Reading Center Destroyed

In several schools across Philadelphia, school districts have employed “walkthrough teams” to find issues among classrooms and resolve them immediately. They are asked to check in on curriculum, classroom appearance, teachers, and students. In a recent walk through, a team member noted a comfy reading area as ‘clutter.’ It was removed from the classroom and left children wondering where their favorite reading spot went.

The teacher of this classroom was rightfully outraged. She had constructed an area of the classroom that welcomed students to read. They enjoyed the space and found a special way to enjoy cozying up with a book. After the space was destroyed, the students were left to read only at their desks.

This article from The Philadelphia Notebook was disturbing to read about. I would love to think that a school would embrace a teacher’s efforts to find a new way for students to love reading. I know that in my house, I have a favorite chair that calls to me, just begging me to grab a book and read something new. If I had had a safe, comfortable space in school that offered the same feeling, I would have read more as a younger person while in school.

What do you think? Is this a big deal at all? Is the district looking to implement positive changes without success? Maybe you work for a walkthrough team that has made a real difference. Share your thoughts!


  1. wmonn
    Feb 16, 2012

    Thanks for sharing! I think this is sending a message:
    1. That students enrichment is not valued
    2. That activities, outside of prescribed classroom time, are not valued

    My comments could sound drastic, but if this area was encouraging students to read, which promotes academic success, I cannot imagine why it would have been removed.

    • Kimberly
      Feb 16, 2012

      I agree. Declaring that something is ‘clutter’ is not enough of a reason to extricate it from a classroom if the students saw it as positive and helpful to their learning. This is disastrous.

  2. Jerry Monkst
    May 16, 2013

    Great post. Such an important issue. Have to agree with wmonn all that is valued now is stupid results that mean nothing

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