Middle School boys now receive additional dedicated time in their schedule for reading, book clubs, and other literary activities in the 2019-20 school year. Following lunch on each Day 6, B.E.A.R. (Be Enthusiastic About Reading) takes place for the entire Middle School community —students and faculty — to read for pleasure, mindfulness, and relaxation.
Research shows that reading develops vocabulary and writing skills, helps students understand complex ideas, and increases standardized test scores. “Equally important,” said Middle School Head Erin Duffy, “it exposes readers to different perspectives, allows us to travel the world, and increases our capacity for empathy.”
Providing students with an opportunity to discuss the experiences of others through their reading is a key reason BEAR time was added, according to Duffy.
“Middle School is a time of transition and change,” Duffy said. “Tween boys are often reluctant to share their own struggles or fears. However, they will talk about characters and their experiences and use them as a vehicle to ask questions or share emotions from their own lives. It’s a way to reach out, to connect, to find answers, and to understand one another.”