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Our Summer Reading Philosophy

     Several years ago, the Cathedral English Department updated Summer Reading for students in English I, II, III, and IV to allow non-honors students more choices.

     Honors and AP students continue their summer reading and enrichment programs without change in order to prepare for the AP English Exams during junior and senior years.

    Students in English II, III, and IV choose from one of four novels or a collection of short stories to read during the summer. Students will keep a reading log and complete activities during the summer. To ensure that students are taking advantage of valuable summer reading, students and their parents will sign and date the reading log. Students will complete summer reading activities and submit them as assignments on a Google Classroom page. Students will receive credit in their fall English class for reading and participating. Unfortunately, students who fail to participate in summer reading will begin the semester with a zero for the assignment.

Students may choose to read more books for extra credit.

Freshmen enrolled in English I will all read the same novel and complete a reading log. They may also read more novels for extra credit. Students placed in English I Honors will read a novel and complete activities.

    The goal of the program is to encourage reading. To remind students that reading is valuable, the English Department has chosen a list of books that are universally appealing to teenagers. The teachers believe that all reading is worthwhile, so the summer reading books are, for the most part, contemporary and geared toward reading for enjoyment. “These book choices are not necessarily the classics that English teachers assign to students, who find the choices challenging. Students will read those type of books during the school year with the teachers to ensure complete understanding,” explains Ms. Susan Pennington, English Department Chair. “We want students to enjoy reading in the summer, so we have developed a list of books that students can easily read and fall in love with.”

    Honors and AP English students will have a different list of books that correspond with their rigorous curriculum as they prepare for the AP tests during their junior and senior years. Even so, any honors or AP English student who reads one of the books on the non-honors Summer Reading list receive extra credit in his English class.

    Students who love to read can read all the books on the list if they so choose. They will receive extra credit for showing their extra reading hours on their reading log. As Ms. Pennington points out, “Study after study shows that students who read get better grades in school and better scores on standardized tests. Through reading, students learn new vocabulary and new ideas. They also learn to concentrate and to make a commitment to a project that involves their minds and their hearts.”

The English Department wants students to enrich their summer by reading because they want to ensure the success of all Cathedral students in high school, college, and beyond.