Read Around the Block 2017

This summer, the entire secondary school community at St. Benedict Prep will participate in our sixth annual summer reading program: Read Around the Block.  This program, which incorporates elements of book group discussion models, will culminate with a school-wide discussion day on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.

This initiative was based on a presentation at the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Conference in the fall of 2011 that focused on the power of student choice and discussion as components of summer reading programs.  With the unique opportunities afforded by a secondary school including students in both middle school and high school, Read Around the Block has evolved into a program that exceeded the original concept.  Now in its sixth year, the program involves every secondary school student as well as the entire faculty, staff, and administration - including the Head of Parish School, the head of the secondary school, the mission advancement officer, the counselor, inclusion facilitators, and more.  This truly school-wide program models reading as a way to build community and reinforces our school's commitment to life-long reading.  

The tabs on the side show the books that will be read for Read Around the Block 2017.  A new group of books is used each year, so students' discussion experiences are varied and their reading is constantly being challenged.  Read Around the Block 2017 marks the fourth year that student leaders are involved in a special way.  Rising juniors and seniors who were selected based on their classwork, extracurricular activities, and character, will serve as discussion leaders for this project. The student leaders will attend a training session over the summer where they will learn how to lead a book discussion, how to involve all students, how to work with the adult readers in their groups, and how to foster an environment of respect for all.

The teachers, administrators, and staff selected their books just before the end of the school year.  One adult will be present for the entirety of every discussion to support the student leaders, to model appropriate book discussion behavior, and to participate as active members of the group.  During professional development in August, faculty, administrators, and staff will review the expectations and objectives for the project, including the rubrics that will be used for assessment.

There are links below to directions, rubrics, model papers, and information about formatting a paper using MLA.  If you have any additional questions, please contact Carrie Mocarski, English/Language Arts Department Chair, at