Dear Parents of Children returning (or starting) school,

I realize, maybe more than most, summer is a time for relaxing, recharging, rejuvenating.  For kids, it’s about being a kid.

Biking, hiking, playdates, swimming, exploring, catching fireflies, and basically having fun.  As a teacher, I want your child, more than anything, to be a child.

As a teacher, I also look forward to summer for those same exact reasons (yes, I’ve been known to catch a firefly – for the record, in my hands, and then immediately released).

Here’s the thing – as child, I also did something else.  I read… and not because I was forced to (in my day, summer work wasn’t assigned), but because I loved it.  My grandmother would take me to the library weekly to pick out stories we’d share.  When I got older, I’d bury myself in the great stories of beginning chapter books every night before bed.  Yes, I still did all the other fun summer activities, but I just don’t see why reading can’t be one of them.

As a matter of fact, as an adult, my summers always include reading.  Part of my relaxing, recharging, and rejuvenating is reading.  I read for pleasure and I also read for work.  This summer alone, I’ve read four professional books to help me both stay focused and be a better teacher… you know, for your child.

So before you go bashing summer ‘work’ (see reading), and tell me your kid did nothing school related over the summer (and you’re proud of it), remember this: reading isn’t just for nerds (like me), but for everyone.  Everyone.  And all the time.  Yes, even in the summer.