Cottrel: Parents’ dedication to reading can help kids

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

That old saying came up when I tried to get our kids to read more on their own.

The first child was a natural with books and easily adapted to a good book/junk book routine. Katy would cheerfully alternate biographies and classics with one of those scary junior high book series that I considered “brain candy.”

However, the second child was like that horse mentioned above. She was my outdoors girl. Softball, swimming and climbing trees — that was all she wanted. I returned more books to the library unopened than I like to admit.

After consulting elementary teachers in the family, we devised a plan. Since Liz wanted to take horseback riding lessons, we found some nicely illustrated reading books about horses that could be read right after each lesson while she was still full of enthusiasm.

Liz got my undivided attention as we alternated paragraphs, then pages, and eventually read through the entire “Billy and Blaze” series of children’s books. That was followed by Saddleclub, which she tackled on her own. Now that she is all grown up, I love it that she is the family member undaunted by thick tomes like Harry Potter or Diana Galbadon’s Outlander Series.

This all came to mind last week when I looked at the tremendous reading support schedule that, Maggie Bollar, children’s librarian at the New Carlisle Public Library has planned for June and July.

Following a Western theme, there are three or four activities planned each week that I really could have used during the summer that I got Miss Liz to read.

Each one of the New Carlisle activities could possibly pique your young reader’s interest and be linked to a book on a similar subject.

Coming up later this month are a cowboy roping demonstration, a magic show, a visit by animals from the Columbus Zoo and a LEGO program.

In July they will have a Cowboy Fun show, Bunkhouse Bingo, cowboy sing-a-long, western crafts, and more Legos. July will also bring the legendary worm races and more live animals, this time from the Brukner Nature Center.

Just like at the Enon Branch of the Clark County Library, there are drawings and ways to “earn” prizes by reading. Be sure to take a look at the local merchants who have declared their support of summer reading programs by donating prizes. They deserve our thanks.

To learn more about the summer reading program in New Carlisle visit or call 937-845-3601 to reserve a spot at one of the programs.

A little focused dedication on your part this summer can give your child or grandchild the gift of reading for enjoyment for his or her entire life.

And like I said last week, keeping up with reading over the summer maintains the skills learned last year to give the little sweethearts a head start this fall when school starts again.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Chick-fil-A employee saves co-worker from choking
Chick-fil-A employee saves co-worker from choking

A fast-thinking employee at a Colorado Chick-fil-A restaurant saved a co-worker who was choking, ABC News reported. >> Read more trending news Andrew Myrant was on his break at the restaurant in Highlands Ranch when a co-worker signaled he was choking, ABC News reported. A video captured Myrant quickly coming to his co-worker’s aid and...
Disney building the world's first Marvel hotel
Disney building the world's first Marvel hotel

It’s a hotel that Disney is hoping guests will marvel at. >> Read more trending news Disney’s Hotel New York, a 565-room property near Disneyland Paris’ Disneytown. will be renovated to feature the props, drawings and costumes from Marvel films, television shows and comic books, Travel & Leisure reported. The Art of Marvel will...
Michigan man says he killed stepdaughter because 'it wasn't dinnertime'
Michigan man says he killed stepdaughter because 'it wasn't dinnertime'

A Michigan man on trial for the murder of his 5-year-old stepdaughter said he killed the girl because “it wasn’t dinnertime.” >> Read more trending news Thomas McClellan, 25, already had admitted to the stabbing death of Luna Younger, the Lansing State Journal reported. During a recorded interview, Detective Charles Buckland...
Reports: Trump’s lawyers probe conflict of interest among Mueller’s investigators 
Reports: Trump’s lawyers probe conflict of interest among Mueller’s investigators 

President Donald Trump’s legal team is evaluating potential conflicts of interest among the investigators hired by special counsel Robert S. Mueller, according to several reports. >> Read more trending news The New York Times reported that the president’s lawyers are digging into the professional and political backgrounds of Mueller&rsquo...
Couple arrested, accused of letting 9-year-old smoke marijuana, making him shoplift 
Couple arrested, accused of letting 9-year-old smoke marijuana, making him shoplift 

A couple in Rogers County is has been arrested Wednesday after being accused of allowing their 9-year-old son to smoke pot and making him shoplift. According to an affidavit, Kimberly Broyles, 45, and Michael Whitaker, 40, allowed their son to smoke marijuana in their presence.  The affidavit was prompted by a child abuse complaint from a self-proclaimed...
More Stories