• High school English teachers receive grants to enhance curriculum

    englishThe ninth-grade English team at Bellefonte Area High School received two grants this fall to help enhance class curriculum.

    English teacher Kaysey Beury said she and fellow English teacher Ashlie Crosson presented at the PACIE conference in November and received a $300 grant to purchase more books to add to their global memoir unit. A $960 grant was also donated by Central Intermediate Unit No. 10 toward the purchase of two class sets of graphic novel versions of “To Kill a Mockingbird” for a class project in December, which Beury said “relates to the overarching topic of coming of age that is explored throughout the ninth-grade English curriculum.”

    “That’s a unit that explores the civil rights era with a research project; delves into thematic topics in the text such as race, equality, fear, class, morality, change and admiration with a research project; and explores what it means to come of age,” Beury said. “We do an in-depth character analysis essay during this unit where we analyze character choices, motivation, and learning and growth over the course of multiple chapters.”

    Crosson added that the $300 grant from the Pennsylvania Council for International Education will help build on the global memoir unit that is taught in ninth-grade English classes. In the unit, she said, students read the memoir of a teenager who has, against all odds, survived during political or social turmoil in their home countries.

    Beury and Crosson both presented at the conference as part of grant stipulations and discussed information about the global memoir unit they teach. The grant money, Crosson said, will also be used to purchase additional books so students have more choices, and variety of cultures and lives to learn about. They are thinking about adding "Chinese Cinderella," "Persepolis," "Lion," "Born a Crime" and "Dear World." Students will be involved in the final selection.

    Students have already read the memoirs in book clubs, and choose from the following titles and countries:

    • "I am Malala" (Pakistan)
    • "Every Falling Star" (North Korea)
    • "Farewell to Manzanar" (Japanese internment camps)
    • "A Long Way Gone" (Sierra Leone)

    *By Brit Milazzo, public relations director, BASD. Photo provided by CIU10.