A Dillar, A Dollar, A Savvy STEM Scholar

Now that the bells are ringing, bringing students and teachers back into the classroom, parents are encouraged to check in with their children to make sure they didn’t lose reading skills over the summer months.  In today’s high-tech, social media saturated world, turning the pages of an actual book can easily get overlooked when family and friends gather.  Many times, kids just want to play video games or shop at the mall.  Putting a real book into the hands of a child has sparked a lifelong love affair with reading for generations.  Students were encouraged to read several books while school was out, and to take part in the local and state-wide reading programs that occur each summer.  Hopefully, they return to school, refreshed, and eager to build upon the new vocabulary they’ve picked up from reading, and can share stories about the places they visited in their literary travels. Summer reading helps those in STEM programs stay abreast of the latest advances in those fields.

STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.  The labor department estimates there will be more than 1 million jobs in STEM related fields by next year. Some believe there are more jobs in these fields than qualified candidates to fill them.

Those interested in these general subjects will find many books to help them narrow down the field to a subject that interests them.  They can go to the library and even purchase books from second hand sources, but the ultimate thrill comes from building their own library and for that, you can turn to Barnes and Noble.  You can go online or ask about reading programs and activities that take place year-round in the store near you.  Some are city wide efforts, special events with celebrity guest readers, or read/write-ins where kids are encouraged to write and read their original works.  When students keep their math skills sharp, they do better when school resumes.   There are brain-game sites that help challenge children and for some, doing a cross word puzzle daily, sudoku or logic games and puzzles begin a useful habit that creates mental flexibility with words and numbers.  Here’s a tip: Search Groupon  and you’re sure to find promo codes for Barnes and Noble.  Some offer deep discounts on books for students, discounts for educators, and up to 90% off new and used text books.

With the start of the school year underway, it’s quite likely you’re pouring over a list of must-haves that your students need to get them through their classes.  You know they are going to need pencils, pins, rulers, calculators, paper, and even if they have a computer, they will need a few booklets, and reams of paper.  Make sure that among all the flash drives, surge protectors, index cards, and backpacks they buy, they pick out a few good books.