Summer Reading

Studies show that the ability to read and comprehend high-level text is the most vital skill in learning and development. ~Mr. Behnken, Superintendent


My parents, like many of you, loved having us swim, play outside and be active all day in the summertime. We were happy to do that, too. However, the summer I was entering 3rd grade, my parents altered the plan for us. Each day, before we were allowed to play and do everything we wanted to do outside, we had to read for one hour. There was much complaining and “gnashing of teeth” at this new requirement. However, they stuck with it and held us accountable and we were “forced” to read. As time went on, it became much less of a struggle and we all grew to like it. (I woke up super early so I could finish my reading and get out to play ASAP though.) I share this with you because forming that habit and meeting that requirement ended up being very instrumental to all 3 of us and helped advance us significantly academically.

Studies show that the ability to read and comprehend high-level text is the most vital skill in learning and development. It is the most critical indicator for both academic and vocational success. Literacy studies show that nothing raises a student’s academic ceiling (“potential”) more than improving reading comprehension. As the old adage goes: “Practice makes Perfect!”

With that said, I want to introduce the HCA Summer Reading Challenge. With the desire to see your kids continue to thrive academically, it is important not to slip or regress during down time. But we also want to reward our students as they progress. We are encouraging all students to read a minimum of 40 hours this summer (that is less than 30 minutes/day). Each student will complete a reading log documenting time read. Each student who completes the 40 hours will be entered into a raffle to win some fantastic prizes. However, I want to challenge your student to go above the 40 hour mark. For each 10 hours your student goes above the mark, they will receive an extra ticket in the raffles. Also, the grade with the highest average time read will receive a donut party courtesy of Mr. Young and me. Champion readers will be recognized at our back to school Chapel on August 16.

Have a great summer, young Lions!


Mr. Behnken


 Grades K-12 reading log!




Dear Parents of Harvest Christian Academy,

Thank you for entrusting your child to us this year. We thoroughly enjoy partnering with you and count it an honor to be a small piece in the story of your child.

All year the English Language Department has been scrutinizing our data to create a curriculum that is dynamic and rigorous for your student. One deficit we found was the sluggish start to each school year spent retraining our young readers. In 2014, the educational database Lumos Learning reported, “Teachers spend 3.4 weeks reteaching student course material at the beginning of the year.”  Often, we see students come to class in August having taken two months off from practicing their reading skills. Much like muscles encounter atrophy if left unexercised, the skill of critical reading only declines if ignored. To that end, we as a department have created a plan for summer reading that will both challenge and engage your student.

You will find the summer reading requirements organized by grade level below. Each assigned reading has a corresponding assessment which will be your student’s first grade entered in Infinite Campus for the fall semester. In this way, we’ll all begin the year with great success on our first assignment and hit the ground running!

Please take this summer to relax, recharge, AND read!


Noelle Hoffmeister

Curriculum and Instructional Coach

Grades 6-8 Summer Reading Requirements

Grade 9-12 Summer Reading Requirements

Grade 9-12 Annotation Rubric for Novels