330 MILLION BOOKMARKS: Every day, elementary school students spend twice as long reading as high school students do. That’s according to a report from Renaissance Learning, developer of the Accelerated Reading program and the STAR Reading assessment. In “What Kids Are Reading: And Why It Matters,” the company examines trends in reading habits for over 9.8 million students, who read over 330 million books during the 2013-2014 school year.
The report highlights the importance of increased access to nonfiction texts, as emphasized in the Common Core State Standards. Although girls read 25% more (761,000 words) than their male peers by the end of high school, boys consistently read more nonfiction at all grade levels. But students should be reading at a higher caliber and volume for both fiction and nonfiction: according to the report, the most popular read among 12th graders is Divergent, with a lexile level appropriate for a 4th grader. (Encouragingly, the second most popular is Mary Shelley’s appropriately challenging Frankenstein.)