Is Summer Reading Worth It?

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Rayner Reinhardt, Staff

Although summer comes as a break for stressed high school students, there are always things to do, one of them being the infamous summer reading. Each summer, incoming freshmen and any returning high schoolers are assigned reading for their fall English class. The required reading can range from one book to three. 

There are conflicted feelings about the CHS summer reading, including students and teachers.  

One concern is about summer brain drain. 

“I get why we do it, but I always read in July and forget everything by the time school comes around,” AP English student Amber Stephen said.  

Stephen’s situation seems common among CHS students.  

“I try to be on top of my reading and do it ahead of time, but then I don’t remember it as well,”freshman Ashley Metzbower explained. 

Usually, teachers will give graded assignments on the book(s) at the beginning of the school year. These may include essays, analyses, or creative writing.  

“I had projects on each of the books I read over the summer,” Stephen said.  

Many teachers have the same rational on graded assignments, which as English teacher Greg Hill explained is “. . . wanting to keep students reading, and assignments give them a chance to show they’ve done it.”  

Mr. Hill offers an atypical viewpoint on summer reading. 

“I think it’s important and should be expected; however, it shouldn’t be required . . . students shouldn’t be expected to be quizzed on something I didn’t even get a chance to teach them,” he explained.  

There are other concerns about summer reading as well. 

“I don’t understand why we continue to have these [books] assigned when kids just look it up on SparkNotes, or the internet, and don’t even bother to actually read,” junior Kate Lawrence said.  

When students do try to read, it can be hard to balance with a busy summer schedule.  

“It takes up too much of my time,” freshman Max Powell said.  

Despite this common feeling, students do acknowledge the benefits of summer reading.  

“I like how summer reading exposes me to new, and often classic, material,” junior Eva White said.  

Other advantages of summer reading include strengthened vocabulary, reading practice for the school year, and something to do during free time.  

“When a student is bored over the summer, they can pick up a book and read,” Mr. Hill said.