By Lauren Song
Every year, ICSU holds an I Love to Read Month event during the month of October to emphasize the importance of reading. Says Mrs. Rose Song, a member of the ILTRM committee, “Reading opens up the imagination. Reading allows you to ‘go on a journey’ to different historical contexts and stories. This is why we implement an I Love To Read Month! We want to give students an incentive to read.” Ms. Lori Hake, the official manager of ILTRM, also commented, “Research shows that students who read for pleasure will experience greater success in other academic areas. Through ILTRM we want to instill a love for reading that will not only help students become better readers now but will continue throughout life.”
I Love to Read Month primarily focuses on the younger students (usually kindergarten through elementary school). Grades K-5 keep a paper reading log complete with a space for their guardian/parents’ initials. They are to turn their logs in every Monday. Also, elementary school teachers encourage the students to read daily–either at home or during school hours.
Upperclassmen are also welcome to participate by recording how long they read per day in an online Google Spreadsheet. Middle schoolers and high schoolers alike are organized into several groups. These groups then compete against each other; the group with the highest number of hours read will receive prizes. For example, in previous years, rewards consisted of pizza parties, ice cream, recesses, and dress down days. This year, gift cards and coupons have also made the prize list!
One of the great things about I Love to Read Month is that students are allowed to read whatever they want to read. The ILTRM committee has announced, “During I Love To Read Month, we want to promote and appreciate a wide variety of texts, as well as encourage effort and enjoyment over mere performance.” However, the committee invites students to read books that are “on-level.” In the past, students have read genres such as action/adventure, comics, drama, mystery, picture books, and science fiction. The option to choose their own books enables students to enjoy I Love To Read Month even more.
There are also intermittent announcements during school hours that call for students to drop everything that they are doing and read! Whether you are taking notes during a lecture, sleeping during class, or stretching in gym class, you will stop everything (or wake up, if you are sleeping) and read until you are told to stop. Therefore, it is advised that students carry their books at all times, as it is not known when intercom will go off.
Despite primarily being an “elementary” event, the whole school is able participate and enjoy I Love to Read Month. This annual event that ICSU hosts still continues to instill a passion for reading in the student body to this day.