Reading initiative seeks students

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo High School students can earn cash and extra credit this fall as part of a city reading initiative.
Tupelo announced its first citywide common book program in May. All Tupelo residents are encouraged to read Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie,” and the city will host several book-related events during September.
The event’s organizers are hoping that Tupelo students, including those in private schools and home schools, will also participate. In addition, they’re offering a couple of contests for THS students who read the book.
Those students can submit an iMovie or essay related to the book, which recounts the lessons that Albom learned from retired college professor Morrie Schwartz in the days before Schwartz’s death. Contest winners will receive cash prizes, and participating students will also receive extra credit, possibly an extra “A” as a major grade for each contest they enter, said Tupelo High School English teacher Sharon Rogers.
“We have some great talent at the high school, and this gives them a chance to shine,” Rogers said.
Both projects will be due in September. The iMovie must be between five and 10 minutes in length and should be an oral history of an older adult. The subject does not need to be someone the student previously knew.
The two- to three-page essay must either relate the lessons learned from the book or tie those lessons to what the student experienced while producing the iMovie. Once the school year begins, THS English teachers will have more information about how to submit the essay and movie.
A winner will be named from each grade level for both the essay and the movie. First-place winners will receive $100, and the second-place finisher in each grade will get $50. The student with the best overall movie and essay will receive an additional $100.
The winning student videos will be shown on Sept. 27 during a community-wide screening of the “Tuesdays with Morrie” movie.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com