Independent reading is reading that is not tested, is content chosen by the reader, and is done for pleasure or personal fulfillment. Studies suggest that independent readers become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have greater content knowledge than those who do not. Independent reading may be conducted at school during a silent sustained reading (SSR) period or at home, in the car or between classes. Independent reading, even as little as ten minutes a day, has a significant effect on reading test scores.
When children read books to develop a
CULTURE OF LITERACY:
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT IS INCREASED
Gains are made in vocabulary development, foundational knowledge, and test scores improve.
READING BECOMES EASIER & MORE ENJOYABLE
Just like running builds strong cardio muscles, reading practice builds reading fluency and speed.
EMPATHY & A WIDER WORLD OF EXPERIENCE IS INCREASED
Reading about another’s experiences or point of view builds a greater frame of reference and scope of possible behavioral choices.
CONCENTRATION & FOCUS SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED
In a world of soundbites and memes, reading a longer narrative helps build focus skills and the knowledge that some topics should and can be explored at greater depth.
A CORE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE AND BE EXPERIENCED BY ALL
Reading helps communicate themes that are common to all Americans and humanity. It allows knowledge to be shared within a larger community.