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Our goal at Townsend Harris is to continually be encouraging, promoting, and celebrating independent reading across our school community. Too many students come to Townsend Harris High School with a love for independent reading that they believe they must set aside to work hard in high school.


We believe, however, that finding a balance is crucial and  developing habits that make time for one's reading life can be transformative.  


A Reading Community

Our efforts to promote independent reading go well beyond offering time in classes for students to read. Each year, we host a series of events that bring students together and  engage them in exciting ways. Learn about the events we have hosted so far here


Events include all night reading challenges, book club trivia contests, trip opportunities, and a yearlong grade vs. grade competition that officially begins on Founders Day and ends on Keepers Day 

How to Get Started

The first step is to always have a book that you're reading. Yes, there's reading for class, but you should also have reading for you.


At first, it might be that you don't have much time for your book. You have lots of responsibilities and feel stressed. You know you can't finish that book for a long time at the rate you you will be reading it. That's OK. Having a book that you want to read is the first step, and finding time is what we will work on as a school.

Once you have a book, then it's time to make the pledge and participate in the yearlong challenge every year.

Image by Susan Q Yin
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