It’s possible Anna High School has invented a way to appeal to all types of readers. With the support of Principal Thance Springer, who is in his first year as principal of Anna High School, District Librarian Greta Adams created the high school’s first annual Thankful for Reading event on Friday, Nov. 18.
Adams said she wanted to find a way to make the students aware of the different books and genres available to them. She said her strategy for this was to use “high/low books”—books that have high interest and low readability. Using these types of books makes it easier to complete an entire book in one day, she said.
It’s an event that has many members of the community stepping up to encourage students to read by reading to them. School staff members – both current and retired — and people from the community all gave their time to read to the students. The process has the entire school read the same book, however it’s split into sections to accommodate the class schedules.
Kim Shey, one of the readers, was able to read the first part of the book Varsity 170” by Evan Jacobs to some of the high schoolers. Shey pointed out that the book contained some pretty deep subjects, including the death of a character who dies after a wrestling match with his best friend.
“It seems the students are really enjoying the book,” Shey said. “It stated that Marcus died a few times in the book, and that seemed to wake up the students.”
After some of the classes let out for lunch, the chatter coming from the students was a strong indication that the students were enjoying the event. Madison Hemenway, 15, loves to read and said she relishes the idea of being able to read during school. Her favorite book is “Little House on the Prairie.”
“Today is a fun book reading day,” she said.
Katie, 16, enjoys stories, but does not like the actual act of reading. She takes delight in other people reading because she appreciates different tones and inflections.
“It’s very different, everybody has different perspectives on the book and the day,” Katie said, “I like that I get to hear other people’s thoughts and outlooks.”
Katie said she is entertained by “The Selection Series” by Kiera Cass; she said she enjoys the fantasy storyline.
To ensure the day offered something for everyone, Anna ISD treated the readers to a Thanksgiving style meal.
Acting as a capstone to the day of reading, Anna ISD students were also able to take advantage of a “mini-career day.” After the adult readers were done with their sections of the book, they would take the last part of the class to describe their careers to the students. The students could then ask the readers any questions pertaining to their career.
Adams said she hopes this is the first of many Thankful for Reading to come.