The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

The Student Voice of North Allegheny Senior High School

The Uproar

Opinion: Is Required Summer Reading Beneficial?

The intentions behind required summer assignments are in students’ best interest — but only if they prioritize the work.
Ruby Morris
Required summer reading novels for high schoolers.

Picture it: you’re waking up on one of the many mornings of summer vacation at 9:20 a.m. as opposed to awaking to the blare of a 5:00 alarm. You lay in bed for a couple more minutes, deliberating whether to actually start the day or return to slumber. It makes no important difference what you choose, for you have no academic responsibilities. School? –  that’s an end-of-August problem!  

Hold on — you have 400 pages to read by the end of August. What’s the book called? Will your English teacher actually test you on this? Is it worth your summer time? 

According Mr. Jeremy Rak, NA English Department Chairperson and English teacher at North Allegheny Intermediate High School, “The ELA Department decided to implement the new summer reading requirements after our last curriculum review in 2019.  The teachers on the curriculum writing team saw summer reading as a way to provide students and teachers with a shared experience and shared foundation to build from at the start of the school year.”

According to an Insider article, reading is an efficient strategy to help reduce stress; additionally, it improves brain health. In theory, teachers who desire that their students keep in intellectual shape over the summer should be commended. If anything, they are doing students a favor by encouraging them to keep their brains active during a relatively idle two-and-a-half months.

Senior Louise Hindsbo found a way to make her summer reading enjoyable.

“It was kind of fun because I just tanned while reading,” she said. 

As much as students wish to deny it, summer reading is an acceptable strategy to remain academically engaged so they can better prepare for the coming school year.

That is, if they don’t begin their reading the last week of summer.

It’s worth asking if required summer reading is pointless if most students choose to procrastinate.

It’s worth asking if required summer reading is pointless if most students choose to procrastinate. Based on my own observations, a majority of students who were assigned reading over the long break either began to read their books in mid-August or didn’t read them at all.

NASH senior Sara Fernandez began her work earlier than many, but she admitted that it was a challenge to maintain the work ethic she expects from herself during the school year.

“I started it in August,” Fernandez said. “I’m not sure how resourceful I was.”

It’s only natural that students are going to want to use the two-and-a-half months away from school to do anything but more schoolwork. Summer reading is homework over summer break (emphasis on break). 

Though the intentions of required summer reading are in students’ best interest, it may be time to determine whether the outcome is educational or inconsequential. 


Editors’ note: All opinions expressed on The Uproar are a reflection solely of the beliefs of the bylined author and not the journalism program at NASH.  We continue to welcome school-appropriate comments and guest articles.

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About the Contributor
Gracie Durzo, Staff Writer
Gracie Durzo is a junior at NASH. This is her first year partaking in Journalism and she is very excited to begin a new chapter in her high school journey. She decided to take journalism because she wanted to put her writing skills into greater use beyond English essays. Gracie also participates in the NA musicals and is a past actress of the NAI plays. Outside of Journalism and extracurricular activities, she enjoys going out with her friends and spending time with her family. 

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