The Desert Heights Summer Reading Assignment allows our 5th-12th grade students the opportunity to reinforce vital standards in reading and writing over the summer months while also preparing for the rigor of the next school year. Our summer reading program has allowed our students to practice and maintain the knowledge and skills that are vital to success during the school year. Studies have shown that students who engage in summer reading are more focused and confident entering the new school year and score higher on standardized assessments. The philosophy underlying our summer reading program supports best practices in literacy instruction in that allowing such autonomy provides for better buy-in while also maintaining their individual reading levels. Students have the autonomy in choosing their own novels to read while also practicing valuable skills in reading fluency, comprehension and analysis. Since we have implemented the summer reading program at Desert Heights we have seen greater engagement, higher rigor and an increase in the overall literacy of our students.