by Erin Harvey, Age 15, USA
Artwork by Natasha Graves
In a society where literature has become a pastime replaced by the incessant use of technology, few citizens bother to recognize its importance. Reading appears to be a thing of the past in the eyes of many modern teenagers. However, a group of high school students chose to stand up to the new status quo and renew interest in literature.
The Literature Awareness Club at Lake Brantley High School aims to infuse its community with an interest in literature once more. It’s more than a typical book club; instead of focusing on a single book, the members work toward gathering interest for each and every story. It is only a year old, but the Literature Awareness Club has already taken the first steps in the marathon of reaching their goal.
In the previous school year, the club reached out to elementary school students and read to them. Members later completed crafts based on the stories and acted out plays with the children. The club officers scheduled a return to the school in December.
However, their efforts didn’t stop there. The club planned a community car wash, which supplied members with the funding needed to complete their activities. This allowed for them to spread awareness of its goals to the public. Although children are their target age group, club members are actively seeking ways to read to the elderly and others.
Any student at the school is eligible to join the Literature Awareness Club, and new members are welcome at any time. The only requirement is an interest in the spread of literature to others. Because it is so young, the group has only 15 members, but they are looking to grow.
Students attending Lake Brantley have the ability to approach the officers and inquire about the club. They are given the dates of upcoming meetings, added to the email list, and invited to join the club’s Facebook group. The meeting dates are also stated on the school’s announcement program in the mornings.
However, expanding is not as simple as it seems. Despite the club’s admirable aspirations, it is difficult to get students involved. The officers faced the harsh realization that the majority of high school students are not interested in learning about literature. Many would rather focus on new, modern fads than the world’s classic pastime. The Literature Awareness Club members increased the variety of ways they tried to recruit members. Their efforts to raise awareness included hosting book drives and reading to the elementary school children.
Although currently not exploring how writing will benefit them, the Literature Awareness Club would be interested in incorporating it if the new addition helped its members and the community. Writing would allow them to fulfill their goal of bringing joy through literature.
By having the elementary school children create stories, the Literature Awareness Club could reinforce its message of the importance of literature. The children could express their thoughts on the stories and activities. Many club members found it rewarding to see the children smile, and writing might be another way to get those grins.
Including aspects of writing will cause a larger variety of students to join the club. Students who may not have been attracted to the club before could be drawn in by the writing opportunities it provided. These students may have new talents and connections in the community that would spread the club’s ideas over a much larger span.
Lake Brantley’s Literature Awareness Club is a unique group held together by a common passion for reading. They have overcome the challenge of bringing their club into the light and continue to strive toward their goal. Even though other students may not appreciate the work of the club, it is an integral part in the struggle of the community’s literature revival effort.
Erin Harvey is a 15 year old writer from Florida. She is currently interning at LTC. Erin says, “I’m not trying to be the best writer; that’s impossible. I’m only trying to be the best I can.”