Parent also against reading program hype

Amy Meyer

As a parent of a third and first grader, how refreshing it was to read both Joanna Roper’s Aug. 6 and Veronica Walker’s Sept. 10 letters to the editor concerning the Accelerated Reader Program.

I have witnessed first hand how the AR program takes the thrill out of reading and makes it a chore.

Both my children really liked to be read to when they were young.

But once reading became something you have to log and pick certain books and in certain levels, it took on a whole different meaning.

I sincerely believe that there are many teachers who have similar feelings about the AR program.

They worry that it is ultimately a detriment to the lifelong love of reading for enjoyment and learning.

I encourage parents to voice their opinion on this matter, since it is ultimately our children’s future we are talking about. 

We have found a way to tame the AR beast at our home.

We do not talk about reading levels or number of books read.

Instead, we make big deals about fascinating books that take us on adventures and allow us to see things in a different light.

We encourage the kids to read books they will enjoy. 

After pouring through the Great Brain and Captain Underpants, my son said, “Reading actually can be fun, mom.”

I have wonderful memories of pedaling my bike to the library to check out books I wanted to read for fun.

Of course, I never had a book log in my life or an AR test, for that matter.

What I did have was an imagination, which I try to foster every day in my children in the hopes that they will pedal to the library one day with the simple mission of checking out a book to read for fun. 

Amy Meyer