Melissa Schools students, teachers begin development of district-wide Reading Initiative


Nov 2016
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Over 30 Melissa Schools students and teachers, representing Kindergarten through 12th grade, met Tuesday, Nov. 15 to brainstorm the branding and development of a district-wide reading initiative.

Students were selected by their teachers and principals for exhibiting leadership on campus and a deep love for reading.

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To kick off the meeting, Kim Boedeker, Executive Director of Academic Leadership, introduced students to the concept of branding, providing familiar examples of logos and slogans. She encouraged students to consider what it means to be a Melissa Cardinal and how that ties to the importance of reading.

“Our reading brand has to impact all of us and it has to last over time,” Boedeker said. “Reading matters to us and we know that it’s going to make us more successful. How are we going to tie that in? We want other people to say, ‘What are y’all doing in Melissa? Tell us about this reading initiative.’”
Students divided up into three groups to begin brainstorming logo and slogan ideas for the reading initiative. Teachers served as resources for the student-led discussions as they moved from table to table.

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While brainstorming, students referenced a list of the district’s Core Values of Hope, Humility, Loyalty, and Integrity, along with the District Profile, which outlined the district’s beliefs, culture, and instructional goals. High school students led each group by taking notes, asking questions such as “How does reading make us Cardinals?” and ensuring that every group member had a voice in the discussion.

Group leaders later presented each branding idea and the thoughts behind them. Students and teachers worked together to come to a consensus for the reading initiative branding, analyzing and pulling from numerous ideas.
To close the meeting, students discussed why they love to read and shared how they can encourage their peers to read more, not because they have to, but because they want to.

The reading initiative group will come together once more in December to finalize a logo design, slogan, and hashtag, in addition to setting goals for promoting reading, and starting a video campaign. A committee from the group will present the reading initiative to the Melissa Schools Board of Trustees in January.

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Students involved in the reading initiative include: Sophia Alvarez, Landon Bartlett, Jossalyn Blake, Jack Clemans, Lleyton Costilla, Mikayla Coyner, Cooper Crawford, Alicia Enoch, Anna Gressett, Brooke Gorry-Pettit, Katie Hicks, Harkamal Kaur, Noah Lakey, Jonah Lanz, Aria Lewellen, Emily Madonna, Lauren Nager, Emma Piyakhun, Rylee Reddick, Rosie Ruiz, Abigail Schaffer, and Lydia Thompson.

Faculty mentors include: Kim Boedeker, Lyssa Broach, Sharon Carroll, Jerad Castor, Maddie Coe, Christina King, Leanne Vargas, and Krissy Womack.
For photos from the meeting, and to follow along as the Melissa Schools reading initiative unfolds, check the Melissa Schools blog and follow us on social media.

Photo Gallery

See the photo gallery below for images from the Reading Initiative meetings.

Media Contact: Maddie Coe, Community Relations

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