A recent article in the Denver Post profiled a local elementary school’s efforts at helping boys become more avid readers. Educators made careful selections for classroom and school libraries, selecting books toward which boys may gravitate, but the key element that seems to be making a difference is giving all students CHOICE in their independent reading, letting them select books and explore new authors and genres. Research on reading consistently confirms the path toward developing life-long readers is based on choice.
This year’s NEHS Common Reader competition reflects the value of giving all students, even those at the senior level of high school, an opportunity to make a decision about what they wish to read. NEHS is experimenting with this format this year—we want to see if the two novels both attract attention and prove to be sources for quality reading. We also are interested to see if one text is more appropriate for particular school communities than the other and, if so, why.
As we move further along in the Common Reader process this year, we certainly invite your feedback on having two texts.
Students: What do you think of the new two-book common reader approach? Did you read both books and then choose which one to focus on for your scholarship essays or did you just pick the book that sounded most interesting to you?
Advisors: How did you choose to approach the new system with your chapter this year?
We also invite your recommendations for future Common Readers, either pairs or individual texts; selecting one or two titles each year is no small challenge. We value your suggestions; send them to Dave Wendelin at any time. Thanks so much.