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Summer Reading Essay, Research Paper

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 indeed important, for future schooling

that a majority of these highly acclaimed, regularly taught books be read at ;

however, the summer reading curriculum could use a change of pace, something

Archmere students can more easily relate to.

In conclusion, students can greatly benefit from newer summer reading

material, with more focus towards the interest of high school students; books

that they can relate to more, and feel on the same level with. Students would

benefit in many ways, such as gaining a bigger interest to read instead of

having a bad feeling because books have been forced upon them, or getting better

grades due to the actual knowledge of the books. By taking a risk, and adding

one or two new books to the summer reading curriculum, ?s English faculty may

in fact come upon a new book that will not only serve to the interest of the

student, but will also become a new book to be taught in school for years to


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