IMMOKALEE - “It looks easy from a distance. I know; I’ve tried. With a little perseverance, you’ll feel like you can fly.” These are just a few words from a poem from Nagi Saintyl, a seventh-grade student at Immokalee Middle School (IMS).
In an effort to improve the reading and writing skills of its students, IMS implemented a new initiative at the school this year. They offer “Tribe Time” which is also known as WIN (What I Need) Time. It allows all students a time to stop and work on what they need to complete. Students who are up to date with assignments receive independent study time where they are able to choose from an assortment of activities that allow them to practice reading and writing.
Reaching coach Yanet Rodriguez reviews all writing submissions and selects the best piece of writing for the week. “I cannot begin to express how moved I am when I read their work,” shares Rodriguez. “I immediately run to share their writings with my colleagues.”
It’s what prompted Rodriguez to share a Student Writer of the Week with the rest of the school through the IMS morning news program and with the surrounding community using social media.
“These student writers are an inspiration to us all and remind us of the struggles and obstacles that many of our students face in our community,” adds Rodriguez. “It gives them an outlet to express themselves and to touch others’ lives.”
Rodriguez is one of the lives touched by the work of her students. “I can say that one of my greatest joys has been when other students stop me in the hallways to ask me if those are really students from this school or tell me how much they enjoyed seeing what other students are capable of writing. My sincerest hope is that this makes all students feel that writing is fun and that anything is possible.”
To keep up with the IMS Student Writer of the Week, follow Yanet Rodriguez on Twitter @YRod_IMS.