Durant High School Senior Cassidy Brankley picks out books in the Media Center on Friday of Literacy Week.

Throughout the week of January 24, Durant High School celebrated Literacy Week to promote reading and writing in the school. Durant’s literacy week was packed with activities and competitions for all staff and students.

“It’s just a great way to raise awareness of something that I think that we take for granted a lot—the ability to read and the right to read. There’s so many people who can’t read and it’s a struggle in their everyday life,” said librarian Melanie Randall. 

Durant kicked off literacy week by announcing a variety of student contests that are related to popular novels. The National English Honor Society hosted a writing contest for students to share a book, character or symbol that has shaped or changed their life. Students could also post their favorite lines from a book on their social media pages and enter for a drawing to meet with author Fred Aceves in February.

For the more artistically inclined students, there were movie poster and bookmark design contests and a manga drawing contest.

“I love all the art contests because … we have a lot of students that it really draws them in and they can make a connection between reading and the books and interpreting that into … a piece of art,” explained Randall.

Students were encouraged to wear camouflage and ‘hunt’ for a good book on Tuesday and teachers read an excerpt from one of their favorite books to their classes on Wednesday. 

Staff and students each incorporated their favorite word into their outfit and Durant’s staff had a teacher book club where they discussed popular teen novels on Thursday.

“We’ve got a teachers book club where we’re gonna meet and have breakfast as teachers, and we read young adult books together so then we can connect with students reading those books also,” said Randall.

Literacy Week concluded with a free book swap and giveaway in the library on Friday. 

“My favorite activity is always wear-a-word day … but my students’ favorite day is when they get free books,” said English and literature teacher Laura Estes-Swilley. 

Literacy Week is a statewide celebration that Durant participates in each year. This year’s theme was ‘Launch Into Literacy, Blast Off Into New Worlds.’

For more information on this year’s event, visit fldoe.org.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.