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E.W. Miles Middle School is a Community of Readers

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Reading is all the rage at Edmund W. Miles Middle School and both students and staff are joining in. This year, the school introduced Drop Everything and Read, commonly known as DEAR, which is a nationwide initiative that encourages students, families and community members to drop what they are doing and spend time reading for a designation period of time. 

Humanities Chairwoman Leslie Ciliotta said that DEAR is held every other day during the morning advisory block for 20 minutes. Because it is a school initiative, it’s not just the students who can be found reading, but also the teachers, administrators and support staff. Ms. Ciliotta announces when it’s time to start and stop. 

“This year we really focused on building a community of readers,” she said, “with the goal of fostering a love for reading that would then translate into improved academic performance.”

Ms. Ciliotta added that students can use both print and digital books. The district has subscriptions to Epic! and myON, where they can access thousands of titles from their Chromebooks. Since DEAR is independent reading time, students are able to choose books and genres of personal interest.  

English language arts teachers collaborated to create the Reader Leaders initiative.  Each month they are encouraged to submit reviews of the books they have been reading for DEAR, which reinforces literary analysis skills. At the end of the month, teachers then recommend students to be recognized as reader leaders. In addition to having their names announced over the loudspeaker, they can earn prizes such as books, Warrior Bucks, candy and McDonalds gift certificates.
Monday, May 17, 2021