Over the entrance to the James F. Doughty Library the words “We are a school of READERS” are proudly displayed. This is not just an ideology, but a true statement of what takes place at JFDS.
Over the past few weeks, JFDS Librarian, Mrs Patterson, worked with JFDS student, Samara Ogallo, to narrate a book for the entire school to read. Samara, who immigrated to the US from Kenya, narrated the story for her schoolmates, and Mrs Patterson created a video storybook that teachers could play in their classrooms. The project accomplished a literacy collaboration throughout the school that engaged every student with the same text and sparked conversations of communities coming together to support one another during hard times.
Students read the middle grade graphic novel, When Stars are Scattered, by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. The story is based on Omar’s actual life and is a beautiful, and sometimes heartbreaking, look at what happened when he and his brother, Hassan, fled Somalia without either of their parents. The brothers wound up in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya and were there throughout their childhoods. Omar and Hassan eventually were resettled in the United States and now Omar helps resettle other refugees through his non-profit organization, Refugee Strong.
At the end of the school day, students were able to Zoom with Vicki and Omar and ask questions about the book and what happened to certain characters.