ReadWorks
Jenna Bush Hager's Summer Reading Tips for Kids

As we’ve learned, raising young readers is crucial to your children’s development and well-being. But if you’re a parent whose kids treat reading like kryptonite, don’t worry—just bookmark this page. Because we’ve tapped the queen of the book club, Jenna Bush Hager, to share her tips on how to encourage your kids to embrace a lifelong love of reading. Below, our one-on-one chat with the TODAY co-host and proud mom of three…

WHY IS READING AN IMPORTANT SKILL TO ENCOURAGE IN CHILDREN?

Reading is the most important skill to instill in kids. There's so much research around the importance of kids who are read to at a really early age, and also around the importance of modeling reading habits for our children. It's a beautiful tradition that can bring the family together.

AS A FORMER TEACHER, CAN YOU SHARE ANY ANECDOTES ABOUT THE KIND OF IMPACT THE POWER OF READING CAN HAVE?

I witnessed kids' lives be transformed because they fell in love with reading. One of my students, Derek, started on a first-grade reading level in the third grade, but because of his incredible work and diligence and staying after school and working with me and with his mom, I was so happy to hear several years ago that he graduated from the University of Maryland.

ADVICE TO PARENTS ON HOW TO ENCOURAGE THEIR OWN KIDS TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL, AND JOYFUL, READERS?

1. Find out what your kids are interested in. If they love skateboarding, find them a book on skateboarding. If they're interested in sports, find them that book. Make sure you know your kids, and therefore you can help find them the type of content that they'd be interested in. 2. Kids can read anything. Don't think that your kids only need to read classics or highly literary books. Graphic novels are a great thing for reluctant readers. Mysteries are awesome. Series are incredible because if a child loves one, they can't wait to read the next. 3. Whatever your kids like watching on TV or in movies, try to find them the equivalent of that in books.

WHAT'S ON YOUR SUMMER READING LIST FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES?

There are so many to choose from! In May, I released my Read With Jenna Jr. summer reading list with some of my favorites!
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