Creating a Culture of Literacy
MacArthur Middle School has a new Literacy Coach this year and she's doing an amazing job. CC Forgione came to MacArthur from Old Middle Middle, South - a STEM magnet school and has brought that innovative spirit and energy to MacArthur to help revitalize the teachers' and students' passion for reading. One only has to l
ook at how she drew attention to her role and school literacy on Back to School night to get an idea about her enthusiasm.
So far this year, Ms. Forgione has gone to the Maryland Book Bank, sought donations from publishing companies and utilized the DoDEA Tapestry grant in order to help build up classroom libraries and put books in the hands of students. Recently she was able to make use of Scholastic sales, with coupons and bonus points in order to get almost 300 books for Free Book Friday - another program she brought to MacArthur this year.
Free Book Fridays are an innovative way to couple literacy with the schools PBIS market system. For just one "S.O.A.R. Buck," a student can enter to win a free book. There are three books raffled off to each grade level every Friday. So far she has given away over 20 books this school year with more students wanting to participate each week.
Ms. Forgione is also planning on continuing the Family Literacy Night which has become a mainstay for MacArthur parent engagement over the last few years. The current plan is for the Literacy Night to take place at Meade High School in the early spring and will have the added draw of bringing in the Meade High School families and some and families from some of the other DoDEA Elementary schools.
The staff has come out in support of the efforts to embrace a culture of literacy through posing for "READ Poster" style pictures displayed on the school's website. They also have mini dry-erase pages on their doors displaying what books they are currently reading to help communicate the simple message of "adults read too" and maybe help start up a conversation about books, authors or genres among staff and students.