Letters to the Editor

Ward letter: Reading time in school

I taught at South Junior High in Boise for 36 years. I occasionally substitute at South for the fun of it.

Eleven years ago South instituted a 15-minute silent reading time. There were many advocates, but I will name Dr. Kathleen McCurdy, Mary Karol Taylor, and Anna Berlinguet.

One day, while I was still teaching, an administrator came into my classroom during the reading time. I said, “Look. There are 29 students here, and 28 are reading.”

In a recent substitute gig, I was amazed by the books coming out after the lesson was finished. This has been a cultural shift. In a recent SBAC test, South scored 12 percent higher than an equivalent Title 1 school in reading. That is headline data.

An old saw is we learn to read by third grade, and then we read to learn.

Kudos to all the staff at South.

Mark Twain said, “There is no advantage of those who don’t read over those who can’t read.”

Cotton Ward, Kuna

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