Education Views - July 2005

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Education Views

Encourage Your Child to Read Books
July 2005
by Barry H. Willen, Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Centers in Eldersburg and Westminster

Log Onto

During the summer, kids tend not to read many books. Some schools do require their students to read a few book s during the summer. Yet, too many go through the entire summer without picking up a book. You might convince your children to read by logging onto

This free website encourages children from K to 8, at all reading levels and interests to read. Children create their own booklists from more than 6,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they read, and earn points and prizes for their effort. You can check these books out of the library, buy them at a bookstore, or may already have them at home.

What Is Book Adventure?

Book Adventure is an educational and entertaining internet-based game designed to help students (K-8) increase reading frequency, duration, and understanding. The reading program combines a proven school-based curriculum with Sylvan’s unique motivational learning techniques.

Sylvan Learning Center sponsors Book Adventure. Sylvan partnered with Reading is Fundamental, the International Reading Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the National Catholic Educational Association, the National Center for Family Literacy, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, Baltimore Reads, the District of Columbia Public Library, and the Center for the Book. Children participating in Book Adventure will gain awareness and awarded prizes by various sponsors, including Highlights Magazine, Daisy May Publishing, the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Usborne Books, among others.

Literacy Is A Serious National Concern

Sylvan developed this program because literacy is a serious national concern. Students who mastered reading techniques by the fourth grade develop independent reading skills more easily. The more a child reads, the sooner that student becomes an independent reader, yet, 75% of all fourth graders read below grade level. Book Adventure provides incentive and motivation to get kids reading longer, more often, and with greater understanding.

How Does Book Adventure Work?

Through Book Adventure, children access the web site and select age and reading level appropriate books. After reading the book, the child logs back onto the site to answer five multiple-choice questions evaluating their understanding of the reading material.

It includes areas for the teacher, parents, and the kids. Each area contains pertinent links, ideas, and recommended reading lists. Both parents and teachers can use this site. Teachers can register entire classes. Teachers or parents identify the children’s reading level, grade level, and interests. Book Adventure will then give the child a recommended list of books based on their reading skills, grade level, and interest. After reading the book, the child logs onto and answers a series of multiple choice questions, thus earning points toward prizes.

At home, children get their own accounts when they enter their names and game names. Parents verify their children’s participation by giving their name, address, e-mail, and telephone number, as their child receives prizes as their home address. Parents will also receive their children’s reading scores by e-mail.

How is Book Adventure Different from Other Reading Programs?

There are many commercially sponsored reading campaigns today. Unlike these other programs, Book Adventure goes beyond reading practice to include reading comprehension. It offers parents and educators insight into how well children understand the material and rewards children for participating.

Some of the more popular books read and quizzed at Book Adventure include books from the Harry Potter series, Charlotte’s Web, Dr. Seus’ Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Hobbit. Prizes include books, CDs, Highlights Magazine, and coupons.

Log onto to encourage your children to read.

This column is contributed by Barry H. Willen, Executive Director of Sylvan Learning Centers in Eldersburg and Westminster.

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