The Edison Solution to Reading

To get students to read more, the Edison Librarians, Mrs. Psaltos and Mr. Veyvoda started the Edison Reads event. The event’s goal was to read a set number of books by the end of May. 

This is the second year that they have done the Edison Reads event. Edison students have crushed last year’s challenge, so the librarians have raised the difficulty for this year. The goal this year is to read 1,200 books by the end of May. As the deadline approaches for the Edison Read event, students at Edison only have a month left before hitting this goal. 

“Ninth grade read the most last year,” Mrs. Psaltos said. “This year, twelfth grade and eleventh grade have the most books so far.” 

Ninth graders read 474 books last year, almost 70 books more than eleventh grade and over 100 more than twelfth and tenth grade. However this year, the eleventh and twelfth graders are leading Edison students with the most books read. 

There are plans to create a reward system ti encourage students  to read a certain number of books. 

“There is a raffle, and we’ll come out and advertise it more,” Mrs. Psaltos said. “For every grade, there will be a raffle for a Barnes and Noble gift card.”

However, a reward system may not be the best idea. Mrs. Psaltos pointed out some problems that may arise with giving incentives for reading. 

“When thinking about the reward system two questions came up,” Mrs. Psaltos said. “Should it go to the student who reads the most books? How do we know if the students are reading books?”

Mrs. Psaltos believes  there is no way to evaluate the trustworthiness of students and the absolute amount of pages read by each student. 

“I don’t believe in rewarding quantity because some books are short and some books are long, and some students can read quickly and some students can’t,” Mrs. Psaltos said, “I think all reading should be rewarded, not just the most or the best.”

All of this is in an attempt to get students to start reading again. In the past years, there has been a decrease in the amount of books being borrowed from the library. 

“About this time last year, we were losing momentum,” Mrs. Psaltos said. “We thought a school-wide reading initiative would be a nice thing to start and it was a big success.” 

Mrs. Psaltos believes there is a problem with reading for students, especially with the limited time some students have in a day with school and other responsibilities.

“Students have school work, they have tests, extracurricular activities, sports, they want to be with their friends, and they have family obligations,” Mrs. Psaltos said. “Then in middle school, a phone is introduced, which takes a lot of time.”

Modern technology already has a major impact on students’ willingness to read, however, students’ experiences with books when they were younger can also affect their love for reading. 

“When students are young, they are forced into chapter books very quickly,” Mrs. Psaltos said.“By not having time to explore picture books, they don’t have a love of reading and stick with it children’s used to.”

The goal the librarians are working towards through these events is to encourage reading in teenagers, due to the rise in social media use.  

“By having Edison Reads and getting the teachers on boards, we’re hoping to bring back the pleasure of reading so students can have it as a part of their life,” Psaltos said.

Lin

Hi Hi, I’m Hao Lin, I’m a Junior in Thomas A. Edison CTE High School and I work in the Feature section of the Edison Light. I hate being told what I can write and how I should write it, that’s why I chose features as my section. With so many things happening right now, it will be impossible to throw away all the juicy events that are happening around the world. I believe Journalism is very important, especially with the internet. There is so much information out on the internet that it might be too overwhelming for everyone to understand, that’s why there needs to be talented Journalists to help break down the information to its most simple and correct form.