C ambria students were yet again honored with a figure of cultural significance recently. Author Devik Schreiner visited Santa Lucia Middle School on March 30 as part of the national reading incentive program “Battle of the Books.” This is the first time the school has participated, and they did so with a bang.
In the “battle,” a countrywide group of librarians picks books and creates lists of the worthy reads. Teams of children compete, reading the books and then answering questions from each of the books to earn points.
Teacher Colleen Poynter was alerted to a book recently published by former Cambrian Devik Schreiner, “Search a Darker Sky: A Cleft Mind.” “It was such a wonderfully engaging book for middle school students and to have him be a former student of our school… well, what a great experience it would be to have him here! Plus, we were able to create interactive lessons on our new iPads… it’s just great!” Poynter beamed.
Santa Lucia librarian, Suzanne Kennedy, rounded up funds through Cambria Rotary Club and the Cambria Education Foundation to buy 10 copies of the book to be given away, as well as several copies of all the books on the “Battle of the Books” list so several students could read the books at one time.
The students were enthusiastic about the Battle of the Books and even more inspired by Devik Schreiner’s appearance. “Oh, the ending was just so…. OH, I can’t WAIT for the next book!” “He had us do all kinds of fun things to get our brains working AND he balanced stuff on his face!” “It was SO cool having him read the first part of his next book…. I can’t WAIT for the rest of it!!! OH MY GOSH!” School staff said it was a great book for students who are normally difficult to inspire to read, with its easy format and writing style.
Schreiner, a middle school teacher as well as author, was happy to visit with the kids and share his work. “Well, I’ve sure got the motive now to finish the next book,” he said. “I told them I’d dedicate it to them!”
—Dianne Brooke, special to The Cambrian