Thoughts on the Subject of Reading

Thoughts-on-the-Subject-of-ReadingWritten by Jane Scupham, principal

“A room without books is like a life without meaning.” —Thomas Jefferson

Today there was a great deal of talk around the school about books and reading. The grey rainy morning prompted a comment that it would have been a good day to curl up on the couch with a book and spend the day reading. Later, a teacher asked with obvious pleasure, if she could have the second copy of an educational research book that I received, so she could read it too. A conversation followed about some of the new Indiana Common Core standards, including a required test for 3rd graders called I-Read. Thoughts about reading filled my mind when I came home, and I realized that every room in my house has books in it. Even the basement laundry room has boxes of books that we can’t bear to give away just yet.

As you can see from some of the other articles in this week’s Link, the art and pleasure of reading is something that everyone at Saint Paul Catholic School strives to impart to the students. We congratulate the students who participated in the of Valparaiso Public Library’s Summer Reading Program. On Friday, as part of a national campaign, the entire school will pause to read for a few minutes. For parents of elementary students, especially those in 3rd grade, the State is placing greater emphasis on the importance of literacy, and it has determined that beginning this spring, all 3rd graders will be tested on their reading proficiency. The State of Indiana feels that literacy is such an important skill, that they have ruled that students who do not pass this test shall be retained.

We ask all parents, not just 3rd grade parents, to join us in our efforts to improve our students’ reading ability. What can you do (or continue to do)? Read to your child, model the joy of reading in your home, visit the library with your children, go to a bookstore, have conversations about books and stories, and make reading an integral part of your family’s character. Together we can help all our students experience the joy of reading.