One School, One Book - Waltham Reads Initiative
What is the Waltham Reads Initiative?
This summer WHS students and faculty will participate in a shared reading experience. We’re calling the reading initiative Waltham Reads. Teachers, students, administrators, parents and members of the Waltham community will all read the same book: Left for Dead: A Young Man’s Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Peter Nelson. In the fall there will be a day dedicated to Waltham Reads, in which students will complete assignments and projects in all of their classes, listen to guest speakers, as well as begin to think about ways to seek justice in their own community. This shift in approach to summer reading will help to increase participation, promote cross-discipline collaboration, and strengthen our community.
How is the Waltham Reads initiative being funded?
Thanks to the generosity of the Waltham Education and Beyond Foundation, the Sally Peter’s Enrichment Program and The Friends of the Waltham Public Library, Waltham High School will be able to purchase books for every student as well as fund an engaging speaker.
How was the book chosen?
A committee of WHS teachers selected three high interest titles that they believed would be accessible to the entire student body. We wanted to ensure that the chosen book would have cross discipline appeal, was an accessible reading level for all students, with a clear inspirational theme. Students were then asked to vote for the book that they wanted to read the most. Over 55% of students chose Left for Dead.
What is the book about?
“Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. The ship sank in 14 minutes. More than 1,000 men were thrown into shark-infested waters. Those who survived the fiery sinking—some injured, many without life jackets—struggled to stay afloat in shark-infested waters as they waited for rescue. But the United States Navy did not even know they were missing. The Navy needed a scapegoat for this disaster. So it court-martialed the captain for “hazarding” his ship. The survivors of the Indianapolis knew that their captain was not to blame. For 50 years they worked to clear his name, even after his untimely death. But the navy would not budge—until an 11-year-old boy named Hunter Scott entered the picture. His history fair project on the Indianapolis soon became a crusade to restore the captain’s good name and the honor of the men who served under him” (Amazon.com)
How can the Waltham Community get involved?
The Waltham Reads committee will be partnering with local businesses, book stores, veterans associations, the Waltham Public Library, and other community organizations to promote the initiative and make the book available to the broader public. Some programming ideas include book discussion groups at the public library, veteran guest speakers, World War II movie fest, food/clothes drive for armed forces, community service with veterans, and an author visit.
Donations can also be made to the WEBF to help fund the initiative in order to ensure future success with this community endeavor.
Read the article about Waltham Reads
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