By Janis Fontaine
A little reading goes a long way.
Experts say that increasing a child’s reading time by just six minutes a day can make a significant difference in meeting grade-level benchmarks.
Helping your child fall in love with reading will reap lifelong benefits. And reading well, even if your kid never falls in love with it, makes life easier in so many ways, from deciphering recipes to understanding cellphone contracts.
So how do we encourage youngsters to read?
Some might enjoy the socializing that comes with book clubs, while others might be motivated by earning free ice cream.
Here are a few ways to increase the reading fun:
The Boca Raton Public Library offers many programs for kids, including these book clubs:
• Booktastic Book Club for early readers meets from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Spanish River Library, 1501 NW Spanish River Blvd. November’s book is Dragons and Marshmallows, by Asia Citro. Kids pick up a free copy of the book at the Youth Services desk once enrolled. Books are donated by the Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library.
• The Tween Book Jam will discuss Echo Mountain, by Lauren Wolk, from 6 to 7 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Downtown Library, 400 NW Second Ave.
• The Teen Book Club meets from 6-7 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Downtown Library for a discussion of Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo.
Delray Beach Public Library (100 W. Atlantic Ave.) hosts two clubs. Keep in mind, anyone entering the library must wear a mask. • The Teen Book Club meets at 5 p.m. Nov. 16 as part of its schedule of the first and third Tuesday of the month. Designed for ages 13-17, November’s book is A Song Below Water, by Bethany C. Morrow. Copies are available for free at the library.
• The Readers are Leaders Book Club for grades 4-6 (ages 9-12) meets at 3:45 p.m. the last Monday of the month. In October, the club read Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust, a graphic novel by Loïc Dauvillier. Check www.delraylibrary.org for the Nov. 29 book or call 561-266-0194.
The Boynton Beach City Library (115 N. Federal Highway) hosts the Brown Bag Book Club from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Nov. 24 for ages 9-12. In observance of National Native American Heritage Month, kids will read a beautifully illustrated Oglala Lakota legend. They can pick up free copies of the book at the library.
• The Boynton library also hosts a chess club from 4-5 p.m. Wednesdays and Teen Game Day from 4-6 p.m. Thursdays. Call 561-742-6390 or visit www.boyntonlibrary.org.
The Highland Beach Library (3618 S. Ocean Blvd.), in an abundance of caution, has not resumed its children’s programs. It may be the first of the year before it does, but check the library’s website at https://highlandbeach.us/departments/library or call 561-278-5455.
Roots and Wings launches reading incentive program
In September, Roots and Wings, a nonprofit in Delray Beach that is dedicated to fighting illiteracy and promoting excellence in public education, began offering a special deal for students attending Delray Beach, Boynton Beach and Boca Raton schools. To encourage them to read, five area businesses came up with treats for young readers each time they complete reading three books of their choice.
To get their rewards, students record their book titles on their bookmarks and have each entry signed by the classroom teacher and stamped by the school. They can bring the completed bookmark to the business of their choice to collect the reward and a Roots and Wings wristband. Rewards include:
• A free scoop of custard from Whit’s Frozen Custard, 3551 N. Federal Highway in Boca Raton or 200 NE Second Avenue in Delray Beach, for every three books read.
• $5 to open a custodial savings account at iThink Financial at locations in Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Boynton Beach.
• A 12-ounce smoothie from Tropical Smoothie Café, 512 E. Woolbright Road in Boynton Beach.
• A free round (18 holes) of mini-golf for kids younger than 12 (with an adult) at Putt’n Around, 350 NE Fifth Ave., Delray Beach.
• A free one-hour pass to the Silverball Museum, 19 NE Third Ave., Delray Beach.
For more information about Roots and Wings, visit https://rootsandwingsinc.org or call 561-404-0455.