LPHS aims to make kids more passionate about reading

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Maya Oswald, Staff Writer

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Hundreds of new books have arrived at LaPorte High School with the hope to give more students choice in what they read during English class.

English department co-chairs Mrs. Cooper and Mr. Wszolek have purchased over 100 copies of up to date books that have different narratives than the classic school book genre. The goal was to get more students interested and excited about reading.

The English teachers picked a large variety of books with a large variety of genres to give students more of a choice. From a teacher’s perspective, Wszolek noticed how students would sometimes lose interest in classic books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, especially if students didn’t get to choose that book themselves. 

The variety of the contemporary novels include more nonfiction, historical fiction, and even books like mythology. While also giving the students more options in what kind of books they read, it allows the students to explore that genre.

“For example, war. There’s this book Ender’s Game, but now there’s Sunrise Over Fallujah, which is more nonfiction. Now, we have two books that kind of explore aspects of war, and there’s a few others in here too,” Wszolek said.

Cooper has been incorporating these books more in her class by giving more independent reading time and letting her students pick the book that they read during that time.

“Most English teachers do independent reading now; they get a blurb of what the book was about, then they get to choose which book they want to read,” Cooper said.

 After implementing this change into her class, Cooper has noticed an improvement in students’ enthusiasm about reading and an eagerness to continue reading after their first book is already finished.

“I’ve noticed an increase in excitement about reading, and students will finish one book and want to start another one,” Cooper said.

Wszolek and Cooper are especially enthusiastic about the change in narrative that the new books will bring to students. The hope is that more students will be able to identify with the perspectives and see themselves in different novels. 

To gain access to these books, Cooper recommends asking any English teacher since they would have access to the library. 

Wszolek hopes that the students’ addition of choice when it comes to reading now, a new culture of reading will be created and more students will want to read.

“If we can get more people to pick up books and just read, the world gets to be better,” Wszolek said.

Both of the English teachers hope to buy more new books in the future. To submit book recommendations, go here.