By Brennon Netz, Tyler Moake,
Konlin Squires, Kenzie Ellis,
Jake Tibbitts, Emma Lindley, Abi Lyman, and Sarah Vidrine.
Having to read books for an English grade can be a real challenge for some middle school students, but for Dr. Gina Stuart’s Advanced Reading Class, independent reading is second nature and these students love to read. A well stated quote by class member Savannah Wallace describes her love of reading like this, “Books are amazing things that can give you thousands of new ideas. I love to get into new books, live in the action, and become best friends with the characters.”
Wyatt Thomas of Morgan Middle School said this about the Advanced Reading Class that 7th and 8th grade students can choose to take as an elective course. “When you first start reading a book it is like starting an adventure. I never liked reading until Dr. Stuart showed me the way.” Having access to a variety of good books is an essential component in keeping students motivated to read. Students in the Advanced Reading Class love the opportunity to have access to two libraries and their book collections. They utilize the Morgan Middle School Media Center on almost a daily basis and visit the Morgan County Library once a week to check out and read new books. Books from the library are great, but sometimes it’s good to have books for the classroom too.
Recently these students requested a grant for their class from the Morgan Education Foundation. The students were surprised and excited to learn that they had indeed received $500.00 from the foundation to purchase new books to extend their reading curriculum. After a lengthy and intense class discussion about books, the students agreed on the new and upcoming titles they would purchase with the foundation donation. They purchased 12 copies of the following books: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans, Adventurers Wanted: Slathbog’s Gold by M. L. Forman, and Divergent by Veronica Roth. All of the students in Dr. Stuart’s Class agreed that the grant from the Morgan Education Foundation expanded their opportunities to read and improved their ability to excel in reading. Class member Ethan Lowder summarized the class’s feelings towards the foundation with his comment, “It was generous for them to give us new books. I have really enjoyed them. Thank You!
As a way to “pay it forward” and thank the libraries for letting the students visit on a regular basis, each year the Advanced Reading Class makes donations of their own. This year they accumulated almost $200 to purchase new books for both the Middle School Media Center and the Morgan County Library. The students hope to be able to have the books ready for the libraries in time for Christmas.