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A Summer of Reading Can Make A Lifetime Of Difference For Kids

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DURHAM — When the school year ends, it is hard to get kids to read a book. Experts say the summer months offer just the right opportunity to prepare all our children to be good readers.

Last summer, public libraries in communities across the Triangle promoted summer reading programs for children. Educators applaud these efforts to instill a passion for the printed word.

More and more studies indicate that kids who keep reading will have an advantage in the fall.

"There's a high correlation between reading and academic achievement. All of the standardized tests are based on vocabulary and the ability to read," says Dr. Kamau Kambon, ofBlackNificent Books.

What do you do with reluctant readers? Experts say try to find a way to motivate them.

"Let them read about things they're interested in. It may not be exactly what you want. I wouldn't let them go too far into what's not appropriate, but let them read what they want. Get them started reading," says psychologist Dr. Mawiyah Kambon.

She says kids will gain something from any book, including those without much literary value.

That is what summer reading is all about — to get them to love reading.

It only takes one good book to turn a child into a reader.

"If a child knows how to read, they can really teach themselves some things. And I believe as early as you can, start your child to read without pressuring them, the better it is," says Dr. Mawiyah Kambon.

Parents must lead by example. Children respond better when they see their parents reading and enjoying books as well.