Bookmarks are for Quitters

The Woodbridge Senior High School English department has started a new reading initiative to try and push our students and staff to read more at home. Mrs. Wood is the leading teacher behind this initiative. As she says, “as a society, we’ve noticed a decline in people sitting down and reading.” This is one of the reasons the department is focusing on pushing more people to start reading for enjoyment at home on their own. Studies show that reading more not only contributes to your intelligence, but can affect your mood and stress levels in positive ways. “Daily reading is linked not only to achievement in school but to income.” says Mrs. Wood. If our students begin to sit down and read for 20 minutes every day, it can contribute to giving them a brighter future and help them to become more successful.

 The English department is using a bulletin board located outside the English hall to show the books read by each grade level. Each grade level has a representative color, Freshmen are pink, green for Sophomores, gold represents Juniors, and Seniors are shown with blue. Staff is also on the board represented by the color white. Sophomores are taking the lead with the most books read as of now with the other three grade levels close in numbers behind them. “Teachers are coming back to time where they want students to choose what they read and are giving time to actually read during class”. Mrs.Wood thinks that if students are given time to read in class it makes them much more likely to read their books because they don’t have to fit time into their busy high school schedules filled with sports and extracurricular in order to read. Teachers have to find the balance between choice reading and assigning specific books to their students so that they will participate in academic reading rather than Spark-Noting books to save time and avoid boredom. 

In Mrs.Wood’s words, “in order for students to be well rounded and successful, assigning books is important.” Students who are able to choose what they read will have an easier time talking about it in class and will be more inclined to read because it will be something they are interested in. On the other hand, students should still be assigned books such as To Kill A Mocking Bird or The Narrative of Fredrick Douglass because they are timeless American classics.  

With this push for students to read, the English department is mainly keeping in mind the future of our school’s students and staff. They want us to have more opportunities in the future and to increase in our daily independent reading time. This is one way to help us get one step closer to those future opportunities.

 Students should take into consideration the importance of reading before putting off books assigned to them in class. Taking the time to read can impact our lives in a huge way. This is the English department’s way of showing that they care for our well-being. They are pushing us to be our best and encouraging us to push ourselves. Reading is the ticket to success and a successful future starts now.