Danforth & Ed Smith Students Become ‘Teen Book Fanatics’
Published on 3/28/17
District News Academics Danforth Magnet School Ed Smith
“Sometimes, reading makes me emotional,” a Danforth student shared.
“Oh, me too! I laugh… I cry,” an Ed Smith student responded.
“I cry all the time when I read,” another added.
Seventh and eighth graders at Danforth and Ed Smith came together and quickly realized a shared interest: reading!
As part of a grant funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation, the group of ‘Teen Book Fanatics’ started reading similar book selections at their respective schools. The Danforth students took a day trip to Ed Smith for community-building and discussion, and the Ed Smith students will return the favor.
The grant also made it possible for the group to take offsite trips, with plans to visit Syracuse University to learn about the Writing Our Lives program, as well as to a branch of the Onondaga County Public Library to learn about the free resources available to them there.
Near the end of the school year, the group will take a trip to Nazareth College for the Teen Book Fest. There, they will have the opportunity to meet some of the authors of the books they read about throughout the year.
“Our students live two miles apart, but they are living worlds apart in some ways,” Ed Smith Library/Media Specialist Beth Ann Smith explained. “We wanted to build a sense of community within the district and let the students get exposure to each other and what other schools are like.”
Students said they joined the book club for a variety of reasons, from looking for good book recommendations to making new friends to meeting authors.
“It’s hard to find good books,” Ed Smith seventh grader CJ McDowell said. “So I joined the book club. The books here sound good, and I like to read!”
“I’m really interested in reading,” Ed Smith eighth grader Karuna Kharka shared. “It gives me more knowledge. I’m happy to get to know the Danforth students and to make them my friends!”
“It’s been exciting, because we get to see a new school and talk to new people,” Danforth seventh grader Asyana Walls agreed. “I’m most excited for the Teen Book Fest… we went last year, and it was so exciting!”
Ms. Smith added that part of the objective of the book club is to engage different types of readers and to expose students to different genres of literature.
“Ultimately, we’re trying to get middle school students excited about reading, and helping them to enjoy books,” Ms. Smith said. “When we come together, the students have common points of conversation and they’re building excitement toward the end of the year event [Teen Book Fest at Nazareth College]. This experience helps them to start to think of authors as people. They realize: ‘Hey, I’m a person, too. I could be an author.’”
We are so proud of these voracious readers! This is one of 20 projects funded by the SCSD Educational Foundation in 14 schools this year, totaling $53,000. Thank you for making partnerships like this possible!