This week’s Ultimate Transformation Moment focuses on reading. I am a known advocate of parents keeping their children in rhythm academically throughout the summer months. This is particularly important, and may fall heavier on the parents, now that many of the summer school programs have been discontinued.

After a three-month vacation, it’s easy to understand how a child may slide backward academically by the time school resumes in September.

However, even if very little happens over the summer, it is a great idea to have your child read for 30 to 45 minutes everyday, including Saturday and Sunday. In addition to reading, I’d like to recommend that they take the time to create their own personal notebook dictionary as well.

When they come across words that they don’t understand, have them create a list of the new words in a notebook, obtained specifically for this purpose. They can look up the definition, and write it down in the notebook. At the end of every week, quiz them on those words. It has been proven that if a person can learn one word per week, over the course of a year’s time, their IQ (intelligence quotient) may increase by 10 points.

Reading can very rapidly increase a student’s comprehension and vocabulary, which are very important for successful academic matriculation.

I must point out that there is a direct correlation between the lack of reading ability and the number of children who become juvenile and or adult criminals. Statistics indicate that 60 percent of the people in prisons are African American and read on a fourth-grade level or below.

The government historically uses the statistics of third-graders who have been identified as “slow learners” to project the number of beds they will need in the prisons in 10 to 18 years.

The current system is betting that these third-graders will not improve their academic skills, and will find themselves in prison. Shake up the system. Make sure your child, and those that you encounter, are spending time reading.

As parents, we must start early. Read to your child as an infant. Encourage them as they begin to learn their letters and begin to read to themselves. Make sure that they read something everyday.

Additionally, as they see you reading, they will innately sense the importance of this activity.

Regardless of their ultimate level of academic achievement, they will have gained the ability to seek information and knowledge, and this will empower them for life.

That’s our Ultimate Transformations Moment!

Peace and be more!

Erich Nall is the owner and founder of Ultimate Transformations Training in Los Angeles, Calif. He is the author of “21 Days to Ultimate Health and Wellness.” He is also a regular guest and commentator on KJLH 102.3 FM’s the “Front Page” with Dominique DiPrima. Contact him at: www.ultimatetransformations.com.