Last Monday the students and faculty of Metcalfe County Middle School celebrated literacy, by asking a diverse group of guest speakers to join them and talk about the many ways literacy impacts life.
“Whitney Curd & I came up with the idea for our ‘MCMS Literacy Day: Reading Takes You Places’ as part of our Striving Readers grant,” said Laura Nunn Reed.
“We wanted to create a day during which the students were surrounded with opportunities for literacy skills including reading, writing, listening, speaking, & acquiring vocabulary.”
Reed says that despite the infiltration of technology, kids still like books.
“Surprisingly, there is still a fairly large number is students who prefer printed books over online. There are some who even pack around 2 or 3 library books at a time! For some, there’s just something about feeling the printed pages,” she said.
For other students, having access to the audio version is enabling them to experience pieces of literature they might not have ever chosen to read otherwise.
Reed says that classic literature and recently penned prose both capture their attention.
“The kids were especially intrigued by Edgar Allan Poe when we read the horror/suspense genre in October. They also loved the novels Holes & Freak the Mighty. Right now we’re reading a drama based on Anne Frank’s diary & they love to learn about WWII & the Holocaust,” said Reed.
Reed and Curd worked together to over a period of months to get all of the details in order.
“It was a major even with 100% participation from all students & teachers,” said Reed.
Teachers were encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters.
Each teacher arranged for a guest speaker for the first two periods of the day.
Those speakers shared how literacy has made an impact on their lives & the role it still plays today in their lives.
The long list of speakers included people from within the school system, such as Josh Hurt and Brandon Brockman, and others, like State Representative Bart Roland.
Local authors were also invited to the event for an authors panel. Each author introduced themselves gave a brief bio before the children asked questions.
The authors were: Carol Perkins, Susan Chambers, Kelly Saderholm, Jennifer Moonsong and Teresa Kindred.
“Each person did an excellent job of sharing how literacy impacts him/her in many ways–every career has to utilize literacy on a daily basis,” Reed said.
In addition to talking about literacy there were several other activities throughout the day.
“The next portion of the day was for some literacy activities such as a Literacy Interest Survey completed on Google forms, some Thanksgiving “Mad-libs,” as well as opportunity for the kids to design & decorate their classroom door based upon one of their favorite books or stories,” reed said.
Also, the entire student body toured the public library & had opportunity to check out books. Each student previously was issued a student library card & there is a return box in the MCMS library so students can have access to the public library without having to go there in person.
“The kids’ response to the day has been great. They were very excited about all the activities,” Reed said.