"Research shows the most damage to reading skills occurs outside school—during the summer months. But not for all kids."
--Jim Trelease, author of The New York Times Bestseller, The Read-Aloud Handbook
Purpose of Summer Reading:
While reading is essentially a solitary activity between reader and text, most readers enjoy and often seek out opportunities to talk about their books with others. This occurs in everyday conversations, in regularly scheduled, face-to-face book clubs and most recently, on-line in a variety of formats. These collective literary behaviors embrace the tenets of Holmdel High School’s Summer Reading Program: choice and community.
During the academic year, students have virtually little choice when it comes to reading due to curricular and time demands. Consequently, Holmdel High School’s English Department acknowledges and respects our students’ need for reading choice over the summer, recognizing choice as a powerful motivator (Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C., 2008). Additionally, “having students interact with text and with each other about text in ways that stimulate questioning, predicting, visualizing, summarizing, and clarifying, preferably in the process of completing authentic tasks (tasks with a personal purpose or for a larger audience than the teacher)” fosters students’ engagement (Irvin, Meltzer & Dukes, 2007). Therefore, when book choice is coupled with additional choices, such as the choice to read the same book with one or more friends, and the choice of how and when to discuss their books, the Holmdel High School District is more likely to achieve its objectives for Summer Reading:
Summer Reading for Parents: