Thursday, May 29, 2008

We all have changed because of you

A wonderful note from Navajo Pine High School's librarian, Carla Clauschee, to the Navajo Mentoring Program's reading mentors. These dedicated Amherst College students work day in and day out to give support and positive feedback to the Navajo high school students participating in the literacy program.)

May 28, 2008

To all Reading Mentors,

I would like to email you all a tremendous "thank you" for a job well done. Without you our reading program would not have happened. I know that you are probably some of the most busy people on earth. The task you took upon yourselves was very demanding. There are few full-time teachers who could have done what you accomplished in less than five months.

Through your dedicated responses to Navajo Pine students you have encouraged excellence, scholarship, discipline, and above all a love of reading. I know our students have been deeply affected by each response you gave. Our students were affected because each of you became a mentor/friend/ family that they could trust and count on. You became something stable in our student's lives that are often in flux. The wiki mentors became something our students could count on to be there and listen to them in an Internet family. I know each of you became a personal example of someone who they could look up to and admire. You gave our students courage and hope to risk making their goals HIGH.

This program has been very successful. Most of our students would not have read one book during the school year. Each student has read and mastered five or six very difficult books. They have written literary criticism. This is something unheard of in our school. Students are reading because they want to read--and they want to talk to you. You are the HEART of the reading program.

This is the first successful reading program I have ever seen. We have activated higher order thinking skills and a love of reading. Our proof is that students sign onto the reading wiki and read without a reward. They do it because they want to.

Thank you. Thank each one of you. We all have changed because of you.

Carla Clauschee
Navajo Pine High School

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