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Read Widely

I am a teacher by profession and one year we tried a literacy initiative at our secondary school that divided part of the student population into small reading groups based on reading level, comprehension, and fluency. Each small group was assigned a different staff member (even those that aren’t in the English department) and for thirty minutes three times a week, the groups got together to read and discuss books. That’s it. No tests. No questions. Nothing but the enjoyment of good literature.

At first, skeptics wondered at the practicality of such a project. It was obviously taking time away from other subjects. As well, how would the students respond? They were being put into multi-age, multi-grade groups. Wouldn’t those at the lower end of the reading scale feel embarrassed to be reading with students up to two grades younger than they were?

As it turns out, the project was a huge success. Test scores done at the end of the year showed a dramatic increase in all areas of reading competency. The vast majority of students loved the experience, saying it helped them gain confidence as readers. Many even reported that they were doing more reading at home and spending less time playing video games. Now if that isn’t success, I don’t know what is!

It just goes to show that reading is a worthy activity for so many reasons. So keep on reading, folks!



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