Tales from Thurgood Marshall Academy

With one more month before school begins, we’re hard at work. We’re not only getting materials and new author programs ready for the next school year, but we’re also getting in the spirit for school to start again.

As we think about all the awesome moments from our school programs that ran last year, we get really excited and we almost can’t wait for the school year to begin.   While that may sound a bit strange when the sun is shining outside, and you’re on your way to the beach or the park, once you read these stories from our program associate, Chris’, visits to Thurgood Marshall Academy, you’ll understand.

The students read along as Zetta Elliott, shares a chapter from her book, Ship of Souls.

The Tale of Zetta’s Reading

Everyone in a class of sixth graders was given Zetta Elliott’s new book Ship of Souls, in preparation for Zetta’s visit.  However, because the teacher had to be absent to correct standardized tests in the days when she would have been preparing for Behind the book, the students hadn’t read very far into Ship of Souls before Zetta’s visit.

Zetta held a read-aloud so engaging that the students continued reading on their own over the weekend.

Not to be disheartened by a change of plans, Zetta read the next chapter aloud during her workshop and the students were hooked. The visit was on a Friday and the students asked their teacher for weekend reading homework so they could continue the story!

Rita Williams-Garcia reads aloud from her book, Jumped

The Tale of the Mobiles

Rita Williams Garcia visited a 7th grade. As part of their characterization study of her novel Jumped, students made mobiles with panels listing character traits and descriptions. It was quite a sight to walk into the classroom with colorful mobiles hanging from the ceiling.

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It is really beyond amazing to see firsthand the way meeting an author will motivate students to read and give them a tangible way to interact with literature.  Our programming and author visits give the students a way to connect to the stories, beyond just reading the book once and setting it aside in favor of a television program or a video game.  These stories show the strong connection that the students find with the books they read and the authors they meet in our program.  We love our authors, our program associates, and our students more than anything and we can’t wait to begin again in the fall!

If you have volunteered in a classroom and would like to submit a story, please send it to intern@behindthebook.org and your story may appear here, on the blog. Happy Reading!

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