Keeping Kids Reading During COVID

Reading Takes You Places

“From my own personal experience with domestic violence I can tell you that reading was my escape.  Getting lost in a book, taking trips around the world by turning the pages and discovering a places without abuse; reading was powerful and healing.  Even now reading is still my self-care. “  Laura

Taking with my friend Clair; I asked her to find some ways for kids to have the ability to read when their world has been turned upside down by violence.    Here are some ideas from Clair and although she references Tempe and Maricopa County – these suggestions will likely work in any area.

How can kids read over the summer when so many libraries are closed?

We know it is important for kids to read at least 20 minutes a day during the summer to prevent Summer Slide (students’ skills deteriorate during summer break). Now Covid Slide is an issue, making it even more important to keep kids reading, while the pandemic is simultaneously leading many libraries to close! In the Phoenix area, we have a number of options available to help.

Maricopa County Library District libraries are closed but offer curbside pickup (you sign up online or by phone and schedule a curb pickup time – see mcldaz.org/about/closure for locations and details). If you don’t have a card, you can use video chat to get one. Many of the more urban locations are on or near bus lines (check the Valley Metro website for details).

Greater Phoenix Digital Library – if you have a library card from any library in the Maricopa County Library system, or from Apache Junction, Casa Grande, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Phoenix, or Scottsdale, you can read books on this website (they even have some that will read aloud as the child reads the printed version). I read books from this source on my smartphone every day and it is easy to use.

Tempe Public Library is open (only for return of books and pickup of books put on hold) Monday through Friday 9-5. If you don’t already have a card for this library, you can get a temporary (3 month) library card if you live in Maricopa County (sign up online). They have many books you can read online or you can request a physical book by requesting it online and they will let you know when you can come pick it up. They also have TEMPE AT HOME which offers activities online. This library is at the corner of Rural and Southern in Tempe and can be reached by Orbit (free) or Valley Metro buses (check the Valley Metro website for details for both bus routes).

NOTE: All of the libraries require wearing masks.

If you have a library card from a library not in the area, check out Overdrive which offers ebooks and audiobooks for many libraries all over the country.

From Clair this morning:

“Did you know Audible is offering free books to kids stuck at home due to the pandemic (stories.audible.com)? It is even better if a child can read along in the book, but just listening can help kids learn new words, new facts, new concepts.”

Please share your ideas and resources you find to help our children through this time.