Students at Loch Raven Technical Academy (LRTA) are being given the chance to read for personal enjoyment or a chance to engage their knowledge of the world and the events around them. Through the Inspire Special Event Grant, 60 students at Loch Raven Technical Academy (LRTA) received their own personal copy of the award-winning, graphic novel New Kid by Jerry Craft.
Open to any middle school students who were interested, information regarding the opportunity was shared via social media and on the school’s website. Originally designed as a summer reading program, the Inspire Special Event Grant was a chance to get a book that is sure to become a classic into the hands of the students. Due to the pandemic, getting the books into the hands of students required set procedures and adherence to state and local protocols.
Using safety guidelines, the books were ordered and packaged at a local bookstore, The Children’s Bookstore. Wearing a mask and maintaining social distance procedures, the books were picked up from the bookstore. E-mails were sent to the parents of students who expressed interest in the book. Focused on safety, students and parents were given information regarding a set date and time to take part in drive-thru pick-up at the school. Remaining in the cars, names were checked off the list and the books were placed in the back seat or the trunk of the car. While in cars, students and parents had to wear masks and I wore a mask, as well.
Thanks to the images and the messages in the book, students are able to have discussions about middle school, friendship, race, and more. Currently, students are taking part in virtual book club meetings to discuss the characters, the message, and their connections. Using various online tools, students will discuss and design ways to enhance the school community. Later, we hope to give the students an opportunity to share their positive messages and insights with the school community.