In the town of Chelmsford, MA, summer vacation isn't a total break from learning. Each grade level is assigned a certain book or list of books to read over the summer. When school re-opens, students are given tests on the books or assigned book reports/projects, to verify that the book has been read.
Some students are assigned two books - one required and one of your choice. Others choose a book from a short list. In the higher levels, there is one specific book that must be read. All the required books are chosen by age-appropriate content and difficulty. Many of them are classics, written by Twain, or Hemingway, or Fitzgerald.
For a lot of kids, summer reading is a big pain. Taking time off from sports, parties, and going to the beach is just plain boring. But for others, the reading is a nice way to relax on a hot day, a chance to escape the boring summer when no friends are around. In either case, the reading must be done, like it or not.
Although it is not always enjoyed, assigning reading over the summer is proving to be a good idea. It builds and renews reading and comprehension skills, gives kids a chance to read some classics, and prevents having the whole year at school be forgotten. The Chelmsford School Systems will surely continue this custom.
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