A Need To Read

The students of Prairie High School are fortunate enough to have an easily accessible library with a wide range of activities to do and around 7,700 books to read.

Sarah Oldenkamp, the librarian here at Prairie High tells of the multiple things the library offers. This includes, “a 3D printer, a makerspace where kids are free to make whatever they want, Playdough, Legos, yarn, games, puzzles, The Novel Cup and cards.”

She tells, “the library is an open door policy, we accept you whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you come from.”

Oldenkamp also took it upon herself this summer to paint one of the walls in the library with chalk paint, where students are free to be creative and write or draw what they wish.

The library is an incredible resource for students and teachers to read more and learn through the magic of books. Reading enhances vocabulary and you become a better writer through it. It helps you to become a more well-rounded individual and develop connections to other people and can reduce stress.

According to Learn To Read, “reading is essential to functioning in today’s society. Understanding the written word is one way the mind grows in its ability.” Teaching young children to read helps them develop their language and listening skills while opening them up to a world of possibilities.

Reading as a teen leads to success. When teens read more than just their classroom assignments, they generally do well in school. The extra reading expands their vocabularies. It also shows them how different writers put down their thoughts leading to better writing skills.

Teens who read more serious literary works gain skills in handling complex ideas. The more teens read the more information they pick up.

Most standardized tests, such as the ACT, have a reading portion. The purpose is to test how well a student can read and answer questions based on a passage. Students should realize they will be expected to complete similar tasks at college.

Lauralee Moss states, “no matter the college major, students must read and understand vast amounts of material in order to do well.”

Reading is a vital skill in finding a good job. A person is truly limited in what they can accomplish without good reading and comprehension skills. There are always reports and memos which must be read and responded to.

Poor reading skills increases the amount of time it takes to absorb and react in the workplace. Most employers require a person to know how to read and to read well. If you wish to receive a high-paying job, reading must be of importance to you. Knowledge is power and reading teaches you how to think.

Oldenkamp believes, “libraries are also a community building place and we should be shifting towards the library becoming not only a place where you come to consume information but also a place that allows you to create by using that information.”

She then states, “a library is a place where students and teachers can come to learn together. It equips people to become lifelong learners.”

The library is also included in the recent construction. The library will soon receive all new furniture, become more open, include a dedicated makerspace, six collaboration rooms, and a quiet place.”

Reading is vital to men, women, students, and teachers. Oldenkamp believes, “through books and reading you develop an imagination, and you develop empathy for others. Libraries are loud and active because learning is loud and active”

Oldenkamp is also asking for more student input on how to improve the library! She is always willing to try new changes. Stop by the library to experience the incredible environment of learning and having fun as a community and as a school. Then, encourage those around you to do the same.


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