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Missouri Kids Hit The Books During March Reading Month

March 9, 2009

Kansas City, MO - "Read Across America" week is almost over, but that doesn't mean the chapter should be closed. In fact, March is National Reading Month, and children across Missouri are cracking open books as part of it. Schools are planning contests and programs to encourage students to read, and a new study by the publisher Scholastic finds that children who read for fun also perform better on all types of tests in school.

Christy Levings, a Kansas City-area teacher who is a member of the National Education Association executive committee, says parents don't have to be high-tech to build on their children's reading skills.

"I think we underestimate, in this big-media-blitz environment that we live in, that just having conversations with your children is a huge tool to help them read, because it creates their vocabulary."

Levings says parents need to be good role models to encourage their kids to read.

"If your kids have never seen you read anything, you ought to step back and say, 'I could be a different role model.' But don't make it too hard for yourself; enjoy it, and the more fun you're having and the more you look forward to reading, that's a great thing to give to your kids."

Levings says reading doesn't have to be expensive. She reminds people that the public library is an excellent resource.

The study also shows kids aren't all about high tech; two-thirds of children surveyed prefer opening a real physical book to reading on the Internet.

Laura Thornquist, Public News Service - MO