The administration, teachers, and librarians at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High greatly value the need for our students to read independently. In an article titled "The Power of Independent, Self-Selected Reading in the Middle Grades," Andrea J. Stairs and Sara Stairs Burgos argue that, "Literacy educators should keep independent, self-selected reading at the center of the middle grades language arts curriculum. We believe that a literacy-rich classroom environment grounded in student-centered pedagogy offers possibilities for engaging all learners and encouraging them to be lifelong readers."

In a separate article titled "Independent Reading and School Achievement," Bernice E. Cullinan, a professor at New York University, states, "The amount of free reading done outside of school has consistently been found to relate to growth in vocabulary, reading comprehension, verbal fluency, and general information. Students who read independently become better readers, score higher on achievement tests in all subject areas, and have great content knowledge than those who do not."

Accountable Independent Reading has five purposes:

  • engage and motivate students in learning things they care about,
  • promote students' love of reading while expanding their literary understanding,
  • build students' vocabulary: reading exposes students to new words and ideas,
  • build students' knowledge about the world (through both fiction and nonfiction),
  • build students' reading "stamina," their ability to read harder texts for longer periods of time.

We encourage students to choose texts and topics that interest them. They also should choose books that are at a comfortable or challenging reading level. Books on e-readers, Kindles, and audio books are all acceptable. Students should choose books they have NOT read before.

We encourage parents and students to choose books together. Many libraries and booksellers have online summaries and reviews to help guide the book selection process. By choosing books together, parents can help guide their students to texts that are both challenging and appropriate.

The CMJH library has a large selection of books, audiobooks, and downloadable materials for checkout. We hope independent reading will be enjoyable for your student and lead to a lifetime of reading.

Student responsibilities:

  • read and enjoy your books,
  • fill out the assigned work from teacher
  • have your parent sign your completed work before the deadline and turn in.

Parents can assist by:

  • helping students choose topic and reading level appropriate books,
  • monitoring reading progress,
  • discussing the book,
  • signing the completed work before deadline.

For more information on building reading success, check out:

According to nationally known educator and author Nancy Atwell, "We now have a quarter century of studies that document three findings: literacy blooms wherever students have access to books they want to read, permission to choose their own, and time to get lost in them. Enticing collections of literature-interesting books written at levels they can decode with accuracy and comprehend with ease-are key to children becoming skilled, thoughtful, avid readers."


Common Core English-Language Arts Standards:

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