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Summer Reading: Message from the English Department

Message from the English Department

We all know that reading is one of the most critical components of a child’s success in school and in life. As such, classroom reading instruction at North Cross begins with the youngest children in junior kindergarten and continues through the literature-based English classes in the Upper School. Of course, you were reading to your children even before they started school, before they could identify letters, probably before they could even recite the alphabet or understand the stories. Parents who read to their children from a very early age do so because they know that reading skills are valuable for practical reasons; but they also understand the more intrinsic rewards which come from shared reading time.

Before children are literate, reading time provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with your young child while helping them to increase their vocabulary and comprehension skills. Most children have a particular book they ask their parents to read over and over, being just as enthralled with the fiftieth rendition as they were with the first. As these children get older, they remember these stories and this special time spent reading.

Even after children become proficient readers and begin to read to themselves, books can still give parents a way to connect with their growing reader. Many of the books that your child reads in his or her formative years will be ones with which you are familiar. You may have read them in school yourself. These books can provide topics of conversation for family dinners, or they can provide an opportunity to discuss shared reading experiences. Did you also read that book in sixth grade? Did you experience the same reactions that your child is experiencing?

The texts chosen for the English curriculum are challenging ones meant to improve students’ reading skills, but they are also meant to broaden students’ horizons. They will read about other cultures. They will learn about other time periods and ways of thinking. They will be introduced to new ways of seeing their own, familiar world.

As we strive to make reading a pleasurable, year-round habit, we offer this summer reading list as an opportunity for students to choose their own adventure. We hope that they will come back from the summer with new ideas and a new love for reading, and we encourage you to share in their journey.

The North Cross School English Department