March is Mad about Reading

March 13, 2012 | Posted in: Early Learners, Elementary

With so many distractions – particularly the electronic kind – it can be hard to get your child to sit down and read. March – “PARP month” at a number of schools across the state – offers a perfect excuse to spend quality time with your child and promote reading for enjoyment. PARP, an acronym for Parents As Reading Partners, is a New York State PTA program that encourages parents/caregivers and their children to spend at least 15 minutes reading together each day.

While simply reading a book together is one idea, there are plenty of other activities that use and encourage reading skills. Since it is March, we decided to offer ideas for reading related to sports and March Madness, the NCAA basketball championship tournament that kicks off this week.

Read the sports pages together.

Follow March Madness, or check on your local high school teams. Many schools are between seasons, but there may be some previews. Or, read up on how spring training is going for your favorite baseball team. Find out where the team holds spring training, and learn something about that community.

Check up on March Madness teams.

Read over the list of 68 college teams participating in March Madness. Search online and read about the areas where some of the colleges are located. For example, Creighton University, ranked #8 in the Midwest, is located in Omaha, Neb. Do an online search for “fun facts about Nebraska.”

Read the rules.

Read the rules of basketball at Learn the name of each position on the team and what they do.

Plan a trip to see an NCAA final game.

Even if you can’t actually travel there, learn about the city where the game is being played. For example, the East division finals will be held in Atlanta, Ga. Learn about Atlanta, or pick a community along the way where you would stop if you did make the trip. Read about something you could do there.

If your child can’t tolerate the idea of basketball, pick something else they like to do: Cook? Read a recipe and make it together. Bicycle? Look up and read about “best bike trails in America.” Music? Read about your favorite musician when you were growing up and share something about why you liked their music.

And those three interesting facts about Nebraska?

  1. Nebraska has more miles of river than any other state.
  2. Kearney, Nebraska is located exactly between Boston and San Francisco.
  3. In Blue Hill, Nebraska, no female wearing a ‘hat that would scare a timid person’ can be seen eating onions in public. (Makes you want to cry just reading it, doesn’t it?)

Happy reading.


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