Over the next several weeks, seniors at all four Great Oaks Career Campuses will read and discuss the book Tuesdays with Morrie.  It’s the district’s first CommUNITY Read, an expansion of a Scarlet Oaks annual tradition, and this year parents and community members are invited to read along.  The intent is a community-wide connection at a time when social distancing is the norm.

In past years, every senior at Scarlet Oaks Career Campus read, pondered, and discussed a specific book during the final weeks of the school year as part of what was called the Scarlet Oaks Senior Read.  Each student received a copy of the book chosen for that year, and it becomes a topic of conversation in class and even in the hallways.  Students may create artwork or research projects related to the book, and sometimes that year’s author comes to campus to meet with students.  It’s a book club with hundreds of members participating.

“Senior Read is a longstanding tradition,” said English instructor Nancy Libbee, who began the program.  “For many students it’s the first time they’ve spent this much time thinking about a single book, and they often discover just how enjoyable that can be.”

As in past years, every senior participating will receive a copy of the book to read, keep, and make notes in.  This year’s book, Tuesdays with Morrie, has a particular meaning.  “Tuesdays with Morrie is about empathy and celebrating what you have,” said Great Oaks Teaching and Learning Specialist Lauren Lillenstein.  “At a time when we might feel isolated or restricted by the pandemic, that message is important.”

Lillenstein said that parents and community members are welcome to join the conversation as well.  Discussion questions and other materials are posted online at greatoaks.com/communityread.

“We don’t have enough shared experiences right now,” said Lillenstein. “This is one way for us to do so.”

Live Oaks senior Sophia Rosenberg has been reading Tuesdays with Morrie.  “I have never read a book that made me eager to find time alone and just read,” she wrote.  “This book has taught me so many lessons that I cannot wait to share with others.”

For more information, go to greatoaks.com/communityread.