Summer reading hinders students’ experiences

Lindsey Duboff ('12)/ Eastside Opinions Editor, Lindsey Duboff ('12)/ Eastside Opinions Editor, Lindsey Duboff ('12)/ Eastside Opinions Editor, and Lindsey Duboff ('12)/ Eastside Opinions Editor

It is a hot June day and kids throughout Cherry Hill East receive a piece of paper in English class that little do they know, will change their summers. It is that same sheet they get every year and upon receipt, immediately want to tear into shreds. Although summer reading is assigned every year, it should not be a requirement. Students work tirelessly throughout the course of the school year and only receive a two-month break. Summer reading adds stress to students’ lives during a time when they are supposed to be on a break from school.

Some people might say that summer reading keeps the students’ minds fresh and stimulated, however, it also takes up a lot of time. Summer is a time when students can travel, work, spend time with family, prepare for SATs, play sports and even take more classes. The district does not realize that some students use their summers to further their education or go on trips that will change their lives forever.  Life experiences challenge the mind and expose people to things that they cannot get from reading a few books over the summer. For example, traveling to far off destinations or working a summer job can enhance a students’ mind more than reading a book.   Sometimes the best way to learn is through life experiences, not by reading text.

Furthermore, although reading a book often times offers educational benefits, many times students do not even read the books. Instead they opt for the easy way out, by watching the movies or going on Spark Notes. What is the point of giving an assignment that half of the students do not even do, let alone, assigning a book that is also a movie? Does summer reading really expand a student’s mind, or merely inflate the profits of the nearby Barnes & Noble store.

As many of us can attest to, along with reading assignments, teachers also feel the need to give additional work. Other subject teachers also feel like they should capitalize on summer and get the jump on the school year. Is it too much to ask that students get a reprieve from the long days and even longer nights of the school year? This additional work adds unnecessary stress to students lives and takes away from the carefree summer days young people have in modern day society.

While summer reading does have the potential to be a positive experience, in reality, it takes away from students’ summer experiences, which can have a positive affect on their education.