It is Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Each year, Florida dedicates seven days to recognizing and encouraging the journey of literacy for its children.
Florida’s statewide reading initiative, Just Read, Florida!, recently hosted a fantastic event to get students excited for Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! Cathi Braxton Addison, Jackson County’s district secondary literacy coach, is here to tell us about that event and share how her students are enjoying Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!
Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! festivities had a fantastic kick off in Jackson County this year when the Florida Lottery game show van pulled into Cottondale High School (CHS) for the civics quiz show event to change our world! Seventh and eighth graders from throughout the district who made the cut during class and/or school versions of the game converged on CHS to join in the fun as members of our district teams. Game on!
On this unusually warm—even for Florida—December day, the front steps of the school became bleachers for the middle school audience and the “Ask the Audience” gallery flanked the stage in a special seating area for these runners up. Demeetris Beachum, CHS’s civics teacher and entertainer extraordinaire didn’t disappoint as he kept both the contestants and the audience on their toes while The Sons of Liberty rivaled The Justice League followed by a matchup between The Freedom League and Jackson United.
The morning air was filled with sounds of thinking tunes reminiscent of the well-known Jeopardy refrain as well as rampant clapping and cheering, and then….Pharrell Williams’ Happy would burst forth to signal T-shirt tossing time while Mr. Beachum’s booming voice spurred students to display their enthusiasm, “I have a cannon attached to my body for an arm, so you might be sitting in the back, but I can reach you…I don’t really see anybody who wants this shirt…whoop…there we go!”
When the battles of civics wit concluded, The Sons of Liberty reigned supreme for seventh grade, and Jackson United took the honors for eighth grade. The members of each winning team received a book of their choice, a T-shirt and a certificate. Then all contestants and their sponsors were treated to a complimentary lunch in the media center compliments of Cottondale High School Beta Club, Grand Ridge School Junior Beta Club and Marianna Middle School Junior Beta Club.
Our celebration of literacy is continuing January 25th through January 29th with a wonderful variety of activities designed to promote literacy and motivate students. “Popping in” the media center to check out a book at one high school will earn a ticket for a bag of popcorn on Friday. One day will be dedicated to students dressing as their favorite book characters at several schools. From Reading Rocks; Wear Crazy Socks to DROP-ing (Drop Everything and Read) for 30 minutes to door decorating and bookmark contests, Jackson County students will be immersed in literacy-related festivities.
However, nothing will top our opportunity to participate in the Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! POP-UP Quiz Show. Thank you, Just Read, Florida! for changing our world, motivating us to learn more about civics and creating some fun in the process!
Cathi Braxton Addison has worked in professional development in many venues, including the Florida Literacy and Reading and Excellence Center (FLaRE) at the University of Central Florida. She is currently Jackson District Secondary Literacy Coach and serves on the board of the Florida Literacy Coaches Association. She taught secondary English as an NBPT teacher for many years.