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Eisenhower MS Boards the Reading Train

NEWS RELEASE 

Eisenhower MS Boards the Reading Train

EMS Reading Train Girls and Boys 

ROXBURY, NJ (October 24, 2019) – The chatter and shuffling of seventh and eighth grade students all stopped Friday afternoon on October 11th and the hallways of Eisenhower Middle School in Roxbury Township were silent as the students and staff grabbed their choice novel and sat on the floor and chairs for the last thirty minutes of school. Rows and rows of students sitting tandem to each other created EMS’ first attempt at an all-school Reading Train. 

Karlee Governale during the EMS Reading Train “Sitting on the floor was funky,” shared Karlee Governale, a 7th grader who positioned herself into the frame of a doorway. “It was amazing how quiet the hallways were. It was calmer and much easier to focus,” said Governale. 

English Language Arts Teacher Margery Richman mentioned how noses were lowered into books as people were engrossed in their stories from one end of the school to the other. The train was donned with the middle schoolers from the gymnasium to the opposite side of the building to the Lab of Inquiry and included each of the hallways in between. 

Principal Paul Gallagher and Nick Gonzalez “It was incredible to watch the students engaged in their reading for a sustained period of time,” said EMS Principal Paul Gallagher. “There were books of all interest levels being read at once,” Gallagher observed as he moved from hallway to hallway to read alongside one of the students. 

The impetus for the entire school to stop everything and read grew from a brainstorming conversation with a few ELA teachers and the media specialist. 

Richman explained, “The term “Book Love” is common terminology within the ELA classroom. The ideals that Penny Kittle, author of the book by the same title, fosters developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers. In the ELA classes, teachers allot time during the week, often daily, for sustained silent reading.” 

“More and more books are being loaned on a weekly basis,” observed Kristin Palanchi, the media specialist at the school. “Teachers and staff are also reading more and sharing their feedback on the titles, which in turn helps with recommendations for the students,” she added. 

Selecting the date for the initial implementation of the activity coincided with the district’s first tech-free day and wellness weekend of the year. “It just seemed to be the obvious choice to kick off the program,” stated Gallagher. 

Another date for the Reading Train has not been set, however, based upon the positive feedback, it looks like the train will again stop at the EMS station. 

PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Eisenhower Middle School)

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Margery Richman
mrichman@roxbury.org