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Summer Reading Program

Local author Robert Whitlow poses for a photo with some of the students who participated in the Summer Reading Program.

On September 15, 2015, students who participated in Parkwood High School’s new summer reading program were rewarded with a special breakfast and prizes in the Media Center. Last year the Site Based Management Team agreed that encouraging summer reading would be a priority. Each department at the school suggested titles to include in a Suggested Summer Reading List and encourage students to keep up with a reading log that accompanied their final report cards in June. Students could read the suggestions on the list or were free to choose their own books. There were four levels of prizes to strive for depending on the number of books a student read:  Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum.  The higher the level, the more prizes students were eligible to win. Sophomore Lauren Kooistra stated, “The program was well-organized I thought it was really cool that the school offered this opportunity to students who read over the summer. Senior Sydney Massey agreed with Kooistra. “The Summer Reading Program gave me motivation to read over the summer rather than sit around being bored.”

One of the rewards was the breakfast itself. Local author Robert Whitlow came to speak at the event. Whitlow, a practicing attorney in Charlotte, writes legal thrillers set in the American South. Whitlow spoke to the students about the fiction writing process and what it is like to work with a publisher and editors. Four of his books have been made into movies. Scenes from one title, The Trial, were even filmed in Monroe at the historic courthouse. Robin Smith, Parkwood’s Library Media Assistant, has been a long-time reader of Whitlow’s novels. She said, “Mr. Whitlow’s enthusiastic presentation on what it takes to be an author definitely held the students’ attention. He seemed very passionate about his writing.” Whitlow gave copies of his movies to the students and he also donated one of his novels to the Media Center collection. Whitlow said he was pleased to come and speak and he hopes the Summer Reading Program continues to grow.

Written by: Lisa Moniz - Library Media Coordinator
Posted: Oct 06, 2015 by Lisa Moniz

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