New summer reading excites

Kai Smith, Staff Editor

Normal mandatory reading that is assigned each summer has been replaced by book talks at Dulaney High School. This concept was created to motivate students to read from a book genre of their choice over the summer and then discuss the book with like-minded students and a sponsoring teacher.
Dulaney published a list of novels for students to read over the summer, and the students selected a specific title out of the 22 books and attended a book talk with a sponsoring teacher.
English teacher Britta Schaffmeyer attributes this change to a book called “Book Love” by Penny Kittle which inspired the English department to restructure summer reading. “[Kittle] interviewed a bunch of seniors and found that a whole bunch of people leave high school never reading a book that they loved,” Schaffmeyer said.
Kittle also believes in developing a passion in students and teachers for reading, and she has partnered with the BookLove Foundation to make sure all students can read what they want.
Overall the English teachers approve of this change Schaffmeyer believes that they are all for the new assignment.
“I think the English teachers are all for it,’’ Schaffmeyer said. “We’re all in the same boat as far as we want a more literate graduate class, we want people to read.”
Reading leisurely is effective for students in preparation for their future careers. A study from the college of Brockport shows that all students are more motivated to read when they can choose their book. The purpose of this new system is to motivate students to read other books that suit their tastes, which will hopefully prepare them more for the challenges that college provides.Colleges require a higher level of reading and writing, and an increased emphasis in reading early in high school can ensure success.
English department chair Jason Bowman says that the way the books are selected are relatively simple for teachers to choose.
“Teachers can either choose a book that they like, we also compiled a list of the best books for young adult readers,’’ Bowman said.
Bowman also hopes that this change will help students who generally don’t read try different and unique titles to find passion in books that otherwise they wouldn’t have discovered.
Sophomore Jonathan Zhang supports Bowman.
“Reading [Born a Crime],I was actually interested in it. I wanted to find out more and therefore got through the book faster,” Zhang said.
Junior Sam Henson stated that his book talk for the book “Two Can Keep a Secret” was fun and rewarding. Henson also believes that the idea of the book talks should be spread to other schools.
“It allows students to interact with each other and discuss what they read in an easy and almost controlled environment,” Henson said.