Key Elements of Soka Education
“I hope all of you will develop into great individuals in the 21st century. Now is the time for you to cultivate your mind through reading. That will decide everything. There is no limit to how far your potential will reach if the earth of your mind is cultivated and well-nourished. Within each of you lies a vast field of infinite possibility, and reading is the hoe with which to till that boundless frontier.” (From Mr. Ikeda’s Discussions on Youth-For the Protagonists of the Twenty-first Century “The Joys of Reading”)
Senior High School
Students are encouraged to read widely, with a selection of 100 recommended books. Twice a year, in the spring and fall, a ten-day reading campaign takes place during which students are given ten minutes every morning to read before class begins. For this purpose, the library is open early in the morning and reading sessions are held in each grade. In addition, reading contests are held, and individual classrooms work to improve their personal library, so as to make books more readily available to students. During the school day on Saturdays, students are also given time during which they are able to read. The school library aims to provide an environment to stimulate reading and makes efforts to purchase books requested by students.
Junior High School
Morning reading sessions are promoted in numerous ways. Every year, an orientation is held for all new students in the school library to introduce its selection of books. In addition, the school’s reading committee issues a regular bulletin of recommended reading material and teachers give out awards to students who have completed reading the selection of recommended books by the end of each semester. Students are encouraged to read 100 books over three years and teachers also select their own list of recommended books for their classrooms in the hopes of cultivating students who love to read.
According to the developmental stages of each grade, the elementary school creates a list of recommended books for the students. Teachers praise students for reading and do their best to encourage reading through organizing various activities. Each grade or class holds a book-reading session, during which a variety of books are read to the students. In addition, a ten-minute reading time is created in the mornings in the hopes of establishing a habit of reading among the students. Through making a wide array of books and reading time available to students, the school aims to nurture an environment that promotes reading.