Pioneer High students pursue education through reading |

Pioneer High students pursue education through reading

Rebecca Allen

Donalyn Miller, an award-winning teacher and author, wrote, “Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters — the saints and the sinners, real or imagined — reading shows you how to be a better human being.”

Several Pioneer High School (PHS) students are well on their way to pursuing their own education through reading.

At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year, students were challenged to read 2,000 pages by the end of the school year in addition to their required coursework. Though this goal seemed to be rather daunting at first, several students were willing to undertake the challenge.

As the school year comes to an end, 17 students met or exceeded the 2,000-page goal. In fact, a handful of students read more than 4,000 pages.

On June 1, these 17 readers celebrated their accomplishment with a well-deserved pizza party. The students had a chance to reflect on their accomplishments and visit with fellow readers.

However, pizza is just one perk of being an avid reader. There’s research that indicates reading volume is the prime contributor to vocabulary development. Those who read a great deal are likely to better retain information as well as remember the information through old age. Reading also reduces stress levels, increases empathy, improves writing skills, boosts analytical thinking, and enhances memory.

The PHS students who pushed themselves to meet their reading goals are on their way to developing a lifelong habit that will provide long-term rewards.

Rebecca Allen is a teacher at Pioneer High School.