‘Sense of urgency’: One school’s bold plan to get teenagers reading

Jan 13, 2020 by

Elizabeth Stone’s high school students love books. But when the Queenwood principal asks them to name those books, they often cite novels they read in primary school – the Harry Potter series, or the works of comedian David Walliams.

“It’s rare for them to say, ‘I don’t like books,” she said. “They have fond memories, but [their reading] has stagnated. All of the data is telling us this; depending on which study you look at, 30-40 per cent of 15-year-olds have just stopped reading.”

With the school’s own research showing almost a third of year 7 and 9 girls read for pleasure less than once a week, there was a “sense of urgency” to stem the decline, Ms Stone said. So from next year, the whole school will spend 20 minutes a day reading for pleasure.

In the senior school, where Ms Stone believes the need is most acute, girls will down pens and pick up books at midday. They must read fiction, so no graphic novels, non-fiction, or books from their class reading list will be allowed.

Source: ‘Sense of urgency’: One school’s bold plan to get teenagers reading

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1 Comment

  1. Karole Fedrick

    I am all for reading for enjoyment of the beauty of well written words and great stories. What this article fails to acknowledge is that it is nearly impossible today to find fiction books for children, adolescents, and teens that don’t have a political agenda or the promotion of paganism. Award-winners, e.g., Newberry, Bluebonnet, etc., are especially agenda-driven with social justice issues, and in the case of Harry Potter, blatant witchcraft. Parents beware: libraries are not safe places for children.