Read smarter, not harder: Dallas ISD’s summer program makes reading fun 


Written by Chandler Flowers, Communication Services junior associate.

It is important for kids to keep up their reading when they aren’t in school, and Dallas ISD is here to help.

“Having students spend the summer reading books they enjoy will help them academically and instill a lifelong joy of reading,” said Douglas Frank, curriculum manager for Reading Language Arts. “Research shows that students who read a minimum of 10 minutes a day will see improvement in overall achievement, vocabulary exposure, and reading fluency. And if students read over 10 minutes, all of those skills increase even more.”

This summer, various programs are available to inspire the whole family to read consistently while also making it fun and rewarding for everyone. One of these programs is the Dallas Public Library’s Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge. This program is part of Mayor Eric Johnson’s Summer of Safety campaign, which provides free services and activities, such as free lunches at the Dallas Public Library, free access to Dallas cultural and recreational activities, and safety classes.

Families can sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge at or on the Beanstack app. Then, using the log reading and activities button, they can keep track of how much they read or how many activities they completed. 

Reading 20 minutes a day for 10 days earns your child a reading badge, and 10 activities completed earns a discover or create badge. For each badge earned, students receive a free book of their choice. Additionally, participants will receive a prize for every 10 days of reading or 10 activities completed. If students complete 50 days of reading and/or activities by Aug. 10, they are automatically entered into a raffle to win a grand prize. For more information on the Summer Reading Challenge, go to this link.

Through the Summer Reading Challenge, kids and adults can discuss their favorite books and share in the joy of reading together. Kids might discover their next favorite book they can keep reading into the school year and parents can encourage their children through their reading journey while reading alongside them.
What makes the Summer Reading Challenge special is the entire family can participate in it. Adults can also participate in the Summer Reading Challenge, with the opportunity to earn free books, a prize from the adult goodie bag, and a chance to be entered to win a grand prize after 50 days of reading.

“Adults should find time to maintain a reading life. Even reading 15 minutes a day is beneficial to them,” Frank said.

Frank himself often finds time to read after his children go to bed.

To foster family conversations about books, he recommends asking questions like, “Tell me about the book you are reading,” “What is your favorite moment in the book so far,” and “Who is your favorite character in the book.”

“Parents can also model by reading with their children. Finding times for them to get to the library throughout the summer is beneficial as well,” Frank said.

Dallas ISD campuses offer summer reading lists, so check out your school’s website for more information. For more reading programs or a list of books to get you and your child started, click the links below. 


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