I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about promoting summer reading with a group of talented teachers. We have shared ideas, created resources and started initiatives in our own districts. I curated these resources into a Padlet and am constantly updating it, if you are interested.

We are very interested in ways to integrate reading into our students’ summer routines: reading the Wonder of the Day when we wake up, sneaking in some reading on rainy afternoons, using devices for digital reading and ending with the traditional reading routine at bedtime. 

Yesterday, my children bounded off the bus, excited to share the most exciting reading routine I have yet to hear about: reading on the bus. Our bus driver is an amazing person. She has been our family’s bus driver for the last 7 years and each one of my children have adored her. I adore her even more for what she is trying on her bus for the rest of the school year. 

To help keep her youngest students safely occupied in their seats, she has asked the third graders to do her a special favor: to read to the Kindergarten students on the way home after school. She has paired interested third graders with younger students to sit with, reading books of their choice aloud on the way home. This has generated much excitement in my household. On the bus, reading is now seen as a privilege and has generated lively discussion possible books to read. My own children have dug out their old favorites to read to their young buddies and others have chosen to read portions of chapter books to their buddies as well. 

Not only is this new idea accomplishing her goal of a safe and content bus, but she is promoting reading as a reward and as a social practice that all enjoy. I am so thankful to have her as our bus driver, keeping my children safe and happy for many years and now, keeping them reading. I know many teachers and educators who would be just as thankful for her efforts after reading this post as well. 

Let’s take her lead and think outside the box for ways to engage our students as REAL readers who read for enjoyment and connection with others, not just to practice their skills because they have to. 

What other ways might be embed real reading into our students’ daily routines?

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