“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”
-Richard McKennawhy-read-for-20-minutes-a-night-at-home1
This year we are providing an exciting opportunity for your child to embrace the love of reading.  We have developed a different format for our At-Home Reading Program.  There are no calendars, no logs, etc. for you to deal with at home.   Instead, we are asking for 20-30 minutes daily of your child’s time at home.  As we are sure you know, being a successful reader does take time to develop.  Studies have shown that if students read an hour sometime during each day, they will have read over 4 million words in just one year.  That is astonishing learning!
To help promote lifelong reading we are implementing a book challenge for our fifth graders.  Students will receive a genre grid to track their progress toward their goal of 40 books.  This goal includes books read at home, at school, in the car, on vacation, anywhere!  Although this requirement seems steep, it equates to approximately one book a week.  Any book over 350 pages is considered two books.  Some of the books in the genre requirements are much shorter, such as poetry, folklore, and non-fiction.  Also, students read over half an hour daily in school alone.  The teachers will be conferencing with students to help set goals and support progress towards their target.

Please read this blog post by Donalyn Miller, originator of the challenge, to understand the thinking behind the challenge.
Here are some ways you can support this initiative at home:
  • Encourage daily reading.
  • Be a reading role model for your child.
  • Talk to your child about books he/she is reading or books you are reading.
  • Take your child to the library.
  • Share favorites from when you were a child.
  • CELEBRATE!  Congratulate your child for any book completed!  Every time a book has been read, your child is getting closer and closer to the ultimate goal of becoming a lifelong reader!
Don’t let this challenge overwhelm you or your child.  We are providing students opportunities to become readers and any progress towards this goal is a step in the right direction.  The first step is always the hardest.  Let’s take this leap together and enjoy the journey!
Happy Reading!