‘Find something they can connect with’: OPS teachers host book fair with hopes of raising reading interest in students

OPS teachers host book fair with hopes of raising reading interest in students
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 7:58 AM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - A beloved childhood memory, the scholastic book fair, is happening right now in Owensboro schools.

But a study by Pew Research tells us that reading for fun has become less common for younger children.

14 News’ Haley Kerby got the chance to visit the book fair at Newton Parrish Elementary where she caught up with instructors that say they’re trying to bring that interest back.

In the study by Pew Research, only four in ten young people read for fun in 2020

It also showed children who said they ‘never or hardly ever read for fun’ was at its highest point since the question was first asked in 1984.

One teacher at Newton Parrish, Emma Kingsley, said “I think a lot of times we have technology in our hands it’s just good to see physical copies of books and get them reading and excited about reading”

At the scholastic book fair, students have a chance to see and purchase a variety of books that they can take home.

School librarian, Claire Lanham said, “We get kids in here who are excited to get books to take home and then we’re also able to keep that excitement going afterwards.”

But why are studies still seeing changes in reading habits?

“I think a lot of it is just making sure kids get the right book in their hands,” said Lanham.

Zaletha Brown is the instructional coach at Newton Parrish, she said there’s a lot of ways to keep kids reading.

“The key to get students reading and to become lifelong learners and lifelong readers is to find something they can connect with,” said Brown. “You let them try a variety of books and you model how you enjoy reading.”

When first grader, John Bristow was asked why reading was important to him he said “Because it makes your brain smarter and it just really inspires me.”

Owensboro Schools host a book fair not once but twice a year. One is happening now and another will take place in the spring, to consistently keep reading top of mind for students.

They say they believe reading helps students gain knowledge, discover information and connect with the world around them.