Summer Reading Motivation

Zoe Toperosky (she/her), Staff Writer

We´ve approached the end of what has felt like simultaneously the longest and shortest school year ever. We have had to adapt to learning through a computer screen, and figured out how to connect with peers without being able to see them. It’s safe to say that we have earned a relaxing summer, away from all the assignments and computer screens, but we should also keep our brains active by reading and continuing to learn. 

The Multnomah County Library has a reading challenge every summer for all grade levels. As you go along you get prizes and it is a way to encourage students to read while school is not in session. This challenge starts on June 16th and you can claim prizes until August 31st. 

How it works is every time you read or listen to a story, create a piece of art about a book, promote a book on social media, or anything else related to reading you can check off a space. Every 15 days that you read you can go to the library and collect a prize! For more information about the challenge go to

Our librarian, Cassie Lanzas, believes that letting students choose what they want to read will really benefit them. ¨When reading is assigned it does become less interesting. No matter what it is.¨ Lanzas said.  ¨And I think that there is a real benefit to letting students choose. And I think that there’s a benefit to incentivizing.¨ With this challenge it gives students a chance to learn and grow however they wish to. 

In many of the AP classes that our school offers, there are summer assignments to get students ready for the next school year. However, next year’s AP English Language and Composition teacher, Jay Rishel, doesn´t think this is such a good idea for his classes this year. ¨People are burnt out, right, for the most part with school,” he said. “I feel like, mainly my reasoning is that people just need a break from school, and the expectations hanging over their heads.¨ 

¨I’m totally encouraging my classes to read, but I don’t want to dictate what they read or how they read this summer,¨ Rishel said. So, for this class there will be no official summer assignments. 

However this is not the case in all classes. Joy Root, the AP English Literature and AP Seminar teacher, will have some optional but recommended assignments this summer.  ¨For seminar, it is really useful in terms of being able to just familiarize yourself with the type of things you’re going to be looking at in the fall and also kind of explore what your interests are,¨ Root said. 

AP English Literature is a class that is focused on reading, so for this class especially, it is important to build that habit. The AP exam involves a free response question that asks students to apply their knowledge of a literary work, so this might be the ideal time to dive into a classic.

All of the assignments that teachers are wanting students to do over the summer can be found here:

Whatever you choose to do this summer make sure to be safe and keep learning and reading. But we must also protect our mental health and keep in mind that we have gone through a hard, weird school year and sometimes need a break. Have a good summer!