School members discuss mandatory reading

By Sidney Reynolds

Year after year students buy, check out, and borrow books necessary for school. They need a summer reading book, which they must purchase during the summer or at registration. Perhaps they need a book for silent reading time in class.

“Summer is a time that we have a break from school and shouldn’t have to worry about doing work,” said junior Katie Davis.

Others enjoy it and see the benefits they can gain from it.

“Just reading in general benefits the student. It helps with their vocabulary and spelling. Students don’t know how much reading benefits them,” said English teacher Matthew Townsend.

Honors English students have to online quizzes over the book they have to read over the summer, while some AP classes must write essays in class upon arrival back to school. Some students think that students should just take quizzes over independent reading books instead of projects or activities.

“I think it would be much easier and would take up less time if we could just take quizzes like we did in middle school,” said freshman Katelynn Harrison.

Reading helps in many other areas of their lives.

“I truly believe that there are just some books that students should read before they graduate so they so that you have that knowledge going into a college setting, a career setting, or just adult life,” said English teacher Jessica Broady.

Sophomore Alexa Tuell thought both Night and Tuesdays with Morrie were very good books to read and learn from. Many students complain about required reading and wish they could choose the books themselves. Although there are many problems with students choosing the books that they like best.

“The funds aren’t available for us. I could go to the resource room and ask my students which book they would like but I don’t know if the students are going to choose classics. They are going to want something like anything by John Green,” said Townsend

Sophomore English students read the book Night. Broady said most of her students did not seem to care for the book.

“I just learned a lot about the Holocaust so I kind of already knew what that book was about,” said sophomore Bryce Moore.

Each student is unique and different, so it is no surprise they all have a different taste in books.

“I really liked the book Night. I would always take a break and read it throughout the day,” said Tuell.

The book Night caused a lot of conversation between students and this made some student wish FC would do the One School, One Book program. The One School, One Book is where the entire school reads a book together. They say this causes bonding throughout the school and helps strike up conversations.

“If you didn’t understand something then there would be more teachers there to help you rather than just one teacher,” said Davis.

Broady strongly believes that FC should do the One School, One Book program.

“I think that is a really cool idea and I wish we could do it here. I feel like we get close with summer reading, but there are so many kids in our school that don’t do summer reading. Something that I think is really cool is when Mockingjay was coming out, the third book in the Hunger Games series. I was waiting for it to come out, and so were Mr. Lang, Mrs. Stansbury, and Mr. Townsend and the whole group of us teachers waiting for it to come out and a whole group of students waiting for it to come out, so we would have these conversations everyday. When the book was finally released, we had conversations about it as we read it and it was just cool for that community of readers to exist. I loved the idea of the school becoming a community of readers,” said Broady.

Not everyone feels this way about the idea of the one book one school program coming to FC.

“It is not a good idea because what I like to read is completely different than what my math teacher likes, and I know if I don’t like a book then I won’t read it. I just put it down and find something else to do,” said Tuell.

This is what makes choosing a summer reading, class book, or group reading book hard to choose.  For now, teachers and the school will just have to work hard and do what they think is best for the students.

“I don’t think I could make everyone happy. That’s the thing about mandatory reading; it is hard to make everyone happy because not everybody likes one genre or another,” said Broady.

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