CHICAGO — Panagiotis Stathopoulos’s project, “Found in ‘Translation’: Reading, Writing, Critical Thinking, and Metaphrasis,” is the 2013 recipient of the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) Innovative Reading Grant. Sponsored by Capstone, this grant of $2,500 supports the planning and implementation of a unique and innovative program for children that motivates and encourages reading, especially with struggling readers.
Working out of the de Paul School in Louisville, Ky., where Stathopoulos is the school librarian, “Found in ‘Translation’” looks to improve student comprehension of scientific concepts and encourage students to read nonfiction. During the project, fourth grade students will read selections of nonfiction texts to learn about a scientific concept. They will then be asked to incorporate – or “translate” – that information into a fiction story to demonstrate their comprehension of the concept. The fourth grade students will be asked to create a compelling narrative, as their audience will be de Paul’s second and third grade students.
The project will be a collaboration between many of the school’s educators including the librarians, classroom teachers and art teachers. From the librarians, students will learn the different elements of story composition and review sample story books on scientific concepts. Classroom teachers will guide the choice of topics and facilitate the writing process. Art teachers will then demonstrate drawing techniques for book illustration. The finished product of this collaborative project will be a digital translation of the student’s story, which will consist of a video of scanned pages and written text and audio read by the student author. Books will be shared through the school’s Intranet.
"The committee unanimously decided on 'Found in Translation: Reading, Writing, Critical Thinking and Metaphrasis' because it covered the entire gamut of comprehension," said Sabrina Carnesi, award committee chair. "Translations required the reiteration of the nonfiction/informational text content that each student chose through the recursive literary process of writing, illustrating and sharing with a wider audience via digital text. Future plans to implement this program throughout the school showed an outstanding effort via the school librarian and classroom teacher in efforts to successfully create a literacy conscious community of readers and thinkers."
Stathopoulos and other AASL award recipients will be honored at AASL's Awards Luncheon during the 2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The luncheon will be held Monday, July 1. Ticket information can be found on the AASL website at www.ala.org/aasl/annual.
The American Association of School Librarians, www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library field.