children to adults.

Something for Adults to Read
Let’s start with the new summer devotional packet. In our haste to embrace the lazy days of summer, we sometimes allow our devotional life to slide, too. This free packet of thirty devotions is written expressly for adults by a variety of members of the Christian Authors Network (CAN). CAN authors are multi-published by Christian publishers you can trust—authors whose books you’ve read or will want to read. These summer-themed devotions are short enough for a quick read, but challenging enough to help you focus on how the Lord might be growing you this summer. Sign up with your local retailer for the devotions. And let your reading be an example for the children in your life!

Kid’s Program
Of course, summer is a time for children. And this year’s summer reading program includes a package of fun activities for kids, especially elementary ages. Children in the program will receive a new handout for each week of the program. Children’s authors created the handouts. Retailers are ready to make the summer fun with reading games and book clubs for kids. Imagine shopping while your children are busy having fun with books!

Real authors designed the puzzles and games for kids, including rhyming fun from Crystal Bowman, horse coloring pages and activities from Marsha Hubler, find the word game from Ava Pennington, a money game from Sherry Kyle, shepherd activities from Karen Whiting, and even a family recipe from Rhonda Gibson.

And we’re inviting kids to share their thoughts on books! Many stores will have index cards for a young reader to write the title of a book and a comment or mini-review. These will be posted in the store (and maybe online) to help other kids know what’s good to read.

Book Travels and Photo Ops
Another aspect to make the summer fun with books is snapping photos for the store’s social network. Take a photo of where your book travels and send a copy to the bookstore or tag them on Facebook. Or snap a picture of your book’s cover in an interesting place around town and see if other customers can identify the location and add interesting stories about the site. You can also have fun catching a child reading and posting it on your social network, plus tag the store.

Tap into your local retailer’s wealth of knowledge about books. Ask the store personnel to show kids where to find the books they like and how to place special orders. Walk in with a smile and be ready to make a friend with someone else who loves books!

Helping Others with Books
Literacy is so important that stores will also help readers reach out to help others enjoy books. Whether it’s a local collection of books for a shelter or a worldwide group that fosters reading, check out ways your family can help get books into hands of less fortunate children.

Party at the Store
Check out your local retailer’s website and social media. Watch for their tweets and posts about the summer reading program. They might even surprise you with a party to launch the summer reading program, or you could volunteer to help with a party and start a book club at the store.

Adventure with Books for the Whole Family
There’s something for everyone when it comes to books, and summer reading is a time to share and chat about what you like about books.

Justine Greene, owner of Amazing Grace Resource Center in Mullica Hill, New Jersey said, “In this age of technology and social media I’ve discovered that families are looking for ways to connect their children with the joy of reading. Amazing Grace is delighted to partner with these families by providing a fun and exciting kick off for a summer reading adventure.”

Join us for a summer of reading fun for you and your entire family. You’ll be glad you did!

Ava Pennington (www.AvaWrites.com) is a writer, Bible teacher, and speaker. Her newest book, Daily Reflections on the Names of God: A Devotional, is endorsed by Precepts founder Kay Arthur and will be released by Revell Books October 2013. Additionally, Ava is co-author of Faith Basics for Kids. The first two books in the series are Do You Love Me More? and Will I See You Today? (Standard Publishing). Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvaPennington.AuthorPage

Karen Whiting (www.karenwhiting.com) is the author of 15 books, including My Mini Dream Room, Stories of Faith and Courage from the Home Front, and The 365 Most Important Bible Passages for Women. Karen is the mother of five, including two who served in the military. Her next release, The One-Year Princess Devotions, releases September 1. Karen is also a speaker who has spoken in such far away places as Russia and Malaysia. She hosted the television series Puppets on Parade for Miami educational TV and has been a guest on various television shows.

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