New Middle School Reading Club

Sloane M. Class of 2031
Introduced to Engage Students in Reading

by Sloane M. ’31, Contributing Writer, Middle School CornerThe Polygon

Poly recently introduced new initiatives and events for the Middle School to engage students and parents in reading. In an email from Head of Middle School Daniel Doughty, sent on February 8, he explains how the new reading club works. The Polygon interviewed co-heads of the book club, Doughty and Middle School Librarian Samantha Owen, along with students in the book club. 

According to Doughty, “I want to emphasize the importance of reading to our Middle School students. I love reading and know it’s an important part of my life. I hope it will become an important part of our students’ lives. I also know that many students love reading. I thought it would be a great way to come together and celebrate and learn from each other.” 

“Usually, a book club is an opportunity for people to share the experience of reading the same book,” he continued. “They’ll come together and there will be some different questions to talk about what some of the themes of the book are, and what characters resonated with you.” However, conversations during the book club can also vary greatly and go in any direction that members feel is best, as Doughty notes, such as students sharing both what they thought and listening to the thoughts of others. 

“There might be a chapter that you love that other people didn’t understand and, you can explain what you took from it or vice versa, or certain characters that might’ve felt like they resembled you or that you saw something that you were interested in. So it gives people a chance to do that and also just a chance to connect […].”  Lastly, Doughty said that he thought it was a great idea to start the group with Samantha Owen, who set up fun activities for the participants.

Poppy J. ’31
Amanda M.-J. ’31

Poppy J. ’31 said, “We’re reading Look Both Ways [by Jason Reynolds] and, then when we go to the book club, we’re going to do discussion questions… It seems fun so far. I like the book. However, it’s not my favorite book.” 

Amanda M.-J. ’31 added, “I love the reading club, it’s fun because Ms. Owen always goes in-depth with the books. I joined the club because I love reading. We can share our experience of reading books.”