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The Summer Reading Bag project wrapped up last week (read more about it here (opens in a new window)). I was amazed by the quality and quantity of donations we gathered! Thanks to the generosity of teachers and neighbors, the PTO tables were piled high with books, games, flash cards, mini chalkboards, and more.

summer reading bags

Once we sorted and leveled the donations into three tables (roughly K/1, 2/3, and 3+). I left the room (for confidentiality purposes) and every one of the 45 children came in to shop and to fill their bag full of things to read and do this summer. The kids came grouped by classroom teacher and left their bags in the room for distribution later in the week. The project was a HUGE success!

summer reading bags

Are summer reading bags the panacea to the lack of summer reading (opens in a new window) and summer loss? No. There’s no guarantee that the bags will get opened, that the books will get read, or that the parent letter (opens in a new window) we sent will get read. But I can guarantee this: the community was proud to contribute to this project, and the kids were really excited about the books and reading.

I’m already planning next year’s Summer Reading Bags. I’ve got lots of ideas about things we could do to encourage the kids to read the books: tape recorders, pen pals, postcards, a summer Family Reading Night, and more. All of those ideas require labor and cash, two things that we’ll need to plan ahead for.

In the meantime, I’m grateful to the teachers who shared their students’ reactions to the bags. Several stopped me at school to tell me how excited their kids were. The kids just couldn’t believe that they got to keep the books! I’m also grateful to the two reading specialists (pictured here) who donated their time to make it happen.

reading specialists

About the Author

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Publication Date
June 8, 2009

Related Topics

Motivation, Summer Reading