This year, as a way to encourage Elwood-John H. Glenn High School students to participate in community service activities, the district has created a new literacy program. Similar to its “Knightly Readers” initiative, high school students are earning community service hours by reading books virtually to students at Harley Avenue Primary and James H. Boyd Intermediate Schools.
John Glenn students record themselves reading grade level-appropriate books and, afterward, suggest short and simple activities for the younger students to complete.
These videos have helped to further integrate literacy both in-person and virtually in the elementary school classrooms. The district’s goal is to have its high school students help the elementary school students to improve their literacy practices and encourage a love of books.
As part of the program, first and second grade students in Jessica Jantzen’s class at Harley Avenue listened to “Hey, Wall,” by Susan Verde, read aloud by John Glenn High school student Braden Gastaldi. The story got students talking about Verde’s messages of peace, mindfulness and community. Students then engaged in creating walls of their own.