Reading is so important that I devote 20-30 minutes each day in class to independent reading! Research shows that the more time kids actually spend reading the stronger readers they become. I am committed to helping kids find a love of reading. However, the time spent in class reading is not enough. Kids need to read at least 30 minutes each and every night especially while they are still developing their reading and thinking skills. This 30 minutes does not have to come all in one chunk! I tell kids to take their book with them wherever they go, they spend a lot of time in the car, waiting for in line or for appointments, or in between nightly activities. I also encourage them to read before bed. Ten minutes here and there add up to 30 minutes pretty quickly. I check in with readers every day with my "Status of the Class" where they tell me what they are reading and what page they are on. I have to tell you if they have read a lot of pages they are so excited to announce what page they are on! If I haven't gotten to it, they will ask when I am going to do it! Unfortunately, for a few readers I hear, I couldn't read last night because I had dance, practice, a game, or I was just too busy. Parents, I urge you to make reading important, their futures depend on it. School, testing and academic demands do not lessen as kids move up the ladder, they get increasingly more difficult. Reading is the foundation of EVERYTHING in life. That football, baseball, dance, video game scholarship is not going to come easliy without the academic prowess to back it up. WE need your help! Reading has to come first before anythings else. Read to them, read with them, encourage them, take them to the library or the book store. Make books a priority before anything else. Insist they have a book in their hands at all times, I promise you will see an improvement in every area of school and you will not regret it!