It's that time of year when school gets out and the days can slow down a bit.  Kids have more free time for playing and reading.  Families go on road trips to fun vacation destinations.  

Here are a few things to consider during summer vacation:

1. The public library is the best deal in town HANDS DOWN.  Don't have a library card yet?  They are free and provide you access to any book, audio book, ebook, and DVD you can imagine.  Lost your card?  It only costs $1 to replace.
2. You can do "online shopping" from the comfort and convenience of your own home simply by heading to your public library's website.  Search the online catalog and request anything you'd like.  Have your card handy to punch in your 14-digit barcode. You'll also need to set up a password.
3. Going on a road trip?  Request some audio books for the trip.  It's great to have books that the family shares and can talk about. 
4.  Do you have a Kindle, iPad, or other e-reader?  You can download ebooks from the public library onto your device FOR FREE.  If you go to the Barrington Public Library reference desk on Wednesday afternoons there is someone there to assist you in setting up your device.
5. Join the public library's summer reading club.  There are great incentives for doing what you love-reading!
6. Keep a log of the books you read for school.  Return it to the HMS Library in September.  You'll get a ticket for every book you read and those tickets will be entered into a raffle to win a Google Chromebook- your own personal laptop!  How cool is that?  You can win a laptop simply by keeping track of all the awesome books you read over the summer? Seems like a no-brainer!

Benefits of Summer Reading

Aside from the fun incentives like public library prizes and laptops, there are other benefits to reading over the summer (and in general).
1. Just like a sport or an instrument, the more you read, the better you get.  And when you practice reading and become more confident, you end up enjoying it more. 
2. You develop empathy.  What is empathy?  Merriam-Webster defines it as "the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else's feelings." When you read you get to experience things you may never experience in real life.  
3. You expand your vocabulary. When you read you come across words in context that you may not have known before. You're getting smarter simply by reading.  Amazing, right? 
4. You are getting a broader view of the world which means you'll be able to carry on interesting conversations with others. 
5. You'll never be bored or lonely if you have a stack of books by your bedside table.  You can immerse yourself in your book and be in a whole different time or place.  

Summer Reading Recommendations

If I had my way, I'd present you with one big list of books I think readers in grades 3-6 would enjoy.  However, I'm required to create lists for "entering grade 4" and "entering grade 5." Students are coming home this week with their own summer reading plan based on BOOK LOOK time with both lists.  This means they had time to pick up, read through, and decide on books that interested them based off both my lists.  
Entering Grade 4
Entering Grade 5
My message to kids and families is pretty simple: read.  Read what you like.  It could be chapter books, nonfiction (even cookbooks), graphic novels, picture books, a magazine, the newspaper, or  The whole point is that every person finds something that interests them to read.  

Our district has a summer learning website set up for your convenience.  Everything you need to know about summer learning is right here. You can even print out the HMS reading log from this site.  

I hope that you all have a safe, relaxing, terrific summer filled with all the things you like the most.  
Happy Reading,
Mrs. Roy


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