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Instead of snacks, the vending machines have been filled with books ... This has been the ingenious idea of a school in the United States to encourage reading in children. Instead of eating chocolates or puffing up on soft drinks, from now on, students at Umatilla Elementary School in Florida will be able to devour books whenever they want.
Sugars and saturated fats have been pushed aside to make way for words, for knowledge. So, with this strategy, this primary school has managed to attack two problems at once: lowering the sugar level in the diet of its students, a problem that worries parents around the world, and inviting their students to visit the wonderful world of reading.
However, many will wonder ... are children willing to spend the money from their parents' pay on these books? Well, they don't have to pay! As the director of this school has told CNN, when children behave well, they help others, do their homework, make good decisions, etc. they receive what they have called "Bulldog Bucks" (the bulldog is the emblem of the school and 'bucks' is an everyday way of naming dollars).
When they have collected a small amount, they only have to go to the office of one of the counselors of the center who will exchange them for coins that they can use in the food machine, now full of books. Little ones can choose from titles of different themes and levels that they can take home and share with their family and friends.
It is an initiative included in the literacy week celebrated in Florida to promote reading throughout the state. And, from what they say on social networks, It has been a great success! The children received with great joy the change in the vending machines ... What do you think would happen if they tried it in your school?
How important it is to get children to appreciate a good book! Those of us who love reading know that books are the best umbrella under which to take refuge, the possibility of living other lives and the best invitation to discover new universes. Make children love to read It is the key to stimulating their imagination, allowing them to learn vocabulary and spelling, fostering their curiosity about their surroundings, helping them to exercise their ability to concentrate ... There are many benefits of reading for little ones!
Therefore, in addition to this ingenious food machine full of books, we propose other ideas with which you will be able to build the habit of reading in children.
1. Having fun and reading can be synonymous
There are many games that can help your children discover that books can be a lot of fun: make up stories based on characters from different stories, draw scenes from their favorite stories, organize theater or puppet shows with stories they have read. .. Make your children understand that reading can be a very fun game.
2. Read a bedtime story
Every night, take some time before the children fall asleep to read a story to them. Look for books on topics that you know they will like or propose stories that make them reflect on their moral or teaching. This habit will make them read for a while before going to sleep when they are older.
3. Reading at school on the one hand, and reading at home on the other.
Many times, the little ones have to read some books on a compulsory basis for school. In some cases, these titles do not match the tastes of all children, which can make them a bit fussy about books. Therefore, it is convenient to separate school readings from books that are read for pleasure. To do this, you can encourage them to read them in a different place in the house. In this way, they will understand that not all reading is a school assignment.
4. Fill your house with books
We know that the masters of order and minimalism will pull their hair out when they see that we recommend filling your house with books but ... what is a forest without trees? What is a fridge without food? What is a paella without rice? If your children are used to being between books, they will feel more willing to open them and immerse themselves in them.
5. Take them to the library
There is no more exciting place for a reader than a library. Therefore, accustoming your children to go from time to time, will make them come into contact with more different types of books ... Maybe one of your little ones will discover that he loves gemology because of a book he found in the library. Or maybe you would like more to read about the human body? Your children will look forward to the arrival of the day you set to go to the library.
6. Set an example
If you want your children, or your students, to read, they must see that you read too. Talk to him about the new book that you have started, ask him to accompany you to the library or to a bookstore to get your next title, read together ...
What do you do at home, or in the classroom, to encourage reading among children?
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