Summer Reading: Pro

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Sophie Picone, Opinion Editor

“READ!” 

Walk into the Warren Hills library and you’re welcomed by this word from every angle. Walk out of the library and the word is far less frequent, walk out of school at the beginning of summer break and it may as well have never existed at all.

Summer reading has become a thing of the past at Warren Hills, yet another casualty of COVID-19. Summer reading, however, is vital in keeping students’ brains awake, something that we now need more than ever.

Reading the right things can keep people clever; this is inarguable. In our sci-fi-esque technological world, it seems keen people may soon be nearing extinction. The popularity of new artificial intelligence programs (ChatGPT, for example) makes it so that people don’t need to be clever to create clever things. As we become more reliant on AI, reading will become more vital to rescuing human ingenuity.

According to the Scholastic Publishing Company, reading also helps to teach young people emotional intelligence, a skill that is important for young people to cultivate, although they may not without the everyday presence of their schoolmates. A summer assignment  helps students  to   continue to foster their emotional awareness when there are fewer means of doing so.

Perhaps most importantly, reading over the summer helps to kindle students’ academic drive. If they are left to their own devices, many students will spend their entire summers lazing in the sun. When school returns to session in August, they will still be in summer mode and will lose valuable learning time.

According to Education Connection, reading serves another purpose. Because all other modern learning hinges on a child’s capability of absorbing and retaining information, it is important that they retain the ability to do so over the summer. Reading helps do this because that’s exactly what it is— taking in information, and absorbing it to better understand other things.

Education Connection, a company that specializes in matching colleges and careers to students’ goals,  points out the usefulness of summer reading for the sake of future learning, in the sense that it teaches kids how valuable reading is. The value of reading outside of school risks being lost on many children now, when there are so many other digital options for free time. Assigning reading outside of the school year sets children up to understand the importance of utilizing the resources of a library. 

Summer reading is less work than blowing up a beachball— read one book and write an essay, make a poster, or complete a packet— a dedicated student could easily be finished long before the weather is hot enough to melt their ambition. 

Summer reading should not be retired. Not only is it a reasonable amount of work to expect from students, it is a vital tool. Moving into a digital age, we must value human virtues more than ever before, and summer reading, although it may seem minuscule, is a contributor to these, and that is something that we should not let go.