Letter to the Editor: A passion for reading

To the Editor:

Island Readers & Writers (IRW) would like to thank all of the community volunteers, faculty and staff of the Mount Desert Island Regional School System (MDIRSS), author Clare Vanderpool and Camp Beech Cliff for helping to make this year’s 7th Grade Read a success.

The Oct. 19 event brought together all 137 seventh graders from each MDIRSS school to Camp Beech Cliff for a morning to discuss Vanderpool’s book “Navigating Early” and hear from the author herself.

The goal of this annual event is to provide an opportunity for all MDI seventh graders interact with their peers from different schools, read an acclaimed novel by an author who each student gets to meet, and have community members share their love of reading by facilitating small group discussions.

IRW appreciates the hard work by all of the teachers who prepared students to engage in rich conversation, helped students create wonderful book trailers in collaboration with the tech integrators, and much more. Their engagement is what makes the 7th Grade Read a success. Special thanks to Julie Meltzer, director of curriculum, assessment and instruction for AOS #91, for her leadership on this event.

Camp Beech Cliff once again offered the use of its beautiful facilities and lent two staff members to act as volunteer facilitators during the event.

IRW is extremely grateful to its volunteers from many different corners of the MDI community: Lee Bonta, Ephron Catlin, Dianne Clendaniel, Matt Cornish, Autumn Demaine, Tiffany Dow, Tim Garrity, Billy Helprin, Lisa Horsch-Clark, Jenny Jones, Margie Phelps, Andrew Simon, Mark Woida, Jamie Whitehead and Marie Yarborough, for taking the time out of their personal and professional lives to facilitate small group discussions about the book and share their passion for reading.

Jan Coates

IRW Executive Director

Alison Johnson

IRW Director of School Programs

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