In a world of technology and screen media, there is still something special about physically holding a book and turning the pages. However, over the past two decades, there has been a steep drop off in teens reading after the age of 13.
To combat this decline Romulus High School English Teacher Jessika Whiteside and her co-teacher Jennifer Slyman have partnered with the Book Love Foundation. The non-profit organization is run by author Penny Kittle and strives to put books in the hands of students who otherwise would not have access. Whiteside was the recipient of a $4,000 grant that enabled her to add nearly 500 books to her classroom library.
It's phenomenal for our students to see that people are truly invested in their literacy. Ms. Slyman and I work so hard to show students that reading has a place in their lives. When an organization is willing to donate this magnitude of books it really speaks volumes to how invested these donors are. I have no doubt that these books will positively alter the trajectory of my student’s life, and that makes this whole project worth it,” said Whiteside.
RHS Sophomore Denora Holston assisted with the application process by writing two letters of recommendation that helped explain the need for the books. The Book Love grant committee receives hundreds of applicants and only selects a very small amount of recipients. “ It’s exciting to see the large amount of books arrive. They will help to open up a new world for students my age, and that’s pretty cool,” said Holsten. Whiteside hopes that her students will develop a love for reading that will last a lifetime and can be passed down from generation to generation.
For more information visit www.booklovefoundation.org.