The Allen-Stevenson community celebrated our shared joy of reading last week during Book Week.
The week was full of activities and friendly competitions focused on recognizing and promoting our belief that the value of reading goes far beyond a school assignment and provides deep personal enrichment.
Throughout the year, boys reading books is a staple sight in our building. Walk into a classroom on any given day and you are sure to see a scattering of graphic novels, fantasy, historical fiction, and more strewn across desktops, and students curled up in corners devouring their current book. Book Week is a time when our boys can share their individual book preferences with each other, discover new authors or genres, and revisit old favorites.
Our dedicated Library Tech Commons team decorated the School for the week with posters of all our faculty and staff – and a few celebrities – reading their favorite children’s book to provide more than a hundred role models for reading.
The celebrations kicked off with All School D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read), a 30-minute long period where students and faculty and staff all picked up a book and read together. Books in all forms are always welcome at A-S, and our community could be seen reading magazines, newspapers, e-books, graphic novels, fiction, non-fiction, and listening to audiobooks. The School was silent as all partook in a shared value of reading.
During lunch all week, boys from each division were challenged with guessing which book a quotation was taken from. As a prize, a winner was selected to choose a book supplied by our Library Tech Team.
A mysterious voice read a quote over our intercom on Tuesday morning. All week, boys could submit their guesses as to who that reader might be. Our Mystery Reader was ultimately revealed to be our very own Art Teacher, Dr. Rob McCallum!
Our building was filled with other Book Week activities on Friday. Middle Schoolers dressed up as their favorite book characters for Character Day. During Advisory, they met in small, mixed-grade level groups where they read favorite passages from their character’s book, explained why they chose the character they dressed up as, read a piece they wrote from their character’s perspective and showed artwork that their character may have created relating to the book.
Author and Cartoonist Jerry Craft spent the day with our students on Friday to inspire our boys with his personal narrative. He talked about the many obstacles he overcame on his path to becoming an author. Growing up, Mr. Craft liked books in which he could identify with the characters – but he didn’t see himself in any of the books he read. So, he decided to write his own book, a graphic novel called Mama’s Boyz. Mr. Craft had to teach himself how to self-publish for this book because nobody would publish it!
Fast forward, and Mr. Craft is a best-selling, award-winning author, recently winning the Coretta Scott King Book Award, which is given to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults, and the first Newbery Medal to be awarded to a graphic novel for his book New Kid.
We are so proud to have such a strong culture of reading at Allen-Stevenson and love celebrating this passion during Book Week each year.