We believe that a classical, Christian education provides good soil for students to grow into mature followers of Jesus Christ. In this series of posts we will highlight various ways that a Covenant education prepares students to live faithful and fruitful lives.
Carley Hoover is a 10th grade student at Covenant. She is involved in chamber choir, cross country, drama, orchestra and is an editor for the school newspaper. We asked Carley how Covenant sparked and cultivated her love for reading and have shared her response below.
I still remember the first full chapter book we read as a class at Covenant. I can’t tell you much about The Courage of Sarah Noble, but I do know that as a second grader I loved it. And as the years go by, and with them countless more books, that love for reading has only grown thanks to Covenant. Here at school, I have not only learned what to read but how and why to read. In the realms of what to read, Covenant has shown me to love and appreciate everything from the ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh to much more modern writings, from sixteenth-century sonnets to the fantasies of Tolkien.
But no matter the subject, Covenant has shown me that loving reading comes down to how you read, and that is a lesson that has really cultivated my appreciation for literature. I remember last year during one of our history and literature classes, we were in the middle of Augustine’s Confessions and were discussing reading when our teacher said something to the effect of if we start a book by seeing how many pages it has, we have done it all wrong. He was not saying that there is something inherently wrong with knowing how long a book is, but rather he was making the point that reading a book is not about finishing it. He told us that reading was like a journey, and it was not the destination that mattered but everything along the way. While this was only put into words for me as a ninth grader, it has been the disposition all of my teachers here have had towards reading, and it has been instrumental in shaping the way I think about books.
When it comes to why we read, I’m sure that there are many great reasons, but it always boils down to one. Literature reveals so much about what unites humanity, our Imago Dei. All throughout history, our Creator is giving himself away. I was recently reading C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy, and at one point he writes, “A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere […] God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous”. So, in short, we read because it can be worship. Now, I certainly have a long way to go before I am reading an entire book every day before breakfast like Theodore Roosevelt, but I would not have the love for literature that I do if it were not for Covenant teaching me what, how, and why to read.
Covenant Christian Academy is a member of ACCS.
The University of Notre Dame, in conjunction with the Cardus Education Survey, conducted a study focused on school outcomes. We are encouraged by this recent data released by the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) that shows how alumni from schools like Covenant spend time reading.