We know that books and tubing don’t mix, but at Schlitterbahn we have a whole team of avid readers. And as employers of hundreds of young people, we also know the importance of literacy. So when we had a chance to develop our own reading program we jumped right in.
The program is now rolling and we had a great time when we kicked off our Waves of Pages reading program at an area elementary school. The goal of our reading program is to help schools encourage reading by giving kids an incentive – a free ticket to Schlitterbahn.
We even created a fun little book for the kick off that was based on the original drawings of our mascot, Schatze. It’s a six page book and, most importantly, we managed to rhyme Schlitterbahn! If you’d like an e-copy, let us know!
There are many things parents can do to instill a love of reading. Here some tips we’ve gathered:
1. Start ’em young by reading aloud everyday. Even a 5-10 minute reading session can help a child connect to books. Even when they can’t say a word, children are learning language by listening. They also learn that stories live in books and look forward to story time.
2. Once they start to read a little, find a series. Nothing hooks a kid like a cast of repeating characters. Some great ones for young kids include Magic TreeHouse Books, Geronimo Stilton, and Horrible Harry. As they get older some fun options include the feral cat adventures of the Warriors, and the Olympians in Percy Jackson books.
3. Find a genre that works for your child. Many kids who don’t “like to read” haven’t found a type of story they enjoy. Here’s a great list of series that boys enjoy. Here’s a list of options that girls enjoy. But it isn’t just about gender. Keep an eye out for a series that will appeal to your child’s interests.
4. Reading is reading is reading. Comic books are fine. Graphic novels are fine. Funny books with jokes about farting are fine. While many of us would like our kids to pick up a good Nancy Drew mystery or a classic by Mark Twain, it’s more important that they find something they enjoy reading.
You can find more ideas and strategies for growing your very own avid reader on this website.
Due to limited availability, school participation in our Waves of Pages program is by invitation only. If you’d like to see your elementary school take part in 2016, contact your school librarian and encourage them to reach out to their local Schlitterbahn Waterpark. The more kids read, the more kids succeed!