YAC column by Isabella Giubileo: Developmental Asset No. 25 — Reading for Pleasure
Published in the June 8 – 21, 2016 issue of Morgan Hill Life
By Isabella Giubileo
Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn the more places you’ll go.” Reading takes us places, and it gives us the skills we will need to succeed in life. The most common excuse for not reading is that it’s too boring or that it takes too much time. I thought this too, up until my sixth-grade year.
I grew up along side my two sisters, both of whom loved to read, however, I never did. I would struggle to read for school, and our monthly book reports were a pain.
In sixth grade, my teacher, Mrs. Lamontagne, made us read 200 pages a week. This was a nightmare for me because at that time, I was lucky if I read a book in a month.
However, my teacher was there to support me and told me that it wasn’t an impossible feat. With my newfound confidence I headed to the library to find a book. It took me forever, and it seemed like every book was too hard or too easy.
About to give up, I reached for “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, and wow! I couldn’t stop reading! After finishing this series I moved onto another book, and then another. I would read 500 pages a week for fun. I really enjoyed reading.
I realized that my grades went up, it was easier to study, and I felt a lot smarter. I had found something I loved to do, and I couldn’t believe that it had taken me so long.
A study done by Bernice E. Cullinan at New York University showed that children who read for fun have higher scores in standardized test, as well as over test scores. Reading helps us to write well. We learn the rules to the English language without realizing it. This makes applications and essays really easy.
We also learn new words, and incorporate them into our everyday life. I understand, probably more than anyone, that not everyone likes to read. It’s hard for some people to get going, we procrastinate, saying that a certain book is on our reading list, but never doing it. Reading can truly change lives; it brings us to new worlds and allows us to go across the galaxy without leaving our couch.
Reading is also an extremely portable hobby. You can take it to the beach or all the way to an airplane. Even if you can’t read at your age level, you can always try to build up to it. Start by reading books that are a few years below where you want to be. Then slowly build up to where you want to be, and remember, practice makes progress, so set aside a chunk of time every day before work or school and read. Talking with friends about your favorite books is also a really fun way to get started. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be the next big writer!
Isabella Giubileo is a 14-year-old eighth grader at St. Catherine’s School. A member of the Youth Action Council, she enjoys reading and going to the beach.