NDA Organizes Summer Reading Program, Students Get Choices to Read


Meredith James, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame is known for its academic excellence, and the 2020-21 school year is no exception. To sound like a broken record, Covid-19 has drastically changed the way both teachers and students look at education. 

This summer, Notre Dame will try to keep its excellence and compensate for reading loss during this Covid-taminated year. Since the shutdown of the world’s education centers, it seems as if many core education values for students have suffered a loss.

That is why Notre Dame is formally introducing a summer reading program for incoming freshmen, soon-to-be sophomores, soon-to-be juniors and the senior class of 2022. Each class will be given a handful of literary choices to read over the summer. 

Notre Dame’s head librarian, Katie Gelb, shared some valuable information on this new development.

“It started with the national reports of learning loss. The people of NDA have been talking about this for years, along with a desire to develop a more formal reading program. The pandemic stirred the final pot and Notre Dame decided to create it again,” Mrs. Gelb shared. 

She has been working with the idea of a reading program since the beginning of Notre Dame’s creation in the 1990s. Now her idea is a reality. 

Every student has been offered a choice of five paperbacks on a variety of topics; the school will pay for the books, and students will receive the copy of their choice before the end of the school year.

“The books were decided outside of the normal literary curriculum. We want to make reading fun again for students. Other school’s popular book lists and new releases all inspired the book choices for each grade,” Mrs. Gelb explained. 

Reading, emphasized the librarian, does not have to be a chore and can inspire students as it has inspired millions of people before now. 

As the new year starts up in August, multiple activities will be planned to introduce new students to each other and give students a chance to share what their summer book was all about. English teachers will be responsible for the interaction and discussions.

“We want this program to be less centered on grading, assessments or quizzes. What Notre Dame wants to do is get the enjoyment of reading back into our students,” the librarian said.