Pioneer High School's Library Media Center (LMC) hosted a celebration of the schoolwide summer reading selection Breaking Night by Liz Murray on Wednesday, Sept. 18 after school.
In 2018, the high school moved from a mandated summer reading assignment to a schoolwide summer reading celebration.
According to English Language Arts teacher Debra Zupo, "In part, we wanted to promote and encourage reading without tying an assessment to it. The district supports the incentive by purchasing a copy of the selected book for each student who is interested in reading."
Students followed up their summer reading at the start of school by completing one or more projects crafted around significant themes present in the selected book. These projects involved doing artwork, creating a map, or writing a thank-you note to Liz Murray.
Projects were unveiled at the celebration, and students earned ticket for each project they completed. There was a random prize draw, and a prize awarded based on student/staff vote.
Sophia Kehl won the Voters' Choice Award. She received a book of her choice. Two copies will be purchased - one for her and one to be donated to the LMC with her name recorded as 2019 winner.
Tristen Owens won random draw for project participation. She received a book of her choice that will be purchased for her.
Five other students won $5 gift cards to Tim Horton's (randomly drawn) for participating at different activity booths.
"Breaking Night is a memoir detailing Liz Murray's journey from 'homeless to Harvard.' Themes include hope, survival, persistence, hard work, resilience, choices, overcoming obstacles, and success," Mrs. Zupo said.
She credited the LMC's Donna Neamon with "working with ELA teachers over the summer to discuss elements of the selected book, and then creating an amazing display outside the LMC highlighting the book's themes and focus.