“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.”
As educators, parents, professionals, we understand that there is a critical need for more reading. But, it’s often easy to lose sight of that. Growing up, my family didn’t have many books at home, but what we did have was the Westchester Library System. We spent a lot of time visiting the different area libraries, and I could take out 15 books at a time. In high school, I decided that I had far too much academic work to continue to read for pleasure, and so began my eight-year hiatus, where I only read assigned books. Once I became a teacher, I decided that the best way I could connect to my students was to read what they read. That first school break, I read the entire Twilight Series. That’s all I needed to connect back to reading and realize how valuable it is in my life. So what could I do to make sure that my students continued to love reading?
As a child, I could never get enough reading time.
Just as I experienced, often, students reading habits decline as they age. Many students develop negative feelings about reading, particularly boys and students who are struggling academically. And for students who love to read, there still seem to be things that get in the way.
To better understand how we could help our students here at St. Luke’s, we asked them about their reading habits and learned that a decline in reading was due to three main factors:
1. There are other things they would rather be doing (technology plays a significant role in this).
2. They aren’t sure how to pick out a book they will like.
3. There just isn’t enough time.
Reading time at St. Luke’s is not new, but with the help of our teachers and Middle School English Department Chair Kirsten Tobler, St. Luke’s has designed a community experience for Middle School students. We’ve carved out the time for reading, teach students the skills and habits to become great readers, and build reading and library time into students’ schedules.
Below, please see my State of the School presentation about building a community around books and growing a deeper love of reading in our students.
St. Luke’s is a private, secular (non-religious) independent school in New Canaan, CT serving grades 5-12. St. Luke’s mission: An exceptional education that inspires a deep love of learning, a strong moral compass, the commitment to serve, and the confidence to lead.
Leave a comment
Get our latest blog posts!
- Amber Berry: Head of Middle School ( 2 )
- Beth Yavenditti: Director of Global Education ( 3 )
- Carrie Meatto: Spanish Teacher ( 1 )
- Dan Clarke: Sports Information Specialist ( 1 )
- Daphne Teittinen-Schreck: ESS Director ( 1 )
- Dr. Jason Haynes: History Chair ( 2 )
- Dr. Stephanie Bramlett: Former Director of Inclusive Excellence ( 2 )
- Gareth Fancher: Director of Emotional Intelligence ( 1 )
- Georgia Rosenberg '19: Student ( 1 )
- Hunter Martin: Summer Program Director ( 1 )
- Jacqueline Nelson: Director of Equity and Inclusion ( 1 )
- Jane Olsen: Fifth Grade Teacher (retired) ( 1 )
- Jason Giffen: Director of Enrollment Management ( 4 )
- Jessie Samuel, Fifth Grade Science Teacher ( 1 )
- Jim Foley: Asst. Head of School for Leadership & Innovation ( 2 )
- Jim Yavenditti: Director of Studies ( 1 )
- Joshua Schneider, Upper School Science Teacher ( 1 )
- Julia Gabriele: Associate Head of School & Chief Financial Officer ( 5 )
- Kate Parker-Burgard: Director of the Center for Leadership ( 21 )
- Liz Perry: Head of Upper School ( 9 )
- Mark Chuhta: Asst. Head of Middle School ( 1 )
- Mark Davis: Head of School Emeritus ( 17 )
- Mary Halpin Carter: Head of School ( 1 )
- Nancy Troeger: Director of Marketing and Communications ( 4 )
- Sonia Bell: Director of College Counseling ( 2 )
- Stephen Vehslage: Associate Director of College Counseling ( 1 )
- Students: Jack Briggs '21 and Liam Patty '21 ( 1 )
- Tom Owen: English Teaching Fellow ( 1 )
- Gareth Fancher ( 1 ) [Show All]
Posts by Topic
- Innovation in Education
- Moral Compass
- Moral Courage
- private school
- Lifelong Learning
- Above and Beyond
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Global Perspective
- Student Voices
- College Admissions
- Civil Discourse
- Parents as Partners
- Postive (Alumni) Outcomes
- Private School Admissions
- student-led learning
- middle school