Santa Maria High School students know the value of the written word.
Over the past year, Saints in English teacher Alexander Chakshiri’s classes passed 1,470 writing quizzes with a score of “proficient.”
These quizzes showed their hard work, after reading 1,470 articles touching on three subjects of World Literature (grade 10), British Literature (grade 12) and the Santa Maria Valley..
Students had a selection of 100 articles, and they were from various local and national publications.
“Students engaged with pre-selected articles that challenged them to think in new ways about writers like Sojourner Truth, William Shakespeare, Geoffrey Chaucer and George Orwell, among others,’’ Mr. Chakshiri said in a news release. “The impact, however, went deeper than I had anticipated, as one student shared that she had read that William Shakespeare had lost a child to a pandemic, and that writing plays likely helped him through his grief — a revelation that connected with her own experience of losing a family member to COVID-19.
“I want my students to know that all literature is predicated on the idea that human beings have something in common. I train my students to apply first-principles thinking to reading comprehension. Students who make connections with the great thinkers and writers of the past are better prepared to fully participate in a world rapidly reconfiguring itself around innovation, ideas and entrepreneurialism.’’
The students used the whooosreading.org portal. It was funded as a Special Project from M.M.E.P.