This has been a big year for the city of Memphis. From remembering and celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his assassination to appearing in the network TV show This Is Us, our city has so much to show and tell. As much as the third grade students and teachers loved our Colonial America unit, we realized there was another unit of study that deserved attention… our city.
A couple of years ago, there was a bright-eyed girl who had never played golf in her life before 6th grade. She had a pretty natural swing, but it needed refining. Her coach taught her the game and gave her the tools to improve her swing; but more importantly, helped her develop an intense love of the game. This passion is what drove her to continue to improve her skills. She worked week after week, even while playing other sports. A year later she won the middle school league championship.
If we could boil down all of the overwhelming challenges schools face in promoting literacy to a single disheartening statistic, it might be this: As students age from elementary school to high school, the majority of students who previously read frequently for enjoyment give up the practice (Scholastic, 2015). Simply put, as students grow up, they read less.