Head of School Blog

Reading Olympics – Let the Games Begin!

Jill Singleton
At All Saints, the return to school after the holiday break marks the kickoff of the Reading Olympics. This annual campaign is a treasured tradition at our school. Ask any student at the school and they can tell you how many Bronze, Silver or Gold Medals they have earned over the years. Designed to encourage a love for reading and literature and to raise funds for the school, the Reading Olympics represents an opportunity for families to establish important reading habits at home.

With electronic media taking over more and more of our lives, the simple act of reading for a sustained period of time is in serious jeopardy. Each year parents report to us that the Reading Olympics provides a way to curb the amount of time their children spend in front of televisions and computers, and that the five-week campaign really turns their children into readers! Many children at All Saints attribute their love of reading with time spent during the campaign.

How does the school spend the money raised through Reading Olympics? One hundred percent of the money directly benefits students through support of our schoolwide arts and literacy programs, including the Spring Drama and the purchase of summer reading books and journals for students.

The New Year represents a time for new habits and resolutions. Take advantage of the Reading Olympics to help your children establish a lifelong love of reading every day. Here are some great ways for parents to get in on the fun of Reading Olympics:

1. Model reading habits for your child. Set up a regular time to read to, with, or in the same room as your child. Even the oldest children still love to be read to!
2. Use your child’s interests and hobbies as a starting place for identifying a collection of books and magazines and have these placed throughout the house.
3. Take a family trip to a bookstore or library. Browse through the books together to identify good reads.
4. Make reading a privilege. “You can stay up 10 minutes later this evening to read before bed.”
5. Ask older siblings to read to younger ones.
6. Pull out some old favorites and read them to your child. These could be stories you read to them when they were younger, or books you remember from your own childhood.
7. Read a chapter book together as a family. Have discussions about what you read – imagine what different characters might do in different settings, for example.
8. Read a book that has also been made into a movie and compare the two.
9. Make a big deal out of your child’s books. These should be cared for and kept in a treasured place in the home or your child’s bedroom.
10. Read and discuss newspaper articles with your child (being mindful, of course, of their age).

Happy Reading!