Our library, like many others, has a summer reading program where children log the books they read over the summer and receive prizes based on the number read. The number. Not the quality. Quantity over quality.
Lilah is on book #4 of Harry Potter.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - 309
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - 341
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - 435
1085 pages and counting. This is just Harry Potter. She has also read a few other smaller books like Number the Stars. Will she reach the “magic” number of 8 books to receive a tee shirt and a certificate signed by the mayor? You bet she will. I will allow her to fill in the remaining slots with graphic novels and she will count the two audio books we just completed.
When will we start looking at things a bit differently, valuing quality over quantity? How about reading programs based on pages read? Or how about a choice of reading books from leveled book lists, the number decreasing as the reading level increases? How about rather than just log a book, the child creates a video, a book report, a poster, a blog entry, a bookmark, a dust cover, or how about they have the chance to tell other kids why they loved the book they read? Get kids invested in the process, let them have input into the project, and the results can be astounding.