ACA Summer Reading Program
Summer reading provides all students the opportunity to enjoy books in a relaxed and leisurely setting while developing a lifelong love of reading. At American Christian Academy, we encourage all students and their families to engage in reading together this summer by exploring books of all kinds for both information and enjoyment.
Research has shown that students who read during the summer months retain more learning and move into the new school year more prepared than do those students who do not engage in reading. It is important that all students continue to pursue this essential academic skill. In fact, numerous studies have shown that reading over the summer prevents “summer reading loss.” Unfortunately, summer reading loss is cumulative. Children don’t “catch up” in the fall because the other children are moving ahead with their skills. By the end of 6th grade, children who lose reading skills over the summer are potentially two years behind their classmates.
Summer reading also prepares students for their future English courses and provides them with information to talk about with peers and teachers. The books will reinforce the reading comprehension skills gained during the school year. In each summer reading text, students will encounter new adventures, characters, and ideas which connect to the essential questions and literary explorations of the various English classes. Through summer reading, students are also able to begin working toward the required AR reading points required by grade level, and they can begin the school year with a solid foundation of reading points. ACA’s HIGHEST ACT SCORES are in the English Language Arts category – and we credit our summer reading and AR programs as contributing factors for the ongoing success of our students.
Summer Reading Procedures:
All students, including those who are new to ACA, students enrolled in dual enrollment courses, and students enrolled in online courses are required to participate in the summer reading program. Each English teacher will distribute a reading list by grade level. One book will be marked as a “required” title to be read (REQ). For additional points there will be a list of other titles to select from. Different grade levels will have different novel lists, and the total point requirement for each grade level will also be provided. Students may read any combination of books from the list to meet their desired points, including the ONE REQUIRED book. Students earn points based on the scored received from the corresponding AR test over the book.
Students should read books and take AR tests over the summer. The library is open from June 7th through August 10th on Wednesday and Thursday from 9:00-12:00. This gives students plenty of time before school begins to earn the points they desire for their summer reading grade. The AR points they earn over the summer gives them a “head start” toward their reading goals for the school year, and they begin the new year with a solid foundation of AR points already attained.
In addition, the AR points earned during the summer through our summer reading program will be a grade in the TEST category in the English classes. This overall grade will be calculated as part of the first nine weeks grading period. Additional grades in English (tests, homework, quizzes, or daily grades) may also be associated with the summer reading work, especially for the required novel that will be discussed.
Students not only have some choice over what they read from the lists, but they also can “choose” the grade they receive. The summer reading points and corresponding grades for AR are listed below.Students are awarded points based on the grade they receive on the AR tests.
(NOTE: These are summer reading AR goals only – not yearlong AR goals.)
AR Points / Letter Grade (percentage)
Please carefully read the information with your student and encourage him or her to begin reading early in the summer. Procrastination can be the biggest challenge and source of frustration. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate teacher. Please clarify any questions you may have now to prevent any issues in the fall. Summer reading is required and will amount to a significant number of points for the first nine weeks grade. Failure to complete the reading and assignments will result in a low overall first nine weeks’ average.
Please note that high school students who are enrolled in Advanced Placement English courses (AP English Language & Composition, AP English Literature & Composition) have specific book title requisites which are aligned with the college-level work assigned in those courses. AP Students DO have summer assignments to complete. Any student enrolled in an AP English class who fails to complete the required summer reading assignments will be given a schedule change and moved to the regular English class in the fall. AP English is a college course and has a different academic expectation.
We hope that you and your child will enjoy this opportunity to explore new authors and titles. It is our hope that students enjoy many books this summer.
ACA English Department Teachers
The summer months usher in warmer weather, seemingly unlimited time for relaxation and rest, and increased opportunities for socialization with friends. The very last thing that you may wish to do is summer homework (including summer reading). Unfortunately, there is no way around it, but it is not as terrible as it may at first seem. Here are five tips that can help you complete your summer homework and reading without a great deal of pain:
1. Allow yourself a brief respite before you begin
This suggestion may seem counterintuitive, but after a full school year, you may need a brief break before you delve into your summer assignments. If so, take one--you have earned it. However, first choose the date when you will begin your homework and reading.
2. Select the right start date
Your start date for summer assignments will depend on how much homework you must complete, and on when your school year begins again. When it comes to summer reading, for instance, you should avoid procrastinating until the last week of the summer. However, you may also wish to avoid starting too soon if you are concerned about forgetting each book's content. In this case, you might begin reading four to five weeks before school starts.
3. Consider completing other projects prior to your summer reading
If you have summer assignments like history papers and math problem sets, consider finishing those tasks before you begin your summer reading. In some instances, these projects may have multiple steps, and they may require a greater investment of your time than an assigned biography or novel.
4. Create a schedule, and adhere to it
How often you read or work on projects will depend on your homework load. A general rule of thumb is to commit five hours per week to summer assignments. This is only one hour per weekday. Compare this single hour to your daily schedule during the school year, and this commitment may suddenly feel much easier. Be sure to create a schedule that works for you, as well as one that you can make a priority. If you fall back on the "When I have time..." mindset, you will likely always find reasons to avoid summer homework and summer reading.
5. Maintain a positive mindset
This is perhaps the most important tip of all. While the physical act of completing homework may not be entertaining, improving your performance is worth the effort. Look for small gains--for example, perhaps your understanding of percentages has increased, or perhaps you are now able to read history passages more quickly and more accurately.
As you focus on summer reading, try to enjoy each assigned book. Read outside with a glass of lemonade or water, read in a park, or even read by the pool. Even if you dislike the book, try to appreciate its writing style or character development. Such strategies can help you finish summer assignments to the best of your ability, rather than simply doing them because you must.
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