Required Reading Remains Relevant


Abbygail Reid

Abbygail Reid, News Editor

Despite the overwhelming number of high school students who believe that English teachers should not require reading outside of the classroom, there is one thing that cannot be denied: reading does amplify a student’s cognitive and analytical skills in and out of school.

Studies have shown, that the average high school student is becoming increasingly provincial. The books that are assigned by English teachers may not be as engrossing as The Twilight Saga or The Harry Potter Series, but they do improve a person’s reading comprehension and give him the knowledge of past and present events.

“I think one of my favorite books is A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley,” said Christine Mei, a junior at WHS, “ because I loved how he compared human relations to the technological world.”

Books like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass: An American Slave, Fahrenheit 451, and Alas, Babylon may not be a high school student’s first choice for independent reading, which shows that a majority of the student population would rather read for entertainment than enlightenment, but an open curriculum of informative and intellectually stimulating books forces the student to broaden his reading spectrum.

“When I assign a book to my students my goal is for them to become better and more fluent readers, improve their writing skills and strengthen their vocabulary,” said Mrs. Rigolo, AICE General Papers and AP Language and Composition teacher at WHS.

While students may find it hard to believe that their English teachers really are not trying to torture them by stacking on book after book, they hopefully will realize all of the benefits of reading classical literature. These books provide an understanding of the world that surrounds us and the fundamental and critical thinking skills that will be crucial in whatever path a person decides to take.