“Literacy is a lighthouse, a beacon to new understanding, lighting the path to new opportunities.” — Brooke Friedman, Andrew Herndon, Celine Strichert, Caleb Steffen, E.J. Perkins, Connor Schively
Article submitted by Margaret Michicich, 10th Grade
This year in C.L.A.S.S., we are focusing on literacy as a universal right. We, the students, chose this theme as a continuation from last year, when we explored other universal rights including hunger. When talking about hunger we realized that many of the hungry are poor or illiterate. We wanted to define literacy as not just reading and writing but what it means possess these skills. As a group we wanted to create a definition that could be applied globally and in different situations. Ultimately we defined it as…
A universal life skill that opens up opportunities to appreciate the beauty of the world, to respect other people, and to accept new ideas.
Now that we explored what literacy meant, we wanted to apply our knowledge by bringing it into the community. Over a series of eight months, we were given the opportunity to visit Wadewitz Elementary School. During our visits, C.L.A.S.S. students met with kindergarteners and 5th graders to explore a variety of themes in literature. We discussed and read books about friendship, alienation, prejudice and slavery. The experiences we’ve encountered as students will transcend into many life lessons.
Take a look at what some of this year’s C.L.A.S.S. members are saying…
“It’s difficult to put in words how much I enjoyed my time at Wadewitz. We remember people we have seen before, and they remember us. We have absolutely created lasting relationships. My definition of literacy has changed in the sense that you can experience it with others.” – Bennett Reinhardt, 6th Grade
“It was a great experience going to Wadewitz. Sharing what we thought and read and expressing our views helped us cate relationships with the students. They were so welcoming, and very friendly. Being with kids younger than me, and helping them understand literacy and teaching them has helped me realize my passion for working with kids and teaching!” – Jacqueline Johnson, 7th Grade
“I had a lot of fun at Wadewitz! I thought it was super cool working with the younger kids because they had so much positive energy about everything. After asking just one question, it seemed to spark a bunch of ideas. Working with kids who were younger then me helped me realize how literacy is defined in their minds. We got to help them open up their imagination to new possibilities in the world of literacy.” – Sarah Gesner, 5th Grade
“It was nice, their teachers were really kind. The little kids needed a lot of directions explained and need a lot of help. It was very nice getting to know the kids. I learned new vocabulary words. My favorite part was when I actually got to know them.” – Audrey Braun, 4th Grade