Caleb*, a fourth grader at Eastway Elementary Schools, isn't interested in the types of books his fellow students are. Caleb won't read about knights on fantastical journeys, or a boy sailing to an island inhabited by wild beasts, or a talking pig and his wise spider friend. Caleb likes to read about dinosaurs and to learn about a time before man inhabited the earth.
“Elementary teachers involved with READS for Summer Learning tell us that boys tend to prefer nonfiction books over fiction,” says Meredith Richbourg, READS Specialist. “[Caleb's teacher] says he doesn't read 'for fun,' and she has trouble keeping him engaged with most books. But, if she gave him a book about dinosaurs or fossils, he would finish it in an hour.”
In reading curriculums of the past, nonfiction was largely ignored by students and teachers alike, but in recent years, more educators have sought to shift the balance and stress a wider variety of nonfiction literature. This type of reading is especially enriching and can give students like Caleb an idea of real-world interests to pursue beyond school.
“Nonfiction books tend to be more complex, challenging readers to slow down and focus on the meaning of what they read,” Meredith says. “The ability to comprehend these complex texts also prepares students for what they will be expected to read in college and the workforce.”
Communities In Schools of Durham's READS for Summer Learning program pushes kids to keep reading during summer break, offering an equal amount of fiction and nonfiction books tailored to each student's interest. We love it when our students can make real-world connections with what they're reading. And it's your support that enables us to give more of these types of reading opportunities to Durham's most vulnerable students. A gift of $20 can inspire one student to engage with the world around them through dynamic nonfiction literature.
Join us during our #25DaysOfGiving and consider making an online donation to enrich the lives of our students.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of the student.