Dumbarton Middle students honored for participation in Books of Character Book Club

Front row, left to right: Claire Pomykala, Margaret Ennen, and Madeline Tindall. Back row, left to right: Abigail Robinson, Sonoma Moskowitz, Rose Raufman, Rylee Simmons, and Everest Brooks. Not shown:  Tessa Kent. Staff support for initiative was provided by Susan Donkar, school librarian, and Judith Crowley, reading specialist.

The Baltimore County Public Schools Books of Character Book Club is a system-wide opportunity for BCPS middle school students, teachers, parents, and community members to select books from a suggested reading list based on an identified theme relating to the BCPS Character Objectives. Students read selected books and engage in wiki discussions and activities related to the BCPS Character Objectives and the development of good character. The book club was launched in September 2010 by the BCPS Office of Library Information Services and Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library and Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

During the 2010-2011 school year, students from Dumbarton Middle School’s reading club submitted more wiki comments than any other group in Baltimore County – sharing thoughts about their personal experiences and themes from the books they read.  

Encouraging students to participate in virtual discussions gives them multiple opportunities to practice their reading and writing skills in an authentic setting; in addition, it provides a real world opportunity for students to practice digital citizenship. From the comments made on the wiki, it is apparent how much the students enjoyed discussing what in too many cases remain abstract concepts, like tolerance and integrity. 

The committee recognized the efforts of the students by providing gift cards from Barnes and Noble BookSellers.

Story by Glenda W. Myrick, coordinator, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Photo courtesy of the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.
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