THE PLEASURE OF READING
California Learning Center has a lending library with books for all ages and interests. If you browse the selection, you’ll see everything from Superfudge to The Fault in Our Stars with many classics and not-so-classics in between. Some students borrow the books they need for school courses like Things Fall Apart or The Catcher in the Rye while others borrow stories for pure entertainment.
By Wendi Ostroff
We even have books for families and parents. And guess what? It doesn’t matter to us which books students choose – we are just thrilled that they want to read.
Reading is the key to so many wonderful things in life. Reading introduces people of all ages to far away places, interesting opportunities, and imaginative, new ideas. People who read regularly have larger vocabularies, increased analytical abilities, and better academic success. Reading for pleasure has also been linked to lower stress levels by providing a quiet escape from one’s daily activities. Most parents know the calming effect of a gentle bedtime story on a toddler – there’s just something special about falling off to sleep with a good book.
In 2013, a study from the Institute of Education at London University found that children (10–16 yrs.) who read for pleasure outperform other students in both math and English. Math? Yes, because reading opens the mind to new ideas across the curriculum, and an increased vocabulary helps in every area of study.
The more a child reads, the better he or she performs in school which leads to increased confidence and success in many aspects of life. As students become young adults, they need to access and analyze information from a variety of viewpoints, and those who enjoy reading are better equipped for conducting research and writing papers. Reading is an activity that provides enjoyment and fuels success in a multitude of ways.
As children grow and develop particular interests — be it paleontology or theater– books and articles from the library, online or print, can be a wonderful source for further information and discovery. If you haven’t visited your local library in a while, winter break is the perfect time (all those books in one place and free to borrow!). We encourage you to encourage your children to read for pleasure during the holiday break, and let them choose their subject matter (age appropriate, of course).
The report from the Institute of Education can be found here http://www.ioe.ac.uk/89938.html
This is a well-written opinion piece about the gift of reading http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/25/opinion/the-gift-of-reading.html
Tips from PBS parents on reading with pre-schoolers http://www.pbs.org/parents/expert-tips-advice/2015/11/help-your-preschooler-get-ready-to-read/
Health benefits associated with reading for pleasure http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/tips-change/reading-stress-relief