All-School Summer Read: Risk it for RamNation
Elissa Poppoff, 12th Grade Learning Leader

Tilton School, like many boarding schools, has a tradition of an all-school summer reading assignment–a book that all students and faculty are required to read, often selected by the English department. This read often addresses an issue, theme or idea that provides the foundation for on-going discussions and focus for the upcoming school year.  

This summer, Tilton School evolved the summer read into an all-school Summer Learning Experience. Students and faculty may select from a list of books, movies, podcasts, journal articles, and other forms of media related to the student-generated theme Risk It For RamNation. The reasons for this shift were numerous and related to the personalized programming that Tilton offers to its students.

The evolution started in early spring and stemmed from a discussion about increasing student participation and cultivating leadership for the benefit of school culture. The change creates more choices for students to increase participation and provide a more applicable learning experience. The theme Risk It For RamNation is focused on the idea that personal responsibility, action, and challenge will strengthen a community.  

The three questions below will guide future discussions and assist in understanding the resources chosen. 

  1. How do you model community investment and risk-taking?

  2. How do you develop trust and collaboration with community leaders?

  3. How do you balance appropriate risk and personal goals with the needs of the community?

Student input was solicited about what resources should be collected and presented to their peers, how that information should be communicated, and what the expectations are. All community members are expected to read, watch or listen to at least two different items and are encouraged to choose items from at least two different mediums, with at least one being a written source.

Check out the all-school summer read resources >

Hear 12th-Grade/PG Level Leader Ellissa Popoff, student Alex ‘21, and Academic Dean Mike Landroche discuss the evolution of the summer learning experience on the Independent Thinking podcast >


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