Summer Reading

Picture this, you\'re at home, a week after school lets out for the summer.
You work a steady 5 days a week, and its summer, so you want to relax. You grab
for the remote just as you\'re parents come home, and lug in the 4 hefty books
required for the next school year. You moan as you think to yourself how you can
possibly fit in time to read these enormous, time-consuming books. For many
students, summer is a busy time, with summer jobs to uphold, sports, or
vacations. It’s hard enough to fit in 4 bulky books as it is, but with the
dull subjects, and non-relating plot lines chosen for summer reading, it’s
twice as hard. Most schools, such as St. Marks, and Salesianum, don’t even
have a summer curriculum. If insists on forcing 4 books down the throats of its
students, they should relate more to students or catch their attention with more
exciting plot lines. Although ’s summer reading is incredibly bulky, it can be
made somewhat easier on students if the books can relate more to them.

Creating a summer reading curriculum that will connect more with students at
, will not only make it easier for the students to complete all of their
reading, it would also greatly boost student’s grades. The first days of
school summer reading tests are always a bear. What makes them even more
difficult, is when the book you’re being tested on was impossible to relate
to, and you find yourself just reading words, and not even processing the story’s
plot. This seemed to be the case from 11 out of the 12 students that were
interviewed for this report. Each of the 11, when asked if due to “uninteresting”
text, found their minds wandering as they read, said it happens a lot, and
usually hurts them come test time. This grade happens to be a big one for the
first quarter and if one receives a bad grade, it haunts them throughout the
semester. When interviewed, Tim___ said “ I try to read the books, and
eventually get through them, but when it’s time for the test on the first day,
I can’t remember anything because I couldn\'t pay attention as I read.”
Another student, Brian ____, when interviewed also felt this way. . Brian
answered basically the same as Tim, and when asked if he felt that reading on
his part would be easier if the material related more to his life, and sparked
some enchantment he replied, “Oh definitely. If the books were cooler, newer,
and had something to do with people my age with similar problems and situations,
it would be great.” These were just a few of the responses received while
interviewing, and clearly a big majority favors the idea of a “hipper”
change in the summer reading curriculum at . Changing the summer reading
curriculum would allow Archmere students to enjoy reading more, resulting in
better grades as well.

Although students at would clearly benefit from a more modernized,
age-relating summer reading itinerary, one could argue that the books being
taught now certainly have a good effect on students long term as well as short
term. When interviewed, Mrs. Carol expressed her feelings on the matter, saying
“these books being taught now are taught because they are necessary
preparation for college English.” This statement is definitely true in that
you will need to know about these books for college. Many other things can
benefit from reading a book that relates to the student, and similar situations
that he/she might run into throughout life. Sure these books might prepare you
for college literature, but other books, may offer lifetime advice, or things to
help in the real world. These problems could easily be fixed by taking some time
out by faculty to research books that contain similar features of other books
that are required to be taught, such as foreshadowing, symbolism, aphorism,
hyperboles, etc. A faculty member would then present this book to the rest of
the faculty, and get responses, and maybe replace just one of the normal four
books regularly taught, and see how the students respond. This solution can also
be met at an easy compromise; for instance, one half of the books for summer
reading would be more modernized, relating books, and the other half the normal
reading material that has always been taught. This idea would sill keep the
older literature a big part of Archmere, but also give some new authors with new
ideas a chance to make an impact. It is