the 25 book challenge

This is the handout that I gave to parents at the beginning of the school year. I had a couple requests for it, so I thought I would share. Leave a comment . . . what do you think?
Why Read?
The 25 Book CHALLENGE!
Why? The Need to Read . . .
A CAUSE FOR CONCERN: Some Surprising Statistics
·      Forty percent of high school graduates lack the literacy skills employers seek (National Governors Association, 2005).
·      Lack of basic skills costs universities and businesses as much as $16 billion annually (National Commission on Writing, 2004).
·      Only 1 out of 3 students is a proficient reader (Lee, Grigg, and Donahue, 2007).
·      1 out of 4 twelfth-grade students is a proficient writer (Salahu-Din, Persky, and Miller, 2008).
·      1 out of 5 college freshman must take a remedial reading course (SREB, 2006).
·      3 out of 10 high school students do not graduate on time (Gewertz, 2009).
·      Over half of adults scoring at the lowest literacy levels are dropouts (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2005).
-from Writing to Read, a Carnegie Foundation Report, page 7
The bottom line . . .
“No single literacy activity has more positive effect on student’s comprehension, vocabulary knowledge, spelling, writing ability, and overall academic achievement than free voluntary reading.”
-Stephen Krashen, “The Power of Reading: a Meta-Analysis”
What Can We Do?
At School:
In Mrs. Sorensen’s class, students will be required to read a minimum of 25 books during the school year. To ensure and aid in completion of the requirement, and also in an effort to help students find books that they enjoy reading, students are asked to read a certain number of books from specific genres. Those are as follows:

Poetry/Poetry Anthology: 1
Traditional Literature: 3
Realistic Fiction: 3
Historical Fiction: 2
Fantasy: 3
Science Fiction: 1
Mystery: 1
Informational/Nonfiction: 2
Biography/Autobiography/Memoir: 1
Student Choice: 8

Students will receive many supports in the classroom to complete this course requirement, such as: reading time in class, book recommendations, visits to the library, and personal conferencing with the teacher. They will also have minimal homework, with the thought that their “homework” in this class will be reading at home.
How Can Parents Help? (The Need for Reading Role Models & Reading Support)
In a 2007 an Associated Press Poll reported in the Washington Post that the average adult American read only 4 books that entire year.
            -But that doesn’t even tell the whole story: of adults that read, their average was 7 books. However, 25% of the respondents didn’t read a book at all!
**Parents can be reading role models for their students at home. They can also encourage students to read at home, help facilitate visits to the library or bookstore, and talk with their students about what they read. 

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