The story appears on

Page B2

February 29, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Education

The written word

AT SCIS, middle-school students are reading more than ever, and more of them are enjoying it. This is all due to the middle-school-wide initiative of mandatory 15 minutes of SSR (sustained silent reading) every day.

Why did this program start? Ty Smeins, vice principal and responsible for middle school programming, conducted a survey last year to find out how much time each week students spent reading for pleasure. The results were a little alarming; with most respondents reporting they spent less than two hours a week reading a book of their choice even though they enjoyed reading. This, combined with research that shows reading ability is a huge indicator of success in school, inspired Smeins to suggest a new reading initiative. The idea was widely supported by administration and teachers.

So how do the students like the program? Like everything at school, there are mixed reviews: some students love it, others are ambivalent, but there are many students who reported negative feelings about reading at the beginning of this school year and are now singing a different tune.

Jacob Hansen, eighth grader, said the SSR program has vastly improved his reading rate, and that he is able to be more imaginative; he said he has even started reading more during his free time. Jasmine Quay, another eighth grader, responded that even though she loves reading, she has no time to do it in her free time, so she really appreciates the program.

Brett Petrillo, seventh-grade teacher who supports the program by providing the time in his classes for reading, says many students are often asking for more reading time.

From the library's perspective, there has been a tripling in middle-school book circulation from last year, and students are talking about and exchanging books they've really enjoyed. The evidence is clear the SSR program has been an unqualified success in supporting literacy at SCIS.

(Karen Danesi-Togneri is a librarian at Shanghai Community International School.)


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend