Congratulations to Burke Tarleton, Alan Tran, Blaise Richard, Trey Lambert, Reed McMains and Lance Clark for proving they know the most about the novel "Booked" by Kwame Alexander.
Aldrich Library was recently the scene of trivia, sharing and excitement. No, this wasn’t a teenage discussion during flex or a game of Clue. It was the first meeting of the Project LIT BR group.
Project LIT, or Libraries in Communities, is an idea sparked from the imagination of Jared Amato of Nashville, Tennessee. The program is Amato’s answer to serving children in what is known as a book desert – areas with little access to libraries or bookstores. Since its inception last year, Project LIT has set educators on fire throughout the south, with many adopting some version of the program for their school.
Now Episcopal Middle Schoolers are the first in Louisiana to join the fun. Sixth grade English teacher Martha Guarisco discovered the Project LIT information, and being a reading advocate herself was inspired to bring it to Woodland Ridge. “We want to celebrate and promote literacy,” she says. “Even reluctant readers can be changed with the right book.”
Students were not reluctant to get on board. In fact, Martha wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when launching the program, but after putting out invitations to join, sixty (sixty!) sixth graders voluntarily signed up to help. The volunteers organized a trivia contest based on the novel "Booked". The pre-teens revelled in the contest, eager to answer and eager to share.
In a school where reading is commonplace and normal, it may be hard to imagine a Project LIT program. However, Martha says this is the perfect opportunity to help students understand that having a book is a luxury for some and that not everyone has access to reading. Project LIT programs across the south are organizing and maintaining free mini-libraries in book deserts to share the love of reading with others. These mini book depots allow members of the community to take a book and leave a book at their leisure. The hope is to reduce any barriers to reading that may exist because of inaccessibility.
After the trivia contest, it seems Project LIT BR is off to a great start. Going forward the group will seek out ways to better define their program with community service aspects and of course, more reading.
You can read more about Project LIT BR and follow their activities at @ProjectLITBR.