Reading surrounds all aspects of the subjects at Rockhurst. It is also an easy way for a student to increase their intellectual capacity and performance in school. Due to the multitude of benefits, I have never understood why there is not more of an encouragement for reading at Rockhurst.
More specifically, I never understood why the English department does not ask what the students want to read and instead sends out a list that they believe is the best for students.
Coming in as freshmen, students should be able to choose the books and ask permission from the English department if the books chosen by the majority are appropriate.
I believe this will encourage more students actually to sit down and take the time to read a story they might actually enjoy, rather than being forced to read a history novel about war.
Back in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, daily sessions of independent reading called “Sustained Silent Reading” (SSR) were popular in classrooms everywhere. This system was basically students choosing books they wanted to read.
I feel like if we brought back this system, but made adjustments to correctly find novels that have timely significance to this generation’s high schoolers, instead of those from many years ago, it would encourage students to read more often.
I think the re-implementation of this system would change students’ mindsets from “I have to read” to “I want to read.” I had the feelings of “having to read”, during summer break, but I want to be able to enjoy a book that is assigned and enables me to better my vocabulary and reading skills.
I can also see myself as well as others enjoying the art of literature and also enjoy talking about it in class If a group of students can get together to come up with a list for their grade, I can see a more personal relationship developing between the students and their books.
At the end of the day, students will only succeed if they have the mentality of “want to read”, instead of “need to read”. The most important place to start is making the reading list based off of the students voice.