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  • Writer's pictureGaila Cohen Morrison

Dear Gaila - How to Get Your Child to READ

Dear Gaila,

I know you must get this question all the time - but how do I get my daughter to read? She knows how to read very well. We make sure that there are a variety of good, level appropriate books available for her. But she will never pick up a book from her own volition and start reading! What incentives can I give her? A Worried Mother

Dear Worried Mother,

This is something I deal with all the time. Once a child has the ability to read, we want them to recognize the joy of reading and to read on their own so they will improve. I've emphasized endless times that reading is the key to improving one's English. This is why I hold the Readathon every year.

Excited Readathon winner

The Readathon is a reading contest. The more pages a child reads - the more prizes they win. You can read more about it here. Readathon 2017 is happening right now, and truly encourages children to read. They enjoy being part of a big event, raising tzedakah and, of course, winning prizes.

Another wonderful reading incentive during - and not during - the Readathon, is sitting down with your child and reading together. We often don't realize the value of one on one quality time with our children. Children look forward to this special time with their parents.

Set a reading goal and reach for it!

You can also encourage your child to set a goal and try to reach it. It can be a certain number of books read in two weeks, or 10 minutes a day for a month. This gives them a specific, exciting goal to aim for.

Good luck!


Gaila has almost 40 year of experience teaching and runs A.H.A.V.A., a non-profit to promote English literacy. Would you like to ask Gaila a question? Email us at or send us a message. Look out for more Dear Gaila columns

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