Reading is something students are taught at a young age which quickly becomes part of life. And as young adults, reading has become a normal part of ourselves. Although the increasing workload and pressure being put on our shoulders as high school students, and shifts at part time jobs make it hard to find any spare time to really bury our heads into any good books. So with the increasing responsibilities, students seem to have forgotten about how great it was to lose yourself within a really good book.
That’s why Great Crossing is excited to be participating in its first ever Readapolooza. Previously held at Scott County High School, Readapolooza is an event in which students choose a book to read independently and discuss at a certain event with students who have chosen the same book, forming a small group or book club. This year there are eleven books that are being offered as choices. Students will gather in the library with fellow peers and teachers that read the same book to have detailed discussions about their choice. Offerings include fiction and some non-fiction representing a variety of genres including mystery, sports, fantasy, and realistic fiction. Readapolooza will be held at the GCHS Library on April 23, at 4pm.
Lauren Feeback, the GCHS librarian, chose the books featured in Readapolooza. She stated ”With some of them, I looked at different trends to see what’s popular, but I also send emails to our staff and ask if they have any requests or books to recommend. I’ll find books that are based off of movies like Just Mercy; and I wanted to tie it into that. I look for books that involve discussion or something that you could talk about.”
Readapolooza is something that is meant to benefit students, helping them discover a safe space to discover books and talk about them. Because book clubs are scarce within this generation, Readapolooza is an option to get into discussion about books that students might find interesting, and many students are planning to participate. “It sounds like a wonderful book club, and I feel like book clubs never happen anymore. Readapolooza is important because people need to read more. Everyone has a book out there, a lot of people have said that they don’t like reading and I think it’s because they haven’t found a book that they can enjoy yet. The great thing about Readapolooza is that discussing a book makes things a lot more enjoyable,” Jordan Wallin-Swanson, a junior and a new participant in the Readapolooza, voiced.
The Readapolooza is a place for discussion. As small groups are formed, each person has an opportunity to become involved in discussing their books of intrest. Hunter Westenhofer, a senior and participant, explained ”It’s really cool, I didn’t really care about the Readapolooza until Sophomore year and then I participated with a few friends that year. It’s important for people to just get together, eat food, and talk about books. Reading is supposed to be a communal activity.” Even for the independant readers, Readapolooza is a chance to have a discussion and explore different viewpoints from fellow students.
As the students get ready to sign up for the Readapolooza, books are being introduced through posters around the school. Mrs. Feeback has created a video of book trailers for each book that have been sent to all the english teachers that discusses what each book is about. There is a binder where you can sign up, along with sheets that have a summary of each book. Right now the books featured in the Readapolooza are on display, along with a summary of each one, in the GCHS Library. Already, students are showing interest in some of the books from the selection, “This year I’m definitely looking at either Just Mercy or Where the Crawdads Sing because I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.” Hunter tells the books that he’s interested in reading for this year’s Readapolooza.
There are many teachers who have volunteered for being group leaders in the Readapolooza. English, science, and social studies teachers along with Mrs. Lusby, the principal, teachers including; Mrs. Willis, Mrs. Cannada, Mrs. Blevins, and Mrs. Curren will be leading in the small groups. Mrs. Curren and her culinary student will be making some of the snacks for the Readapolooza, Mrs. Feeback will also be bringing some goodies. For anyone looking to enjoy a good book, get involved in conversation, and eat some good food, the Readapolooza welcomes everyone.