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Students select book for Read Across Mattoon

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To read the official brochure of Ready to Read Across Mattoon, click the following slideshow:

Slideshow Icon Read Across Mattoon 2014



Read Across Mattoon promotes "Out of My Mind" for 2013 book

For the past 11 years, Mattoon Middle School's student led Read Across Mattoon reading committee has understood the importance of promoting literacy amongst their peers and adult readers in the community.
This year, the students feel the book they've selected titled "Out of My Mind" not only fulfills the notion of encouraging others to read, but it offers an opportunity for people to learn about those who are challenged with disabilities.
"Out of My Mind," written by Sharon Draper, focuses on a girl named Melody who has cerebral palsy. Melody has difficulty doing tasks which people without disabilities think are easy.
"This creates conflict not within the book but within us because we misunderstand people who cannot do things easily or without effort," said Henry Skocy, seventh grade reading committee member. "I think it is one of the major reasons why we picked this book."
Reading Committee Adviser and MMS Media Specialist Anieta Trame said every year, the content of each book defines a new path for the committee.
Trame asked Dr. Christina Edmonds-Behrend from Eastern Illinois University, to present a lesson to the committee explaining what disability means and describing some of the types of disabilities.
"What I learned was there were differences between handicapped and disability," said Alex Stricklin, sixth-grade reading committee member. "We learned what it means to be a quadriplegic. It was interesting to learn about what people have to go through."
Skocy added he learned that when you are describing someone who has a disability you state their name first and then their disability; always placing the person first before the disability.
Although the technology age has students enjoying all types of gadgets from I-Pads to video games, the old-fashioned hobby of picking up a book and reading isn't lost at MMS. This year, 67 students signed on to serve as members of the reading committee. Fifty-five students participated regularly.
"My big wow this year was the response from the students," said Trame. "I think kids see other kids on the reading committee and they look at them as leaders. They want to be part of it."
The committee is charged with reading many books before deciding what book they will present to their classmates and the community. The book titles are from the Rebecca Caudill list. The experience gives students the chance to read genres
that normally wouldn't appeal to them.
"I didn't have an interest in reading until I joined this group," said Carmen Smith, eighth-grade reading committee member. "Mrs. Trame told me the committee read a lot of good books. I have enjoyed reading ever since." Students also learn the art of debate.
Often, students have favorite titles that they want the committee to select as the eventual book promoted in Read Across Mattoon.
"There were some arguments going on between two of our members because they care enough about which book we present," said Tori Hennecke, eighth-grade reading committee member.
"While we have arguments going on, we have people agreeing to get past certain conflicts and agree which book is best for everyone." Smith added, "It's a fun group to be in. It is enjoyable and there are deep discussions. The talks can be amusing. People really get into it."


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Mattoon Middle School1200 S. 9th St.Mattoon, IL  61938


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