Education

"Flashlight Fridays" Turn Reading Into an Adventure for Kids

Kids do a lot of reading in school. This idea is to get them reading at home.


Once upon a time, there were no smart phones. Or tablets, Or e-readers.

The recipe for pre-bedtime mental relaxation was simple: a flashlight and a book (and an optional blanket over the head). Now, Jackson County, WV elementary schools are bringing this experience to the classroom, with "Flashlight Fridays," a once-a-month event where children and their parents can relax and enjoy a good book together with the lights out.

Read Aloud WV of Jackson County - Facebook

During Flashlight Fridays, the children will be given their own flashlight and choice of book - both of which they'll be able to take home with them to continue the adventure outside of school. An estimated 633 flashlights and books were purchased and provided to the schools by Read Aloud WV, which is sponsoring these events.

"We are very excited about our upcoming Flashlight Friday in March," Ripley Elementary second-grade teacher, Lori Mahan, told Jackson Newspapers. "The students will be thrilled to share this 'lights out' experience with their families. It is a great way to promote the love of reading."

Students read inside a tent at another Read Aloud-sponsored event.Read Aloud WV of Jackson County - Facebook

In addition to providing a fun, adventure-like atmosphere for reading, these events will help kids and their parents get into good reading habits at home. Studies have shown that reading with children has a significant positive effect on their reading skills and cognitive skills later in life. Children who are read to more frequently at an early age enter school with larger vocabularies and more advanced comprehension skills.

You don't have to live in the Jackson County, WV school district -- or any school district at all to try this idea. If you're looking for a fun way to get a young child you know into reading, grab a flashlight, turn off the lights, and snuggle up with a warm blanket and a good book.

I mean, it worked in The Neverending Story, right?

How can you start something good?

In addition to trying this idea at home with your own kids or grandkids, you can also help promote literacy among West Virginia children by donating to Read Aloud WV (click here).

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