There is research evidence which suggests that volume of reading is linked to attaining higher-order literacy proficiencies (Allington, 2012; Brozo et al, 2008, Cipielewski & Stanovich, 1992). Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding (1988) researched the relationship between the amount of reading done and reading achievement. They found that the amount of time reading was the best predictor of reading achievement, including a child’s growth as a reader from the second to the fifth grade. More recently, in her article, Independent Reading and School Achievement, Cullinan (2000) reviewed the research on the effects of independent reading for the purpose of informing policy makers, curriculum developers, parents, teachers, and librarians about the importance of independent reading and programs that support it. The review concludes that independent reading, defined as the reading students choose to do, supports learning and school achievement. Providing students with protected reading time is necessary in order to support their growth in reading.
The entire Solon Middle School English Language Arts department implements innovative practices to grow a student's love of reading. As a result our achievement continues to excel in reading and writing. Recently representatives of the ELA department presented a mid year data to the board of education. Solon Middle School has 81% of all 6-8 students on pace to read a minimum 11 books this year. Over half, 42% are on pace to read a minimum of 40 books this year. The books read are student choice and from a wide variety of genre.
To support this research and initiative, the district has committed over $24,000, Solon Education Foundation provided $2,000 and PTO gave $1,000 to build libraries in every English Language Arts classrooms. This provides students a wide variety of text and immediate access.
Solon continues to lead the state in reading innovation.