Scholastic Reading Club’s Judy Newman: ‘Joy and Bonding’

In News by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams | @DennisAbrams2

Image-8-25-14-at-9.24-PMHow can we get kids to read more?

That’s the question that many people—parents, educators, and even publishers—ask on a regular basis.

In an interview with NEA Today (published by the National Education Association), Judy Newman, President of the Scholastic Reading Club, shared her thoughts on trends in children’s reading habits, the ways in which parents and educators can work together to encourage independent reading (critical to a student’s success), and other topics.

A couple of highlights follow.

How can educators work with parents to encourage more reading?

Judy Newman:

“Partnership between teachers and parents is essential in encouraging students to read more. No one has a more powerful, compelling, or credible voice to a parent than a child’s teacher.

“At Scholastic Book Clubs, we work hard to partner with teachers and give them the tools they need to help reach parents in an understandable, actionable way that explains the power of independent reading—and to insist, as with any homework, that families have a critical role to play by encouraging independent reading outside of school.

“Parents who have books available in the home and are themselves reading role models are more likely to raise kids who are frequent readers.”

Scholastic’s latest reading survey shows that kids prefer print books to ebooks. Can you explain why?

Judy Newman:

Judy Newman

Judy Newman

“Kids love to collect books. You can have pride of ownership in displaying your print books in a way you cannot with digital editions. Kids like to turn pages. To keep track of how far they are in a book. They like to write their name in the front cover and use bookmarks and book covers.

For younger children, the joy and bonding that happen when parents or adults or even other children read aloud is much richer with a physical book than with an e-reader, tablet, or phone sitting between the parent and child on the couch or at bedtime.”

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About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.