The Gift of Reading Together

The Rochester Hills Public Library wants to encourage parents to read with their children. “Being involved in what your kids are reading helps them in school while also reinforcing the joy of reading,” said library director Christine Lind Hage. And reading together doesn’t have to stop once your kids can read on their own. Reading anything—comics, poems, graphic novels, magazines or books—out loud together is a great way to spend time with older kids and teens.
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Get a free library card. “Anyone who lives or works in Rochester, Rochester Hills or Oakland family_parents_child_read_book_together_learn_happyTownship is eligible for a free library card,” said Hage. A library card is your ticket to a world of resources for education and entertainment for the whole family: books, e-books and e-readers, digital audio books, movies, magazines, games, programs, and many other traditional and digital resources.

Read the library’s newsletter to learn about special programs and family literacy activities at the library and then attend programs that interest you. Many of the library’s programs are specifically designed to involved parents and caregivers and their babies, toddlers and kids.

Ask the librarians in Youth Services for book lists appropriate for your child’s reading and interest level and curriculum of your school. Librarians are specially trained to help you pick out materials that will educate and entertain you and your child.

Anytime is a good time to read, but summer and during other school breaks are important times to keep it up. Participating in a library’s summer reading program can make the difference between summer setback and summer success, leading to better academic performance when kids and teens return to school in the fall. Plus, Rochester Hills Public Library makes reading fun, with incentives, arts and crafts and special events designed to enhance the reading experience.

The 2013 Newbery Medal winner.

The 2013 Newbery Medal winner.

Pick out books together. Try out award-winning books from the Association for Library Service to Children, like Newbery Medal and Caldecott Medal winners and other notable children’s books and media. Visit and click on “Parents” to find lists and other resources for parents and caregivers.

Thousands of books are published each year for teens. Go online and check out the library’s lists of award-winning books and other recommended reading to help explore new genres and discover new authors. Visit

Encourage your teen to join a library’s graphic novel book club. Book clubs are a great way for teens to get together outside of class and talk about the books they want to read for fun. The graphic novel book club for teens at the library is similar to adult book clubs and can focus on popular media like graphic novels, manga (Japanese print comics) and anime (Japanese animation).

“We encourage parents to be a role model. Let your kids see you reading just for the fun of it. Bring a book, e-reader or magazine everywhere. Talk with your kids and teens about what you are reading,” said manager of youth services Jaclyn Miller. “Read to your kids, starting at birth. Being read to and hearing nursery rhymes — in any language — teaches a baby about emotions and expression.” For tips on fostering a love of reading, visit the Association for Library Services to Children’s website at Click on “Parents” then “Born to Read.”

The Rochester Hills Public Library has a special program for newborn babies called Raise-a-Reader.  “This free program provides a new board book to each registered baby for the first two years of their life,” said Miller. Babies must have a library card to participate in the program.

Reading doesn’t have to stop when you’re on the go. Check out audiobooks of family-friendly titles or movies for your next road trip. “We want parents to make sure they are caught reading,” said Hage. “Reading is an activity for people of all ages and parents should model regular reading habits to their children.”

The Rochester Hills Public Library is located in downtown Rochester off of University Drive and three blocks east of Main Street.  The Library is open from 9 – 9 Monday through Thursday, 9 – 6 on Fridays and Saturdays and from 1 – 6 on Sundays during the school year..  The Library’s website ( has information on how to register for a card and access all the Library’s services.

About Sarah Hovis

Freelance wordsmith, arts appreciator, grammar geek, sports spectator, stationery snob, and world traveler, Sarah charts her own course as the owner of saliho creative. She uses her creative mind and engaging dialogue to fearlessly bring the written word to life in print and online… all while keeping a watchful eye out for the next literary adventure. You can reach her at

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