Summer reading keeps kids’ minds active

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, June 9, 2015

While the large number of snow days may have kept them in class a little bit longer than originally anticipated, students across the area are finally able to enjoy the next few months away from their studies as summer vacation officially begins.

Free of the burden of nightly homework assignments, youth usually spend the following weeks hanging out with friends, playing video games or spending time with the family on vacation. While certainly a fun way to pass the time, most of these ventures aren’t exactly the most intellectually stimulating uses of their time.

With the stakes of succeeding the classroom rising higher and higher each year, it’s crucial for students to engage their brain more often during their summer break.

And there’s no better way for kids to do just that than by picking up a couple of good books to read over the next few months.

To help kids get off on the right track, many local libraries in the area are kicking off their annual summer reading programs. Both the Dowagiac District Library and Cass District Library, which serves Cassopolis, Edwardsburg and Niles areas, have kicked off their respective superhero-themed programs this week.

These programs offer rewards and prizes to kids who devote a portion of their summer to reading. They also offer a number of special events and activities to help draw more children into the library, where hopefully they’ll be exposed to the hundreds of books lining their shelves.

We have long been advocates for childhood literacy, especially in today’s age of instant gratification and entertainment. With children and adults alike experiencing more distractions than ever, it’s becoming an increasingly difficult challenge to get people to invest the time to read books and other long forms of writing.

However, the benefits of doing so are too numerous to count. Reading, more than any other form of entertainment, stimulates and engages the brain. This is particularly great for children, as it keeps their minds active during the time of year where many of them clock out for the season.

We encourage parents to check out what their local library has to offer their children this summer. And who knows? You might find a book that interests you as well.


Opinions expressed are those of the editorial board consisting of Publisher Michael Caldwell and editors Ambrosia Neldon, Craig Haupert, Ted Yoakum and Scott Novak.