Teachers from the English department at new Iberia Senior HighSchool are trying to take the “stigma” out of reading, especiallypoetry. to do so, the department held the first ever Literacy Nightinside the school’s library Wednesday.
Rebecca Gipson, a NISH graduate and English teacher who helpedorganize the event, and her colleagues and some students weredecked out in a “I read dead people” shirt in celebration ofNational Poetry Month. She said Wednesday’s event was an effort tobring teachers, students and parents closer together in theeducation process.
“We’re a group of teachers who like what we teach a whole lot,”Gipson said.
“We want to share that and bridge the gap. we meet 99 percent ofour students’ parents when there’s a problem. So this lets us meetin another type of context.”
NISH English Department head Alice Viator said Wednesday night’sevent was an opportunity to spread the word to students and theirparents about several programs being offered through the school’sEnglish program.
Along with a “rigorous” honor’s program, Viator said NISH alsooffers its English students a chance to dual-enroll, and thereforeearn college credits while still in a high school classroom.
Literacy Night also gave NISH teachers a chance to delve intoseveral literature-based topics, such as the use of the Internetfor research purposes and the growing trend of books focused onteens, said Gipson.
“Teen literature is an exploding field and we want students to knowthere’s more than just ‘Twilight.’ ” Gipson said. “We also knowstudents use the Internet all the time for research and we’ll showthem how to look at different sites and be able to tell if they arereliable sources.”
In a classroom down a long corridor from the library, Englishteacher Lacey Noel, who is also the school’s cheerleader coach, wasoverseeing her squad as they entertained some of the youngerattendees of Wednesday’s event.
After coloring pictures of caterpillars, the cheerleaders andyoungsters gathered around for a reading of the children’s book“The very Hungry Caterpillar,” a story about the metamorphosisexperienced by caterpillar’s as they turn into butterflies.
“We’re trying to show the younger kids that reading can be fun,”Noel said.