For the first time, most students from across the school have been able to collectively read and discuss the books on the Neev Book Award shortlist this year. Introduced with the aim of allowing the students to better engage with the titles on the list, every class and section from Grades 1 to 10 has been given multiple copies of 1 title to read. The shortlisted books have been on display at the PYP and MYP libraries as well.“It was optional for us to read the books from the shortlist at the library last year but we’re doing it as a class this year. It helps because it makes us more familiar with the book,” says Ananya Sahay from Grade 8C. “Nobody pushed us to read last year,” her classmate Aarushi Giri adds.
Bringing the Neev Book Award to class
While these books were introduced to the students from Grades 1 to 5 at the library, the titles were read in class during the Form Tutors’ Time between 8 to 8-15 am at least twice a week in Grades 6 to 10. Grade 8C, for instance, has read Amrita Sher-Gil: Rebel With A Paintbrush by Anita Vachharajani, which is shortlisted for the Award in the Young Adults
Category.“I like how she speaks about her own life,” Kaashvi Srikanth Reddy, a reader from the class, says on the firstperson narrative employed by the author. “I also like how she spoke about her parents more at the start of the book and less about herself,” Aarushi chimes in. While the system seems to have worked well till Grade 8, the students of Grades 9 to 10 feel it may have added more value if they had the chance to take the books home, in addition to being able to read them in class.Interestingly, a few faculty members have found themselves enjoying the process of the morning readalouds. “I think the read-alouds in the morning are calming and meditative. It’s a good utilization of the first 15 minutes
because it helps teachers relax and take their mind off their daily schedule. I would like to inquire more into the practice of holding a Socratic discussion after the read-alouds,” says Vineet Singh, a senior theatre teacher in Neev Academy.
HEAD – READING