South Burlington, VT — Summer may be officially over for many students, but some can still look forward to some more fun at the start of the school year. Students at Rice Memorial High School are reviewing their summer reading as the school held its first ever ‘Summer Reading Fest’.

Students were able to take a break from class and play games and intellectual activities relating to themes in The Martian by Andy Weir.

“I think this school-wide activity really brought together the teamwork aspect,” said Gabriella Allbee, a junior. “I’m really excited because it really brings the rice community together, and it’s an awesome way to start the year off.”

The Martian includes scientific themes and one senior said he has learned a lot.

“The fun with the education, it’s kind of like ice-breaking,” said Matthew Scnesac. “Kids are new, kids are transferring, it’s kind of brings that fun aspect. Summer reading is important to me because it keeps the brain active over the summer.”

The school says summer reading can give students a much needed break from screens. Junior Hannah Cunningham says she has enjoyed this book in particular.

“It’s important because it really keeps my mind jogging throughout the summer, and I like summer reading books because we as a school community are all reading the same book, and going through the same experiences together.”

Dr. Andrew Keough, the new Principal of Rice Memorial says weeks of planning went into this school-wide event. “The activities in the morning were really challenging them intellectually, whereas the activities in the afternoon are more about teamwork and fun. Anytime we can engage the kids in some kind of learning over the summer, it’s a wise thing to do.”

He added that summer reading is the perfect opportunity for students to keep learning over the summer.