March is National Reading Month!
It is a time of year when educators, students, and communities across our country encourage and celebrate non-required reading.
Reading for fun!
Ally Learning, like most educational institutions, do not want the reading of books to end on March 31st. There are many reasons why reading for fun is a healthy and beneficial activity. One of the main reasons reading is constantly being recommended is because strong readers usually evolve into strong writers. It also increases a person’s vocabulary which in turn will be of great assistance when speaking publicly or taking part in an interview. Essentially, readers tend to perform higher in the classroom and in the workplace.
Ally Learning is a big proponent of students reading on their own time (We previously posted a journal entryabout this very topic). However, reading is a broad topic and it never hurts to revisit its importance. We will continuously update our website and social media pages with news in the world of books. We will have book lists from other websites, book recommendations, and hopefully an occasional review of a book we feel our students should read. Schools tend to assign the same books year after year. But as the American landscape becomes more diverse so should our reading habits.
March is Women’s History Month
One important aspect of reading I have discovered in recent years is the vast array of authors of diverse backgrounds and cultures. Assigned books in the classroom usually tend to lean towards the male perspective. The authors of these books are also usually white and of a certain age and place. Obviously, there are exceptions (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee). But the world is progressing and increasingly groups of people are offering their unique voices for the rest of us to learn and enjoy.
Female authors are the largest demographic to get more recognition in the marketplace. Even though women make up fifty percent of the population, they have often been marginalized in the literature world. Fortunately, things are beginning to change.
Personally, I used to gravitate toward books written my white men. Nearly exclusively. I am a white man so maybe I found comfort in the familiarity of these authors voices. Honestly, I didn’t give it much thought. But things have changed recently. I have read more books by women than men over the past couple of years. Some of these authors have been women of color which offers an even more unfamiliar perspective.
I still read male authors (more than 40 percent of the books I read are by men) and some of them have been people of color. I think the greatest advantage of reading diverse stories from diverse authors is that the plot and characters travel in less predictable directions. This is what makes reading such a great hobby. It’s educational but it’s also quality entertainment.
Another way to either enter or broaden horizons in the reading world is to engage in reading material that fits the personality. Novels/fiction aren’t for everyone. Books aren’t for everyone. Many young people prefer comic books over everything else. We think that’s great! The important thing is that we all read on our own terms.
I read a little of everything: mystery novels, true crime books, science fiction and short stories. That’s just a small sampling of genres that I read. Many readers pick a lane and stick to it. That’s perfectly fine as well. Read what comes naturally. However, it never hurts to try something new and different every so often. It’s the only way to find out what truly interests the reader. An important truth to keep in mind this month and in the months ahead.
We live in a society with a never-ending supply of TV programs and internet content. There is only so much entertainment a person can consume. Ally Learning understands that after homework is completed the last thing on the mind of a student is to pick up a book. We don’t want our students to feel that reading is a chore. With that said, we are confident that there is something out there for everyone and that reading a good book beats out a good TV show or movie any day of the week.