Just because it’s summer vacation does not mean that your kids should not pick up another book until school starts again in August. Get your kids reading over the summer with any of the many reading events in Houston. Some of them offer rewards for reading while others help to strengthen children’s reading skills so they will be ready for the new school year.
Institute Of Reading Development Summer Reading Program
University of Saint Thomas
3800 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Date: For dates and times click here
The University of Saint Thomas works with the Institute of Reading Development to offer a summer reading program for children from 4 years-old to adults. Over the course of the five-week program, attendees get to hone their reading skills at an age-appropriate level. The costs for the courses are around $300, depending on the age level, and each course has a materials fee as well, but if you are concerned that your child might be falling behind in reading, this program is worth it, and it is offered at numerous locations around the city for your convenience.
Harris County Public Library Summer Reading Program
Harris County Public Library Branches
Dates: June 3, 2013 to August 2013
Once again, the Harris County Public Library system will host its summer reading program. There are separate programs for children, teens and adults. You can register in person at one of the branches or online. Everyone who reads or listens to 10 books will earn a certificate of completion for the program and get a free book.
Page To The Stage Book Club
Blue Willow Bookshop
14532 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77079
Dates: June 8, 2013 at 10 a.m.
Movie adaptations are one way to get kids interested in books, but stage plays based on children’s books are even better. Blue Willow Bookshop hosts the Page to the Stage book club, which has discussions and readings of books adapted for the stage by Main Street Theater. The book club is free to attend, but you need to contact the Blue Willow Bookshop for reservations. During the hour-long meeting, kids get to meet some of the costumed actors from the play, talk about the book and author and hear an excerpt from the book. For the summer meeting, the play is an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
Summer Storytime Tours
1406 Kirby Drive
Houston, TX 77019
Dates: Wednesdays in June and July at 10 a.m.
Rienzi features European decorative arts on a grand scale. The home-turned-museum is located in River Oaks and holds many events all year long. Some of the popular events are the Summer Storytime Tours, which are geared toward children ages 3 and up. These tours engage children with the current exhibit themes at Rienzi using many stories. The tours are interactive and combine literature, arts and a love for both into a fun-filled activity for kids.
P.A.W.S. Reading Program
Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land
13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, TX 77479
Dates: Fridays and Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Kids do not have to settle for only listening during summer storytime sessions. At the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Sugar Land campus on Fridays and Saturdays, children of any reading ability can practice their skills by reading to trained therapy dogs. These dogs are trained to be docile and to interact well with people and get to further enhance these skills during the reading sessions, while the children improve their reading. The program is free with museum admission.
Crystal Hessong ia a freelance writer and a lifelong, fourth generation Houstonian. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.