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Teachers Launch Virtual Reading Experiences

In addition to St. Anne's-Belfield School's new distance learning program, teachers and students alike have been searching for options to connect in new ways. Nothing brings people together like books and reading.

Learning Village Librarian Sarah FitzHenry has launched the #STABReadsAtHome campaign that provides an outlet for sharing reading via social media. Families can participate in the program through any social media platform that uses hashtags or send their photos directly to sfitzhenry@stab.org, and see who has been participating here.

"I'm hoping that #STABReadsAtHome will show members of our community that while they may be isolated, they're not alone. We are still a community, and still connected through our love of reading," said FitzHenry.

"Distance learning can be lonely, and we're all looking for ways to build connection and keep spirits high. It brings me so much joy to see our families reading together! The photos and videos remind me everyday that I have a big, beautiful school family out there reading just like I am."

In the Upper School, Humanities teacher Jordan Taylor has adapted the Renaissance Reading program for virtual participation and engagement. Renaissance Reading is an annual program in which students and faculty can elect to participate, reading and discussing books our faculty and staff members recommend.

The program motivates students to develop reading habits that produce intellectual growth, as well as rewards those whose reading has generated exceptional insight and understanding. It also allows faculty to set an example of reading for pleasure, and encourages a broadly informed faculty and student body. When the program shifted online due to distance learning, Taylor transitioned to a digital format to include online chats, daily Decameron, and posting poems on Instagram as ways to interact.

"Reading is especially important right now, for so many reasons. Reading books that they love will keep students' brains and reading skills sharp, and help them to hold on to everything that they've learned so far this school year," FitzHenry noted.

"As well as helping academically, reading can have a positive impact on mental health. Stories can give readers a safe and happy place to escape to, and help older students to take a break from screens and social media. Reading together also provides connection and comfort for readers of all ages."

Thank you for reading with us!


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