Reading’s Role in Education

Valentina Hernandez, Writer

There is an undeniable joy that can come from sitting in a quiet place as you flip the crisp pages of a brand-new book, smelling that familiar new book smell and absorbing every word as you enter the world the author has worked so hard to bring to you. Despite this, pleasure reading is a very uncommon activity among the current generation of students. On top of the enjoyment someone may get from reading, the activity also has mental benefits. Still, to some students, reading is far from a priority.

Comprehension and student performance improves daily through reading. Reading is a necessary skill to perform everyday activities such as filling out forms or reading instructions for an upcoming project. Whether it be reading on your own time or for school, reading can improve your vocabulary skills as well as increase your ability to understand others.

Though reading is a necessary skill, many do not enjoy it or read on their own time. Students on campus have a range of opinions when it comes to reading.

“I don’t like reading for school purposes, but I do like reading for my own purposes,” Junior Allan Herrera said.

Herrera’s statement reflects a not uncommon sentiment among students, that assigned readings in school have made reading less appealing.

“Schools should make the discussion about books and the assignments more interesting to keep students engaged” Allan said.

Herrera believes that reading does not have a significant role in a student’s education.

“I feel like if you don’t read it’s not going to impact you a lot, but I feel like if people did read it would help them more. You could not read every day and still be smart.” Herrera said.

Beyond a lack of motivation to read what us assigned to them, many students may simply have difficulties reading, making it hard to get invested in the activity.

“I don’t like reading because I’m a slow reader, and I get lost during the story,” Senior Marcelo Provencio said. “I believe that if I read more often, I would be able to read faster, but I just don’t enjoy it.”

Marcelo feels discouraged by school when it comes to reading.

“I don’t think they make it miserable, but it makes students not want to read the selected books,” Provencio said. “Even though it’s fun books the fact that they’re for education purposes make me personally not want to read them. I believe schools should encourage students to make up their own stories, or I would like for them to allow us to pick our own book instead of being assigned books. The assignments that come with reading are also a downside.”

Though he says he struggles to concentrate when it comes to reading Marcelo is aware that reading could possibly help him out with his education.

“I feel like reading is a big factor in a student’s life. Reading is something people need, a necessity. If I read more, I think I would be much smarter,” Provencio said.

Other students though do feel the impact of reading and feel as it though it is an escape from their real lives.

“Reading is an escape for me,” Senior Camila Hernandez said.

“I think reading influences the way you write because you subconsciously take your authors style of writing and add it to yours,” Hernandez said. My favorite book is probably The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, just because I like the way it’s written, and how complex the story is. I love changing timelines.”

Camila says that she has read about 12 books in the past year, and that she believes that a Colleen Hoover book can get any unenthusiastic reader to love reading.

“I don’t think not liking to read negatively impacts your life, but reading makes you more educated and it allows you to learn a lot about other people’s experiences,” Hernandez says. “I definitely think that instead of just using classic novels they [schools] should also include recommendations from students. That way it is more interesting and modern”

Students aren’t the only ones whose lives involve plenty of reading. Teachers have the responsibility to educate both themselves and students through reading.

“I do think reading impacts your education” says Coronado English teacher, Ms. Starr-Price.

“So, this year my students have to bring a free read book, so that when they’re done with their classwork, they will be able to read a book that they want,” Starr-Price said. “But I think a lot of my students this year will get into the reading habit; I see a lot of them reading more and more every day.”

Ms. Starr-Price also believes that reading is a form of escape from her regular life. “It does impact my everyday life; I am up thinking about a book until like 3 am and once I wake up, I am still processing all the information.” she says.

She believes that it is important to let students explore their likings and figure out for themselves what they enjoy reading.

“We have this idea of directed readings and are told what we have to teach versus what we can teach,” Starr-Price said. “I think it kind of puts kids in positions where they don’t know what books they want to read or what genre because they are told what to read. It also gives them an inability of being able to explore books as well.”

Starr-Price believes that reading is similar to other forms of media, a recreational activity, meant to be enjoyed.

“Reading is kind of the same reason people listen to music, it’s like an escape,” Starr-Price said. “It’s a fun way to live somebody else’s life and still return to your own life.”