Scholastic recently released its new report on the state of school reading in the United States. Two of the many findings include the need for more time devoted to independent reading and a desire for more ebooks in school libraries.
Independent reading time is the segment of a school day in which students are allowed to read on their own. Because this activity is not directly related to a specific lesson, many schools have reduced or removed independent reading time. One principal surveyed stated, “We have lost independent reading time as a result of the numerous curriculum mandates.”
Educators, however, overwhelmingly assert that free reading contributes to student achievement, and its loss may indirectly affect learning. “Independent reading fosters a love for reading,” said Michael Haggen, Chief Academic Officer at Scholastic Education. Reading is one of the foundations for educational success.