Not every patient at Children’s Medical Center is able to go on vacation with their families during the summer.
But they can travel in their imagination and explore different worlds – even magical ones – through the Passport to Reading Program, a summer reading challenge started this year at Children’s.
A Passport to Summer Reading
The Passport to Reading Program encourages children to read 10 books or attend 10 story times (or a combination of both) to win prizes. The prizes are all generously donated by many individuals and organizations in our community and by the Children’s staff.
Children receive a stamp in their “passport” for each book they read or each story time they attend, and every participant gets a free book, whether or not they finish with 10 stamps.
The summer reading program, the brainchild of Medical Librarian Pauline Martin, is available through the Family Resource Libraries at both the Children’s Medical Center Dallas and Children’s Medical Center at Legacy campuses.
Why a Children’s Summer Reading Program?
Martin organized the summer reading program in the hope that children would continue reading during the summer while they’re out of school.
“I am constantly thinking of ways to make reading fun and to encourage families to bond with their child by reading together as a family – especially in this day and age when it’s easier to give a child an iPad or sit them in front of a TV or computer,” Martin says.
The summer reading program broadens what Children’s has to offer families, Martin says. “We have had many parents and families participate in the summer reading program by reading to their babies.
Martin continues, “In order to make lives better at Children’s, we are not only improving the health of children but improving family life and strengthening young minds to better prepare for the future.”
One young patient was upset when she couldn’t finish the Passport to Reading summer reading program in time to get a prize before leaving the hospital. That prompted Martin to decide that everyone should receive at least a book for participating.
“The goal is to get them to enjoy reading,” Martin says. “We realize that a lot of families can complete it while their child is here.”
Martin definitely plans to continue the summer reading program next year. “It’s been very successful for us,” she says. “We’ve had families come in and ask for the passport; even families with multiple siblings. One mom said, ‘our child is a baby,’ and I encouraged her by saying we wanted to build the habit of reading early.”
Leave us a comment below to tell us know how you’re making summer reading fun for your kids.
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