Inspiring a Love of Literature

King School is committed to developing students' ability to read carefully, write clearly, think critically, and communicate their individual perspective. Faculty in all divisions are encouraged to provide students with the opportunity to explore texts of their interest within a given subject.

In the Upper School, in addition to assigning text in English, History, Science, and Social Studies courses, Faculty model their appreciation for literature and passion for reading through a simple, yet effective program. Dr. Suzanna Gigante and Tricia Manganello, two English faculty members passionate about reading, championed the concept to visually showcase Faculty's love of reading. Outside the doors of each of the Upper School classrooms, you'll find laminated plaques cluttered with the covers of novels and books reflecting what that teacher is currently reading. Carolyn Patten, Chair of the English department, has shared her most recent books, Tribe by Sebastian Junger, Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, and God Help the Child by Toni Morrison, outside her classroom door. "The program is designed to serve as a visual interruption to students going to and from class and allows Faculty to generate interest and conversation about literature and reading," said Carolyn. "We are committed to instilling a love of reading in students. We encourage students to pick up those titles that appeal, discover a new author or genre, and share their findings with the community. We want all King graduates to be lifelong readers."

In Middle School, students participate in the Independent Reading Program, which provides them with designated time throughout the day to read text of their choice. By providing students with the freedom to discover and explore independently, Faculty hope to foster a love of reading as students uncover their passions.

In the Lower School, reading choices are highly personalized to the student based on their DRA (Directed Reading Assessment). Faculty take the results from each student's DRA to better understand them as a reader and provide them with personalized reading options that will interest and challenge them as readers.

While King Faculty work to provide and encourage extra-curricular opportunities, parents can also take steps to encourage a love of reading. But first, it's important to realize that it's sometimes challenging for students to find the time to read outside of their regular coursework. Instead of expecting students to pick up a book during their limited free time, parents can inspire conversation about literature over dinner by asking questions about coursework. When discussing interests, parents can also suggest books, blogs, or articles on topics of interest to their child. And of course, parents can encourage their children to read by modeling the behavior themselves and reading topics that interest them.

Wondering what books you should suggest to your child? Be sure to review the recommended summer reading lists provided by each division. Before the end of the school year Faculty from each division provide suggestions that are then refined and distributed to students and parents who are interested in reading. For a complete list of the 2016 suggested reading lists, please click for Lower School list, Middle School list, and Upper School list.