Read It and Reap, the adolescent literacy program at Berta A. Dreyfus I.S. 49 on Staten Island, is staffed by one day-time teacher from the school who has expertise in literacy and special education. The program serves sixth graders. In Read It and Reap, students engage in literacy through cooking classes, reading and creative writing activities, community outreach, and service learning.
Wonder in Classrooms In June of 2018, the JCC Adolescent Literacy Program students finished their Book Club of 2018 with the story Wonder by RJ Palacio. Our students were so inspired by this story, and as a team collaborated with the teachers on choosing a special project once the book was completed, #PLEDGETOCHOOSEKIND
The students in our program are from diverse areas and backgrounds. With the goal of bringing the attitudes and themes they read about in Wonder into the school setting as well as their community, students used their creative minds and create T-shirts with quotes of inspiration, themes of acceptance, tolerance, diversity, and humility.
Bringing Positivity to Our School Community On October 3, 2017, the students created a “Positivity Rock Garden” in the courtyard of I.S. 49R, Dreyfus Intermediate. Students individually selected a word or quote of positivity and painted an image of what that means to them on rocks. Students had a great time painting and designing their rocks. For the writing component of this project, the students wrote a paragraph on how they interpreted that specific word or quote and how it can be connected to their life. This was a great project that helped students understand the importance of positivity and how we can share positivity around our school community.
Service Learning through Engagement with the Elderly During the Fall and Winter months of 2016-2017, students in Read It and Reap connected with seniors at the New Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Home. Students designed a set of interview questions, met and interviewed seniors, gave Christmas ornaments they had made in class as presents, and played Bingo together with seniors just prior to Christmas break.