25 Books

Every Student

Every Year


Students need to read. 

It's really that simple.

We worry about teaching them to read, and often focus on having them read at "grade level" by grade three.  However, just learning to read isn't enough.  To become capable readers, able and willing to read for both information and enjoyment, students must read, and read much more than many do today.  The research suggests that students should be reading about 25 books per year. 

Here are some links to research sources on this subject, and to information about St. Paul Reads -- the challenging program instituted in a cooperative effort between the city of St. Paul and the St. Paul Public Schools in 1999.   They set a goal of having every student read 25 books.  They bought books and worked as a community to make it happen.  Under Superintendent Patricia Harvey, they have kept and grown the program each year, and they continue to make progress:

What's New
Saint Paul Students Read More Than 6 Million Books!
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
DSC00184.JPG - Students at Cleveland Middle School proudly reveal the district book total as of the end of September.
Students at Cleveland Middle School proudly reveal the district book total as of the end of September.
In the fall of 1999, Superintendent Patricia Harvey challenged all Saint Paul students and citizens to read at least 25 books a year. Since then, students have read more than 6 million books!
1999-2000: 1,300,563 books read
2000-2001: 1,553,666 books read
2001-2002: 1,475,491 books read
2002-2003: 1,800,169 books read
GRAND TOTAL: 6,129,889 books read


For more information, see www.saintpaulreads.org.  Some of the research supporting the need for students to actually read can be found in The Power of Reading:   Insights from the Research by Stephen Krashen.

More on Student Effort.

Links to Other Materials on Student Effort

School too easy, top seniors say (Tennessean article by Monique Fields, 6/4/2000)
Public Agenda Survey on Student Effort
Beyond the Classroom:  Why School Reform Has Failed and What Parents Need to Do
Learning Requires More Than Play
Reason Is Sought for Lag by Blacks in School Effort, NY Times July 4, 1999