The most important thing about independent reading is choice

Alexandra Wladich  //  Dec 15, 2015

The most important thing about independent reading is choice

Last week we announced the expansion of My Very Own Library (MVOL), a literacy program dedicated to putting books into the hands of children in need. To help celebrate the expansion of the program participating schools from across the country held kickoff events to get their students excited about reading!

I was lucky enough to attend the kickoff event at Oliver Street School in Newark, NJ. From the student chorus singing holiday songs to the amazing guest authors (Ida Siegal, author of Emma on the Air; Sarah Mylnowski, author of Upside Down Magic; and Dave Roman, illustrator for Goosebumps “Slappy’s Tales of Horrow”) who spoke about their experiences with reading and writing, it was a great day celebrating literacy and access to books.

However, for me, the best part of the MVOL event was watching the students self-select titles that piqued their individual interests. A critical component of the MVOL program is choice. MVOL allows these children, who may have never owned a book before, the opportunity to choose their owntitles (for free!).

At the event, Johnny Yotnakparian, General Manager Scholastic Book Fairs, said, The most important thing about independent reading is choice.” Johnny couldn’t be more right. According to the latest Kids & Family Reading Report, 90% of kids ages 6 to 17 say they are more likely to finish a book they have picked out themselves. 

By the end of this school year, through the MVOL program, each participating student will have 10 brand-new books of their own to create their home library. Check out this great news story from the Milwaukee MVOL event which captures the excitement from students as they self-select their own books to take home!o finish a book they have picked out themselves.

images via: Dillon Kalkhurst