I smiled as I opened the New York Times app on my phone and saw the featured article: “Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books.” The article traces the influence of both reading and writing on President Obama. Despite the endless work he faced every day, he made sure to reserve at least an hour every night to read something that he enjoyed—whether it was fiction or political biography. As I continued through the article, I realized that Obama and I had read the same novel most recently: Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad.” This book presents a fictionalized version of the Underground Railroad in which there was an actual train that slaves who escaped would ride to freedom. Like Obama, I loved this book.
While I have never had one millionth of the stress, work or pressure that President Obama has faced, I have made sure to read a book that I want to read every night before I go to sleep. This habit has fostered a love of reading in me and has helped me immensely in school and on standardized tests. By reading for pleasure, one can develop crucial reading comprehension skills that will be invaluable on the ACT and beyond.
-Sasha G, Instructor