A total of twenty-one students from Colchester Middle School and Colchester High School recently presented a collaborative literacy project to members of the Colchester-Milton Rotary Club.
The rotary club approached the schools about a mentoring program as part of its focus upon literacy. The project centered around reading and discussing a book with the hope of expanding the students’ reading comprehension skills and understanding of some affairs occurring elsewhere in the world.
The book, Vermont author Katherine Paterson’s The Day of the Pelican, was chosen because it was the Vermont Reads title for 2010. (For more information about Vermont Reads and the Vermont Reads Institute, visit http://www.vermonthumanities.org/index_files/vtreads.htm and http://www.vriuvm.org/.)
The students designed and presented the project together, and their joint efforts produced statements, a slideshow, and a poem. Beyond these more tangible results, involvement in the project enabled the participating students to form meaningful relationships with one another. It also helped to enhance some of the students’ comfort levels with the overall environment at the high school, particularly for some of the eighth graders who are preparing to transition to the high school later this year.
While there have been other mentoring initiatives between the middle school and the high school in the past, this project was the first of its type.