Indian Land Middle School Principal David McDonald tipped me off about a learning program that faculty, staff and students are immersed in at the school.
Media specialist Sherri Alston researched and, with the help and efforts of a team of fellow educators, initiated the program called “One Book, One School,” a team-building approach to learning.
The selected book is “On My Honor,” written by Marion Dane Bauer. Booklist sums up the story: “When his best friend drowns while they are swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience.”
The story focuses on character traits of honesty and honor; and all faculty, staff and students at Indian Land Middle are reading the book.
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“We have immersed ourselves in both the pedagogical and character-building aspects of our school community,” Alston said. She invited me to attend classes at the school as participants became immersed in the project.
Our first stop was Mr. Bruno's science class. They were examining causes of water pollution and its effects since one of the book's characters drowned.
Ms. Tallent's class worked at creating a newspaper while Ms. Petty's class displayed their sketch of the week with a scene from “On My Honor.”
Ms. Singleton's computer class was learning how to type with blacked-out keyboards while, at the same time, engaging in self-reflection.
Ms. Walton's math class did a survey and made graphs and charts from the responses.
Ms. Sehorn's language arts class was writing a script while Mr. Hough was explaining to his social studies class, “If you have nothing else, you have your honor.”
Many students did not like the book's ending and were rewriting the last two chapters.
The last class I visited was Ms. Shelton's honors language arts class. Students created poetry and shared a poem about friendship.
This brings me back to my purpose. I, too, have learned and I have grown. It is my honor and privilege to write stories about the people who make up this wonderful area.
The people I meet demonstrate honesty, honor, courage, integrity, genuine warmth and more. You are kind and generous. I value deeply the friendships I make.