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Wester Middle School Launches Second Annual School-Wide Reading Initiative (November, 2007)

On Monday, November 26, 2007 students and staff at Wester Middle School in the Frisco Independent School District received a free copy of the book Last Shot: a Final Four Mystery by nationally known sportswriter and author, John Feinstein.  For three weeks following the November 26th launch, students will participate in an innovative reading initiative modeled after the American Library Association’s program, One Book, One Community.  According to Wester organizers, the purpose of the initiative is to promote reading for pleasure and enjoyment – a focused effort to let students know that reading is fun. 

To kick off the experience, students attended a Book Launch Party complete with cheerleaders, a 3-point basketball shooting contest, and an introduction to the book. 

“We want students to have fun and get excited about reading this great sports mystery”, Principal Angela Romney noted. In the spirit of fun, students will not be graded on the book, but will win prizes if they are 'caught reading.'" 

Students and teachers will read the novel during the Drop Everything and Read time that is provided once a week in reading classes for silent reading. Research shows that in eight out of 10 studies that tracked pupils in long-term leisure reading programs of 12 months or more, students who read recreationally outperformed their counterparts in classes that lacked leisure reading.

“We want to do everything we can to build a community of readers.” Romney said.

Principal Romney is looking forward to other activities that will take place at the school during the reading time. Students will participate in a pennant decorating contest, recycled tree ornaments with a sport or mystery theme, a mystery game related the book’s plot, books discussions and fun events in the library. These tangible activities will further demonstrate the power of reading and the fun it can produce, while making connections through all the learning, she said.  The end of this three-week reading event will culminate with a basketball game featuring a lineup of staff versus students.

Funds to purchase the books were donated by the following local businesses: Tandem Library Books, Morgan Hinges, Wester PTO, Wester Band Boosters, Mackin Library Media, Wilson Orthodontics and Lawn Tech Corporation.  Prize support is provided by La Hacienda Ranch and Dream Dinners.