• Independent Reading

    Please see the Parent Access (click above) for more specific requirements.


    Throughout the year students will have an opportunity to read and respond to independent reading books. Students should bring their independent reading book to class every day.

    Independent reading is a major part of the ILA program. Therefore, it is REQUIRED that all students have an independent reading book with them at all times. This book should be with students in school and taken home every night.  The teachers at HMS are committed to helping every boy and girl establish good reading habits and a lifelong love of books. The goal is at least 30 minutes of home reading for every child every afternoon or evening. 

    Research shows that the highest achieving students are those who devote leisure time to reading. Recently, the largest-ever international study found that the single most important predictor of academic success is the amount of time children spend reading books. Additionally, one of the few predictors of high achievement in math and science is the amount of time children devote to reading.  Children read in order to broaden their vocabularies and to become better readers-faster and more fluent, purposeful, engaged, and critical. There is no substitute for regular, sustained time with books.
    Please sit down with your child tonight and talk about the best time and place for reading to happen at your house. We know that children whose parents and teachers expect and encourage them to read are likely to grow up as happy, skilled readers.  Please support your child’s reading efforts by asking about the books they are reading. Be ready to provide help with unfamiliar words or concepts. Bear in mind that readers shouldn’t spend all their time with just one kind of book. Children need experience with materials of varying degrees of difficulty if they are to grow to independence as readers and understand all the things that reading is good for. While we know it’s essential that children choose what they read, we also believe that your values matter. If a book bothers you and you feel strongly about it, ask your child not to bring it home, explain why, and talk with his or her teacher. The teachers have selected books for our libraries with many criteria in mind, from classic literature to predictable language and story structures to award winning illustrations to cross-cultural themes to contemporary social issues. We also want to support you if you have concerns about a book choice your child has made.


    We use our collections of children’s literature to teach reading and count on the books being available to use each day. Please help us by checking each weekday morning to see that your child has a book to return, or continue to read, that day at school. Reading is a priority activity at HMS. We know that nothing is more important to the development of children’s abilities in every subject area than reading.


    Thank you for your support,

    Hammarskjold ILA Teachers and ILA Supervisor