Lord of the Summer

Emma Plank and Robert Munch

Picture this: the end of summer is near and school will be back in session soon. Students are trying to enjoy the last few days before they go back to waking up early and doing homework every day. Suddenly, many students who enrolled in Honors/AP English realize they have forgotten about the summer reading assignment they are given yearly. Others who may have started are too lazy or unmotivated to finish.  The only other alternative would be to drop the class. Most of the time, these projects rarely benefit to a student’s ability to learn or prepare for the class. If by some miracle they are, we have yet to figure out how.

The problem arises with this. People learn from challenges they must face, and find their own solutions. Challenging a student to think beyond their current capabilities actually helps them grow. Some students in regular English classes excel in the environment, yet they don’t particularly learn as much.  They know they should be in an AP classroom to challenge themselves. However, the Summer Reading Projects can often lead students to choose the class they believe requires less work, but this isn’t the case for everyone. For some people, being in a regular English class can be challenging and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Sophomore Jack Marks took Honors English as a freshman, but over the summer decided to drop Honors English II after he had enrolled in the class. Marks dropped the class because like many students, he couldn’t balance work, school, and sports with the workload required for AP English, including the the summer reading project.

“I think they’re pretty useless to be honest. I don’t think many kids pay attention and just do it all at the end of the summer,” said Marks.

Freshman Honors teacher Mrs. Cindi Kimmel agreed with Marks on the issue. “I am not fan of the assignment, but I do think students should read over the summer,” Kimmel said. This statement brings up an idea. What if students got to pick a book to read over the summer? Multiple factors hurt this case including the page number requirement or topic the student chooses.

Senior AP teacher Mr. Feaster said, “Students gravitate towards the option to choose, so they like it. But it’s hard as a teacher to create a discussion in class.” Most likely this idea of choosing a book wouldn’t work for the teachers sake of trying to create ideas and discussions in the class.

“Some students read it, some students watch the movie, some students just read the SparkNotes, and how do you grade that?” Kimmel said regarding students not doing the summer reading projects.

Summer Reading Projects are preventing many students from taking the appropriate class. Some students are quite literally doing things all summer long. For instance, some students  enroll in college courses, try internships for future careers, or have summer jobs. Summer is meant for giving students a break from having constant piles of work to do, ACT’s to prep for, and waking up early to learn, not for  another set of work to do while also trying to manage busy social schedules.


We asked a class of Freshman, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors to see if they would be willing to join an AP or Pre-AP English class if the Summer Reading Project was eliminated. (see left)


Emma Plank, Senior Staff Writer and Robert Munch, Staff Writer