Change Has Struck The Big Read

Woodside’s administration has made a more creative change to the Big Read


Olivia Dumas, Editor-in-Chief

Woodside’s administration has taken a  more creative approach for summer reading.

Instead of the usual book discussion, Woodside created a new way for students to demonstrate the 8 Conditions of Student Success, while also promoting literacy. Students were able to pick writing journal entries or create a poster.

“I thought the poster idea was really simple and easy to do in like 20 minutes,” commented Natalia Younan, junior at Woodside. “It was nice to be able to pick your own books.”

Every year, Woodside tackles  the Big Read, which promotes literacy and fundamental principles essential to Woodside’s culture: Heroes, Belonging, Sense of Accomplishment, Fun and Excitement, Curiosity and Creativity, Spirit of Adventure, Leadership and Responsibility, and Confidence To Take Action.

This was the first year that students were allowed to pick books that were of interest to them. Instead of the usual book discussion, students shared what they read through writing or an artistic poster. Students presented their projects in front of their sixth period class. All projects were worth a few points in the student’s classes. With these projects, they related what they had read to the school’s conditions.

Ceramics teacher Ms. Lefort stated, “The Big Read led to a more positive experience this year. There was more participation and I liked the fact that we could share a little more about what the kids read, so that others could get inspiration for books they would want to read in the future. I thought the format was a big improvement.”

Students commented that they had a more creative outlet when completing this project.

“The teacher had us present to our classmates and then the points were based on whether or not you completed the project,” said senior Alyssa Montalvo. “It was better this year because since it counted for points, there was just the right amount of pressure to get students to actually read their books.”

In previous years, Woodside let students choose between a few pre-selected books. When returning from summer break, they were then split up into mixed-grade classrooms based on  book-choice. Many students didn’t bother to complete the reading since there was no real pressure on their grades.

“I remember last year barely anyone would read their books,” said Alyssa. “I really like the new format and how it’s more academically challenging.”

Ms. Lefort thinks Woodside will continue with the same format for next year. She thinks this is mostly due to the overall increased student participation this year.

“I like the fact that students got to choose their books,” said Ms. Lefort. “For next year I don’t necessarily think there should be an assignment. The love of reading will come when it’s not attached to an assignment.”