History: Students at Smoky Hill become “AVID” readers
From October 2010 to May 2011, the Smoky Hill High School library coordinator Jennifer Radosevich created “AVID” readers out of her ninth-graders, thanks to an Educator Initiative Grant (EIG).
As a lifelong reader, Radosevich knew the power of the written word could open doors to her students and help them with their college and career goals. She applied for an EIG to purchase books that would appeal to her students as well as hot chocolate, pizza, and other materials to promote and accompany the reading group’s activities. Her grant tells the story of students faced with competing demands for their time. From reading the English assignment to extracurricular activities to leisure time with friends, Radosevich’s students didn’t always consider reading as a viable option. According to the post-program survey, 68% of students met their individual goals and 71% reported an increase in awareness of the importance of reading.
Comments from students during the debrief session showed the program was inspirational, with students noting that “reading can actually be interesting” and “it is really important to read…it helps you in a way to get you into college which is a plus.” 90% of students recommended the program be repeated!
SIDE NOTE: Thirteen years later, Radosevich is still at Smoky Hill High School! This year, she received an Educator Initiative Grant to provide more titles written in languages other than English, focusing on popular fiction, teen literature, best sellers, and graphic novels.