5 Ways to Keep Students Reading Over Spring Break

student relaxing and reading a book
Masthead Waves

Spring Break is a great opportunity for families to nurture healthy reading habits that can be carried over into the summer months. As the school year wraps up and the stress of end-of-year testing approaches, students are getting ready for a week (or two!) at home. While some families may be planning vacations during this time, it's crucial to maintain a reading routine. The great news is that your students can continue their reading adventures over break. Keep reading for ways to help your students stay engaged as they rejuvenate during their upcoming break.



#1 - Let Them Choose

As educators, it can be tempting to assign reading tasks, but during Spring Break, it's important to let go and allow students the freedom to choose what they want to read. Research by Worthy and McKool has shown a positive link between student engagement and the ability to choose their reading materials. While some may find it controversial, many schools have found success in letting students veer away from traditional classics and select their own books.


For parents, empowering their children to pick their reading materials, whether it's classic novels, graphic novels, or picture books, is essential for keeping them engaged during the break. It's perfectly fine if they opt for books below their grade level or Lexile level; sometimes, revisiting an old favorite can be quite comforting. Encourage them to choose books that excite them, as the most crucial thing is that they maintain their interest in reading.


#2 - Ensure Book Access

Before your break begins, make it a priority for students to explore the vast array of books available at their school or local library. And don't overlook the plethora of digital options at their fingertips! From popular platforms like Epic! to the engaging selection at Lerner Digital, there are endless possibilities to ignite their reading adventures. Allocate time for students to collaborate and create a list of books they are eager to dive into during the break. This collaborative exercise not only allows peers to offer recommendations but also fosters a sense of excitement and anticipation while class is still in session.


Families can kick off Spring Break by heading to the library and stocking up on a selection of books for the week ahead. Public libraries offer a treasure trove of both physical and digital resources, all easily accessible with a library card. Don't worry if you don't have one yet; obtaining a library card is a quick and seamless process. And if it's been a while since your last visit, seek out a librarian. They can help your student find exactly what they're in search of and make recommendations based on their interests. Short on time? Check if your library offers an app to conveniently reserve your books in advance. This way, they can be set aside and ready for you when you need them.


#3 - Set a Goal 

Encourage a bit of post-break accountability, but keep it fun and engaging for students. Challenge them to read regularly and have a lively discussion about your class goal, whether it's measured in books, pages, or minutes. If possible, utilize the Beanstack app for easy and virtual tracking. Tailor your approach based on the unique needs of your class of readers.


Consider assigning one book for everyone to read together and let them choose the rest of their reading list. Prior to the break, engage in discussions about the titles that pique their interest, allowing them to take ownership of selecting the "class read." When classes resume, engage in a lively discussion about the book - share favorite characters, plot twists, and differing opinions. For an added bonus, check if the book has been adapted into a movie or TV series and plan a viewing as a fun reward for diving into the story together.


#4 - Work Together

Work towards a common goal and offer ways for students to keep in touch over break if desired. Perhaps you have a class social media page where you could share what you’re reading and offer encouragement. This is a great way for students to engage with Beanstack’s Friends and Leaderboards feature, which helps your students remain connected and motivated through a little healthy competition. Keep your discussions light, and applaud any and all reading!  


Parents take note of the insightful words of Kate DiCamillo, a beloved author of children's literature, who advocates that "Reading should not be seen as a task or obligation for children. It should be presented as a priceless gift." Whether at home or wherever your spring break escapades lead you, how adults approach reading greatly impacts how children perceive the value of this skill. By letting your child witness you immersed in a book or magazine, you help instill the understanding that reading is a valuable and enriching part of daily life. Consider dedicating time each day for a family version of Drop Everything and Read, and dive into a book of your own!


#5 - Brag About the Benefits

Are your students still skeptical about the joys of reading? Share the incredible benefits that reading has to offer. From strengthening their brains to reducing stress and even alleviating feelings of depression, reading opens up a world of possibilities. It serves as a perfect escape, allowing them to transport themselves to far-off destinations while relaxing at home. They can immerse themselves in a new world, take a break from the daily grind, and let reading be your ultimate getaway.


Whether it's a quick break or a long summer vacation, these tips are designed to keep you and your loved ones reading all year round! Implement these strategies to establish healthy reading habits that will benefit you for a lifetime.



If you're an educator or librarian looking to enhance literacy in your school and community, we're here to help! Reach out today to learn more about how Beanstack can support your literacy goals. 

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