‘Take 10 to read’ initiative aims to spur love for reading in Staples students

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By Izzy Connors ’18
This year the Staples library has implemented a new initiative to motivate students to engage in reading inside and outside of the classroom. The “Take 10 to Read” initiative encourages teachers to dedicate the first 10 minutes of class for students to read silently a book of their choosing before the daily class proceedings begin.

Although it is not required that teachers take advantage of this in their classes, many teachers are jumping on board with it. “Teachers who are taking advantage of Take Ten with their classes are reporting that it is a calmer start to the period and that students are less stressed, more focused and ready to start work after 10 minutes of reading,” Tamara Weinberg, one of the school librarians, said.

Chloe Adda ’18 agrees that reading is incredibly important and should be encouraged but is disappointed that an initiative is needed at Staples. “The fact that we as teenagers have gotten to a point where we need to “take 10” minutes to do something as simple as read is sad,” she said. “Reading has built the foundation of ancient and contemporary society and the fact that we must now be told to do so is concerning.”

The goal of the initiative, however, is to remind young people of the importance of taking time to read and train the growing mind. According to The Educational Testing Services, “students who do more reading at home are better readers and have higher math scores; however, students read less for fun as they get older.” As teenagers are becoming more and more dependent on technological devices, this problem is only increasing.

Another reason for young people’s lack of reading is due to their increasingly busy and stress-inducing schedules. “Especially right now with college applications and other schoolwork, reading for pleasure is sometimes difficult to achieve,” Chris Drbal ’18 said. “The only time I am able to read a book for enjoyment is in my British Literature class with Mr. Young.”

Weinberg has identified these issues with students, and believes that the Take 10 initiative is a simple way to ignite a love for reading. By only taking 10 minutes of their day to forget about schoolwork and read a book of their choice, the library department hopes to show the Staples student body how reading a good book for pleasure can be just as stress-relieving and entertaining as watching a movie or scrolling through Instagram.

According to a 2014 study by Common Sense Media, reading rates in teenagers have dropped dramatically over the last three decades, with only 45 percent of 17-year-olds admitting they read by choice only once or twice a year. With the advancement of technology and social media over the three years since then, it is highly likely that that rate has continued to drop.

“I really love to read, and I think it’s sad that so many people my age don’t understand how beneficial and enjoyable it is,” Lia Chen ’20 said. “I think the Take 10 initiative will really benefit Staples students and help create a less stressful environment in the school.”