Westminster Launches New Reading Initiative
In 2015, the Westminster 100 reading program was created and implemented for two primary reasons: To promote the value of reading in a culture that is quickly forgetting that value, and to enhance the community by providing opportunities for both faculty members and students to explore and discuss ideas found in great works of writing. While the program has been and continues to be a success, we have recently explored ways to promote more widespread participation. In light of this, we are excited to share with you a list of updates and changes.
- Each Westminster student will be required to build a metaphoric bookshelf during his or her years at Westminster. That is, students will create and keep a list of all the books they read between 7th grade and 12th grade (both books they read as part of the curriculum and books they choose on their own). This list can be maintained on Goodreads or on a spreadsheet shared with each student’s English teacher.
- The name of the program will become The Westminster Reading Initiative
- The books that comprise the current Westminster 100 will be part of the “Westminster Bookshelf,” from which students will still select titles to read and add to their own bookshelf. This “bookshelf” will not be static, but will instead be updated at the end of each school year based upon teacher and student recommendations.
- As a baseline, each student will add a minimum of five books to his/her bookshelf each year. This list of five will consist of the following:
- 1 book of choice from the Westminster Bookshelf (currently known as the Westminster 100)/PDF version
- 1 book recommended to the student by a parent, teacher, mentor, coach, pastor, etc.
- 1 book recommended to the student by a friend
- 1 book discovered by the student
- Students will also add a minimum of one book they read from the curriculum.
To help facilitate the development of student bookshelves, the English department will run a book-in-hand program in each class and also build reading time into each week. In classes that are literature-based, the book(s) taught in the curriculum can function as the student’s book-in-hand for reading time.
Parent and Community Involvement
Parents, faculty, staff, and administrators will be encouraged to participate in the program and build their own bookshelves on Goodreads to share with the community. Students are more than welcome to “hang out” on a teacher’s or coach’s bookshelf. This part will take some time to develop as faculty and staff members work to build their own bookshelves on Goodreads.
At the end of each school year, two students from each grade level will be recognized: (1) The student who reads the most books total and (2) the student who reads the most books from the Westminster Bookshelf.