REIDSVILLE — Fourth-grader Sarai Torres is standing in a hallway of the Moss Street Partnership School while in the throes of an awful struggle familiar to dedicated readers everywhere.
Torres doesn’t blink her dark brown eyes as she speaks while clutching a paperback copy of “Dork Diaries,” number six. “I’m looking for number seven,” Torres said, referencing the next installment in the popular children’s book series that has 12 books in total. “Another student already has it checked out.”
Torres is among the 400 students at the Moss Street Partnership School (MSPS) in Rockingham County who share classroom library books. Another student has the coveted seventh installment for now, so Torres must wait to read about the 14-year-old protagonist, Nikki Maxwell, and her not-so-secret crush on Brandon. Torres’ dilemma highlights several concerns the school’s leadership is tackling after the school opened in August as a unique partnership between the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) and Rockingham County Schools. The school library’s collection is outdated (the average age of a nonfiction book at MSPS is 20 years old) and has far too few choices for students among characters and authors of diverse ethnicities.
More modern, diverse books for classroom libraries at MSPS are an urgent need that you can help with through #GivingTuesday on November 27 — a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. You can donate online anytime, though the Tuesday after Thanksgiving will be the day when the world celebrates the beginning of the charitable season together online. Every penny given to the Moss Street Partnership School Fund will buy books for classroom libraries to be read and loved by students. Click here to donate right away and be sure to check the Moss Street Partnership School’s Twitter and Facebook pages on #GivingTuesday.
Getting books to students is important enough, but the educational innovation happening at MSPS is just beginning by providing more diverse and modern titles. In an approach indicative of the new relationship between elementary education and UNCG, students like Torres are given the freedom to choose their classroom readings, take time to connect with a text and then receive in-the-moment, responsive instruction. Or as Torres put it, “I guess it’s different this year because I relax when I’m reading.” Teachers build on this independent reading approach to meet the students where they are intellectually and personally. Check out Moss Street Partnership School’s Facebook and Twitter pages to learn more about how MSPS functions as a partnership school, and stay tuned for more stories about how the teachers at MSPS are implementing innovation from the faculty at UNCG.
How to make a gift to the Moss Street Partnership School Fund this #GivingTuesday:
1. Visit alumni.uncg.edu/givingtuesday
2. Click “Give the Gift of Education”
3. Select “Choose a different designation”
4. Choose “Moss Street Partnership School” under the Featured section