Hometown Girl: Summer reading challenge
by Elizabette Guecamburu | For the Patterson Irrigator
Jul 10, 2014 | 839 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When the mercury rises, I’m inclined to do four things—stay in a climate-controlled room, drink vats of iced coffee, take a nap and read a book. While the last two tasks are difficult to do at the same time, undertaken individually, they are quite feasible.

In fact, reading has been my favorite summer pastime since I was old enough to read. I’d devour books the way many kids devoured Twinkies—with gluttonous, cheerful abandon ... and no small measure of dried sugar around the corner of the mouth. Nancy Drew. Anne Shirley. Ramona Quimby. These characters became friends that kept me company on long, sweltering days.

While summer reading can be fun, it also plays an important role in helping kids achieve academic success. Kids that read during the summer months do better in school than kids who don’t—it’s that simple. Reading will help keep your child’s brain sharp and stop it from turning into a raging pile of goo—which happens when you play too many video games and don’t get enough Vitamin D.

According to the Amazon website, most of the top video games cost around $50—give or take a couple bucks. For the same price, though, you can buy your kid four brand-new books, instead.

In my view, that seems like a swap worth making. Even better, our library has oodles of books just waiting to be read—for free.

That said, though, you can’t expect your child to read if you are not willing to do the same. So, every now and again, turn off the TV and pick up a book. Reading is not only a means to offer a positive example for your child but also to stave off dementia. After all, a sharper brain is more likely to remember to turn off the stove, take medication and put on pants in the morning.

Therefore, I issue this challenge to you and your children: Read a book—or two. Heck, even three! It won’t hurt, and your neurons will thank you later. Guaranteed.

Elizabette Guecamburu, volunteer columnist for the Irrigator, is a writer and a native Patterson resident. She can be reached at eguecamburu@gmail.com.
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