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ERIC Number: EJ809637
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0094-0771
A Whole-School "Read" Creates a Reading Community
Wilson, Jennifer; Jewett, Pamela; Vanderburg, Michelle
Middle School Journal (J1), v40 n1 p4-11 Sep 2008
Students and teachers at Hand Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina, were in the midst of a two-year, comprehensive renovation and construction project in which some sections of their 75-year-old, historic building were being renovated and new sections added. When parts of the school were boarded up and oversized machinery first moved onto campus, approximately half of the students moved into portables. Classrooms and other academic areas were closed, including the school's media center, which would be unavailable to students while the space for a new, larger media center was being prepared. Amidst the clang of machinery, the buzz of saws, the shouts of workmen, and the high whine of drills, the media specialist, the literacy coach, and a seventh grade English/language arts teacher collaborated to develop a plan that would offset the closing of the media center for a year and would keep books in the hands of students. In this unlikely setting, they created a kind of literary ecosystem in which equilibrium between the community of construction and the community of learning was maintained, creating a balance between bedlam and books, between renovations and reading. Together, these three teachers framed a rich environment where students could talk about books, create art work, craft dramatic productions, write reflections about their experiences, and grow deep community roots. This article recounts the innovative way the school community chose to face potential challenges to their physical environment and to their academic lives and, through a whole-school "read," influence teachers' practices, students' learning, and the involvement of the larger school community. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Middle School Association. 4151 Executive Parkway Suite 300, Westerville, OH 43081. Tel: 800-528-6672; Tel: 800-528-6672; Fax: 614-895-4750; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina