Discovering a love for reading is one of the most memorable experiences about growing up. Learning all about the adventures of Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, and the Hungry Catepillar, is something that brings a smile to my face to this day.
With the increasing popularity of digital devices and platforms, it is more important than ever that we help to ensure that children of all ages continue to uncover their own love for reading. Whether with a physical book or an e-book, reading is something that can only enhance a person’s life. Once a child reaches middle school, it is sometimes difficult to continue that love of reading, especially with all the homework, chores, and friend-time a thirteen-year-old has! When school is out for the summer, homework is often replaced with video games. I know I was guilty.
Thankfully, BookUp, an after school reading program sponsored by the National Book Foundation, has introduced a summer reading program for middle school students. The summer program is part of a partnership with the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development.
Created in 2007, BookUp is a series of extracurricular reading groups led by published authors who also have teaching experience. Instructors have included Elisha Miranda, John Murillo, and Elsa Ulen.
Leslie Shipman, assistant director of the National Book Foundation, said, “At the end of the summer, each BookUp participant will have their own free personal library of 10 age-appropriate books. Our students will cherish and benefit from that resource and their summer BookUp experience for years to come.”
In conjunction with the Department of Youth and Community Development, BookUp is currently running ten summer programs that serve over 200 students throughout New York City. Ultimately, BookUp hopes “to create new approaches to developing life-long readers that can be adapted in after school programs across the country.”
Learn more about the BookUp summer reading program on Publishers Weekly.