By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike announced at last Tuesday’s school board meeting that a collaborative effort among the School Department, Beebe Library and Wakefield-Lynnfield Chamber of Commerce to get students and members of the community reading over the summer months.
Last year, Zrike spearheaded the effort and a combined total of over 10,000 books were read. Zrike then followed through with his promise to have his head shaved by members of the senior class and take a jump in Lake Quannapowitt with Town Administrator Stephen P. Maio.
“We want to encourage the whole community to get behind this,” said Zrike, adding with a smile, “There might be one more jump in the Lake.”
School board member Robert Tiro said he was “impressed with the structure and great work of the program.”
The summer reading list will include titles that are deemed “required reading” and another that is “recommended reading.”
The program will kick off this month when staff from the Beebe Library visits schools to discuss the suggested summer reading list.
One book chosen for students entering kindergarten and through grade 2 will read “Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia” written and illustrated by Jeanette Winter. Students in grades 3 and 4 will read “Malala Yousafzai: Warrior With Words” by Karen Leggett Abouraya and L.C. Wheatley (illustrator).
All students are required to have read their Common Reading Experience titles by the first day of school, Tuesday, Sept. 8
“The event will include possible photo sessions and face painting,” said Zrike. “We want to create an overall festive atmosphere to celebrate literacy.”
At the close of the program, the School Department will offer prizes to the top three readers in the district and the top reader from every school will get a reward.
After the launch of the 2015-2016 academic year in September, students from all classes will hold one-hour discussions about the Wakefield Reads title in their homerooms. Discussions then will be carried over to English Language Arts classes and will be tied to other disciplines. All faculty and staff also will participate.
Titles for Galvin Middle School students include “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” by Malala Yousafzai with Patrick McCormick, while high school students will read “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” also by the Yousafzai and McCormick team.
“Moby Dick” is also on the required reading list for high school students.
For more details about the town’s summer reading program, visit www.wakefieldreads.org.