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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Leisure time book reading isn’t a joy for most teens, study shows

What benefits of reading books for fun can you list?
Look for an article mentioning a book, author or library and summarize the topic in two sentences.
Find coverage of a different leisure activity and list reasons why you usually do – or don't – prefer it over reading.

In an age of texting, social media and other online activity, it's no surprise that teens read fewer books for fun than in past decades. A new national study shows how far unassigned book reading has fallen. A San Francisco education and technology-monitoring group called Common Sense Media says 45 percent of 17-year-olds and one-third of 13-year-olds read for pleasure only once or twice a year. Just over one-quarter say they never read for fun -- more than twice as high as that figure was in 1984.

Girls at that age are more likely than boys to read daily as a leisure activity -- 30 percent to 18 percent. The researchers consider e-readers and audio books as equivalent to paper versions. All count as reading. "Reading used to mean sitting down with a book and turning pages as a story unfolded. Today it may mean sitting down with a screen and touching words to have them read aloud," says the report issued last week.

But the ease of quick communications can make plowing through a book seem like a chore. “Technology makes us a lazy society," says Christa Thompkins, an English teacher at North Brunswick High in Leland, North Carolina. One of her students, who recently did a research paper titled "Read for Influence," is quoted by the local newspaper on this topic. "I feel as if reading is slowly becoming irrelevant," says Tiye Cheatham, who'll attend North Carolina Central University in the fall. "In today's modern world, it seems as if there is no desire in young adults to read." She’s an exception who enjoys historical romances and thrillers, such as books by James Patterson and Janet Ivanovich.

Student says: "I don't really read for pleasure. Generally I talk on the phone. Or I watch Netflix shows, or Hulu shows, mostly TV." -- Jamahri Sydnor of Wilson High in Washington, D.C.

Author says: "Graphic novels are among the hottest trends in children's publishing, and they can get kids hooked on reading." – Regan McMahon, children’s book reviewer

Columnist says: "Books are personal, passionate. They stir emotions and spark thoughts in a manner all their own." – Frank Bruni, New York Times

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2021

Front Page Talking Points Archive

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It’s time for a yearly flu shot, now even more important than before the Covid pandemic

Complete archive

Step onto any school campus and you'll feel its energy. Each school is turbocharged with the power of young minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.

Here on the Western Slope, young citizens are honing and testing their skills to take on a rapidly changing world. Largely thanks to technology, they are in the midst of the most profound seismic shift the world has ever seen.

Perhaps no time in our history has it been more important to know what our youth are thinking, feeling and expressing.

The Sentinel is proud to spotlight some of their endeavors. Read on to see how some thoroughly modern students are helping learners of all ages connect with notable figures of the past.

Click here to read more

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