During freshman orientation, the English department played a role in introducing the campus One Book program, which will continue to have campus-wide activities throughout the duration of the school year. This specific program focused on familiarizing incoming students with the One Book program, reading and writing strategies, and the McNairy Library. One of the activities held during this orientation session pertained to annotating a few pages of the One Book, All American Boys.
The freshmen were tasked with familiarizing themselves with the text and the library’s resources in a variety of activities. In one activity, students were tasked with reading two selected pages of the book, which had been projected on the wall, and writing comments about what they’d read. Students were challenged to write an original comment, respond to another student’s comment and discuss their thoughts with the members of their groups. This was a task that encouraged interaction with the authors of the text, as well as with their peers. Unlike reading the book alone, another layer was added by the ability to view the thoughts of others who were experiencing the same text in a different way. This sparked meaningful conversation among groups.
Being that this was a required activity and a book they had never read, it was unclear as to how the project would be received. Luckily, the students gave very thoughtful and encouraging comments. We had students analyzing what they believed to be the themes of the book, based off the two pages of All American Boys that they were interacting with. They very astutely detected themes of race, prejudice and violence and commented on the authors’ word choices that conveyed these themes. Students did not shy away from addressing the hard realities that are unfortunately a part of the society we live in.
The reactions and discussions were exactly the goals of the orientation activity and the One Book program as a whole. The selection of All American Boys was a calculated choice to engage the community of Millersville students in the awareness of the reality that race is still an important issue to be conscious of and create a population of contentious citizens who will take these morals into the world.
Incoming students began their experience as marauders with a powerful message as to the type of community we would like to foster as a university, both socially and academically. This was of great thanks to All American Boys, the students who participated and the faculty members and volunteers who are instrumental to the program.
On Wednesday October 24th from 3-5pm One Book One Campus joins Dr. Pfannenstiel’s session “Empowered Use: Lifelong Digital Citizenship Learning” at The Power of Media at the International Policy Conference. Join us as we work together to discuss and annotate All American Boys while considering active reading practices.
We want to help students make connections to their active reading practices, and how those practices support digital citizenship and lifelong learning.
We hope to see you all on Wednesday October 24th from 3-5pm in Gordinier Lehr room! Attendance is free and open to the public. For further information visit the website https://www.millersvilleipc.com/index.html.
Critical Reading Strategies: A Review of What Students Learned at Orientation
By Professor Michele Santamaria
Reading Robots: Review
Visualizing the main points can really help you understand a reading.
You can do this visualization by drawing something like a concept map.
A concept map, sometimes called a “mind map,” places the key concepts in relation to one another in a diagram that looks something like this:
Making Poetry: Surveying
Surveying a text is getting a sense of the “big picture” by looking at the end/conclusion, reading the abstract if there is one, and looking at the organizational structure.
In order to make your poem, you had to have a sense of the page as a whole to see what you were working with; this helped you read with purpose.
Once you have a sense of “the point” of the reading, it’s a lot easier to not “lose your place” because you have a sense of where it’s headed.
Annotating Texts: Pose Questions
In order to annotate a text or comment upon it, you need to be willing to ask questions about it & ask questions of yourself.
When reading a textbook or an article, you can make questions out of the section headings and look for answers to those questions.
Be sure to write down your questions/answers so you can review the results of your inquiry process.
Finding Your People: Teaching Others
The ability to explain a concept to others, to make yourself clear is one of the best ways to test your reading comprehension of the material.
Another important skill you used here was making new connections between different concepts. You had to connect your superpowers to each other and to your enemy of reading.
When you make new connections between the material and other subject matter, you are also improving your ability to comprehend and retain material.
Many thanks to Orientation at Millersville for including Bibliomarauding! The One Book Committee wishes all incoming and returning students academic success for this upcoming school year.
Please remember that if you want *more* of “All American Boys,” the book we are reading this year, the book is available for free checkout at the library. Simply talk to a student worker at the desk and they will help you find it. Or if you want your own copy, you can buy the book at the university bookstore.
If you have questions about the activities or game design feel free to email Dr A Nicole Pfannenstiel (email@example.com) or Professor Michele Santamaria (firstname.lastname@example.org).
While many programs ask students to read the book and hold a brief discussion, we are using our time to invite students to read the book after our event. We want to help students understand the value of reading – so we’ve designed a game!
We look forward to meeting incoming freshmen and transfer students during Bibliomarauding. At this event we’ll play with robots, make blackout poetry, write on texts, and play super hero games to build an understanding and culture of reading.
We’ll post more about future events as they unfold.
On January 23rd, Jason Reynolds appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
As you can see in the video above, Reynolds connects with the need to write books that serve young readers from all communities. At the 2:39 mark he comments “I am of service to young people.” He writes authentic stories for young readers. His aim is to serve the young adult community by writing books that provide them stories to explore difficult but real topics, meaningful topics to them.
The One Book selection, All American Boys, which Reynolds co-authored with Brendan Kiely, deals with police brutality, racial profiling, and the difficult choices two young boys must make as members of their community. These are real issues experienced by and affecting our students today. As educators we love that Reynolds’ real stories support literacy development and a love of reading. In creating stories that people want to read, they read. In reading and finding conversation they want to engage with, they discuss, they write, they read more.
The One Book Committee is excited to welcome Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely to campus on March 27th (7pm in SMC MPR). We hope students, staff, faculty, and community members join us at this event to hear more from Reynolds and Kiely on how they wrote this book with “rage and love” to help readers work through the events that are shaping their lives.
On September 13, Aasif Mandvi visited Millersville’s campus and offered his perspectives as a Muslim living in the United States. He read stories from his memoir, No Land’s Man, discussed his experiences playing the role of Amir in the One Book One Campus play Disgraced, answered questions from the audience, and signed copies of his book. He engaged with students from Career and Life Studies, Black Student Union, NAACP, Student Senate and faculty, staff, administrators, and members of the Lancaster community.
Consider submitting your proposal for the Open Space Project:
Open Space is a call for student artists, musicians, designers, singers, writers, spoken word artists, DJ, dancers, filmmakers, composers, theatre makers, DIY creative types, and anyone (individuals and groups) with a brave, creative spirit – to fill an empty physical space (art gallery, stage, or some totally untraditional venue including any spot outdoors) with original creative work, and earn a $500 stipend and up to $1500 to spend on materials and production. The space is open for the realization of your artistic vision based on the organizing theme of “We The People.” This theme is drawn both from the fact that this is a Presidential election year but also from the One Book/One Campus Pulitzer Prize-winning one-act play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar. For more information, see the application form below. Good luck!