A total of 852,154 pages were read this past summer by 177 students and 44 faculty at Crane Country Day School, as part of the school’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Students in kindergarten through fourth grade were challenged to read at least 750 pages, while students in grades 5 through 8 were encouraged to read a minimum of 1,000 pages.
Eighth-grader Kate Smith led the bookworms for a second year in a row, reading an astounding 25,200 pages.
“Sometimes I would read two books in a day, then take a few days off,” Smith said, referring to the 65 books she read in just three months.
Smith said if it’s a really good book she will stay up late into the night until she finishes, but it depends on the book. Some of her favorites this summer included the Divergent series and re-reading classics such as Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice.
Seventh-grade student Charlie Corman pulled his weight in pages, reading an impressive 53 books totaling 19,247 pages.
“I just download a bunch on my Kindle, so it’s easy,” Corman said.
It doesn’t hurt that Corman can read while riding in a car, and that he attended the Great Books summer camp in Amherst, where campers read and discuss literature. His favorite genre is fantasy.
“I read a great deal over the summer and only amassed 4,600 pages — these reading feats are nearly impossible,” said Traci Cope, Crane’s librarian who created the program with Upper School English teachers Lucy Lombardi and Elizabeth Teare.
Cope attributes the success of the reading challenge to free choice.
“As a librarian, I have long known that choice in reading matters,” she said. “People enjoy reading for pleasure when they get to select what to read on their own.”
The program has been redesigned over the last three years to incorporate choice and it has resulted in an exponential increase in pages read.
“All the research shows that the more you read, the better reader you become,” said Cope, who hopes this desire to read remains with her students for a lifetime.
Crane Country Day School is a K-8 school located on 11 acres in Montecito. The school is dedicated to providing an experiential education characterized by a thoughtful balance of academic challenge and creative expression. Click here for more information.
— Ann Pieramici represents Crane Country Day School.