Summer Reading for Local Students

Devin Hardwick and her mother.
Devin Hardwick and her mother.

School's out and that usually means a break from the books. But that's not always the case. As students prepare for summer, their schools are making sure they're not leaving the classroom empty handed. But is summer homework really fair?

Their homework is cracking open books. Most students in public and private schools now have to read at least two books over the summer and write a report or prepare a speech to the class about what they read. And most parents are all for it.

With her school's summer reading list in hand, seventh grader Devin Hardwick and her mother were at the Bull Street library picking out books for the summer.

"I like stories about animals, so I'm thinking about getting White Fang or any sort of adventure books or mysteries," Devin said.

Seventh graders at Oglethorpe Charter School have to read two books on the list and write a summary for every 25 pages they read.

Ke Hardwick says it's a good idea, and it's encouraging her daughter to read. "I'm very pleased. I think that children should do a good deal of reading over the summer."

"They love to read," said Michelle Givens, whose daughter, Olivia, is a student at Gaston Elementary. She has read most of the books on the list for third grade, and she's always looking for more.

"It really gives them something to do over the summer and it enhances their reading skills," said Michelle.

George Bowen, the acting superintendent of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, says he supports the summer homework assignment program. He says it is a way to make sure kids are ready for the rigors of the upcoming school year and it encourages them to be lifelong learners.

Stacey Russell couldn't agree more. But he's taking it one step further with his family. "We'll take my son Harrison and I'll put him through, I'll get the curriculum for his math assignments for the summer and start walking him through it chapter by chapter."

Some still feel summer should mean time off from school and homework, but most parents liked the summer reading plan.

If you didn't receive your child's reading list, you can call your school or for Chatham County's, you can visit the district's website.

And if you want help finding a good book, talk to your librarian. They can help your child pick out a book that they'll find interesting.

Reported by: Liz Flynn,