How can church bookstores help to get middle grade readers, especially boys, interested in reading?
Bookstore managers will likely agree that they stand on the front lines of this issue and are in the perfect position to reach out to children in their congregations. I would challenge managers and bookstore staff to take multiple steps to encourage boys to read.
· Stock the kinds of books kids like to read. Many churches today can be tempted to focus on adult books. This alone discourages young boys from visiting the bookstore. Churches should actively combat this current trend because churches are in the perfect position to impact young readers.
· Bookstore managers can also begin a reading tutoring program in order to help children who are at risk.
· Encourage dads in the church to be obvious about reading in front of their children.
· Create a brief presentation to give to the adult classes and small groups in the church about the importance of reading. This presentation should be given to the young parents and older adults alike, as grandparents can help to influence their grandchildren the same as parents, aunts, and uncles. Such a presentation could also be tailored for use in reaching out to young readers in their own Sunday school classes.
· Add a quarterly notice in the bulletin which targets young readers.
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