The Beauty of Summer: Time to Read

As the educators of girls we have committed our life’s work to developing, inspiring, and guiding our students to become their best selves. We are dedicated to girls’ education and understand deeply the value our work has on current and future generations. It is incredibly rewarding work, but let’s be honest, it’s about this time of year that we start the count down to the last day of school!

Summers are a time for much needed rejuvenation. Not just for us, but also for our students. We start to picture ourselves enjoying the tranquility of a mountain campsite or burying our toes in a sandy beach… relaxing in a backyard hammock or sitting on a park bench. In each of these mental images, there’s a good book in our hands. It’s that glorious time of year when we are less weighed down by daily commitments and can read purely for pleasure.

These days, technology – social media, video games, etc. – can steal away from our reading time. As educators we’ve always stressed the importance of reading for pleasure outside of class. How do we convince our students of its value, however, when for many of them, outside reading seems less important than the other obligations – and forms of entertainment – vying for their time and attention? One answer is by connecting the outcomes of reading directly to those obligations and pressures that they face.

Reading enhances vocabulary, makes you a better writer, and provides the perfect escape to help reduce stress. These are life-long skills that will benefit our girls throughout school, college, careers, and beyond.

Several NCGS member schools select an all-school book for students and faculty or an all-faculty book for summer time reading. Recommended reading lists for students by grade levels are also popular practice.

As a thought-leader in girls’ education, NCGS has launched an Amazon eStore with recommended readings lists for educators, students, and parents. NCGS thanks the faculty and staff at member school Harpeth Hall for curating this summer’s reading lists grouped by age-appropriate levels. This new resource is available to help you select an all-faculty book or inspire selections for your students this summer.

Author and feminist Bell Hooks said, “Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.” Isn’t that what we strive for and want for our students… and for ourselves?


Megan Murphy, Executive Director, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools