Dear WES Parents,
The importance of your student continuing to read over the summer is undisputable. Research has shown that students who continue reading when the school year ends in June are better prepared to begin school in September having lost few if any of the hard-won skills of the previous year. This fact alone should be motivation enough for every parent to support their children’s reading over the summer.
A dedicated summer reading program should fuel this motivation with a solid diet of good books to maintain each student’s enthusiasm for reading and to introduce young readers to new authors, genres, and subjects. The WES summer reading lists are designed with these goals in mind. I have carefully built the lists in concert with each grade’s homeroom teachers to reflect a balance of children’s classics and new authors and to acknowledge the range of reading levels within each class.
One thing our teachers know about summer reading is that it should be fun. While every parent hopes their child will rise to the challenges of academic rigor, we also know that those challenges need to be balanced against finding books that are accessible and within each child’s independent reading level. For those books that are not, it does not mean setting them aside, but rather reading these together with your child. Reading together is a wonderful way to spend time with your child and educationally beneficial as well.
We realize, too, that the WES summer reading lists are guides – jumping off points for an exploration of literature that may include a foray into books, series, and magazines not appearing on the list. Students are not limited to the books on the list and are free to read any book that interests them. Please remember that your local public library is a great resource for discovering new books. Also, please feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
The most important thing is to read. The only required book is the one chosen by each grade’s teachers to be read by the entire class. This book is distributed to students the final day of school along with a letter describing the class assignment for the book. Our teachers have found that when students return in September talking about this book and sharing projects are great ways to begin community building for the coming year.
Again, the important thing about summer reading is to read!