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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Students Read with Middle Schoolers Through Partners in Reading Program

On Wednesday, December 11th, I joined a group of 14 Yeshivah of Flatbush High School students in an amazing program called Partners in Reading. We all read The Wave by Todd Strasser and then went to the Yeshivah of Flatbush Elementary School to discuss the novel with a group of students from the Middle Division. This book is about an experiment performed by a teacher in his history class that basically involved creating a cult-like movement that enveloped the whole school in five short days. The movement soon became violent and as the experiment went too far the teacher had to call it off.
It was a truly enriching experience for me to see the different ways a book can be approached. I looked at the novel extremely differently than the middle schoolers that were in my group and I learned new things from the viewpoints that they brought. Together we all delved into the inner recesses of our minds and tried to examine the fundamental structure behind a cult like movement and why people are so attracted to them. We explored the allure of discipline and the need to belong to something bigger than oneself. However, possibly the most frightening, yet enlightening, part of my experience was when my group and I preformed some introspection to try and figure out whether we would be swept up in a movement like The Wave if it came to our school. It was extremely interesting to see the different ways that we all reacted to the idea of a movement like this.
I felt that together we all grew and I was happy that I was able to participate in such an amazing event! Thank you to coordinators, Mrs. Kurtz the high school library chair, Mr. Katz, and Mrs. Grant the elementary school librarian.
~ Sammy Tbeile