For every student at Beaty Warren Middle School, there is one simple way to combat the brain drain summer often brings about: reading a book.
Students entering sixth, seventh or eighth grade at BWMS or fifth grade at Warren Area Elementary Center are required to read one book off of a list of several over the summer in the hopes that they will read more.
"You're encouraged to read as many as you want," sixth grade teacher Terry Borger said.
Borger said the reading requirement has be done for about five years and it was originally intended that the requirement would build.
In spite of the small requirement, Borger said many students read many books off the list.
The lists are composed of around 20 books and are organized by grade level. Borger said they try to get books of every genre, from science fiction to poetry, on list, in order to offer something to every student.
She said there are also a few series of books on the list, which often encourages students to read more than the first book.
All of the books are part of the Accelerated Reader program, which the school purchases tests from each year.
Borger said the school has thousands of tests and they purchase about 200 new tests every year to keep up with popular books like the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" series.
For the summer reading requirement, Borger said the students have to take an Accelerated Reader test during the first two weeks of school.
"It makes it easier to make them accountable," she said.
The books on the lists are made readily available at the Warren Public Library.
Susan Slater, the children's librarian, said the books are kept in a special section in the children's department and the grade level is indicated on the book's spine. Slater said since there is such a high demand for the books in the summer, they aren't able to be renewed.
"The idea is to get them into the library," Borger said.
The books are also available in the BWMS main office, where students can check them out for two weeks from Beaty's library.
Throughout the course of the year, Borger said the kids can take more Accelerated Reader tests if they choose and the points are tallied in each classroom.
She said the points don't effect grades, but at the end of the year, the students with the most points win prizes.
Overall, Borger said the outside reading does make a difference to the kids by exposing them to new vocabulary, and the "practice" of sorts helps them with school.
"It's like playing an instrument or a sport," she said.