As children read books from a variety of genres, they are exposed to vocabulary words and concepts that are not encountered in daily life. School-age programs can provide the opportunity for children to pursue their own reading interests that will hopefully become a lifelong habit. Falling in love with reading and with books is the goal for all children.
The term “language arts” refers to activities that focus on reading, writing, listening and speaking. Because of the pressure to reach specific benchmarks, many classrooms are unable to find the time to allow children to pursue their own literary interests. Few opportunities are available to experiment with writing, illustrating, making presentations and engaging in long term projects. School-age programs can provide children with the time and freedom to explore and experiment with areas of personal interest. Above all, their experiences should be joyful, playful and connect reading and writing with the real world.