It’s More Than an Enrichment Program

by Patricia Bogdan, Maine East High School, Class of 2016

Patricia (right) and friends in the Schuler office at Maine East High School.

REP. A simple three letter acronym does not do the Reading Enrichment Program enough justice. As a freshman, I had the impression that these 20-minute sessions were going to consist of context review and practicing English class reading strategies. I was pleasantly surprised when, one meeting after another, I engaged in thought-provoking conversations with my Scholar Coach. These conversations were not only about what happened in the last section I had read; they ranged from exploring how the author’s background affects the way a book is written, as I did while reading Animal Farm, to comparing different philosophical theories in Jostein Gaarder’s Sophie’s World.

As a sophomore now, the biggest lesson I have taken away from all these REP meetings is to not only look between the lines, but even beyond them.  Sometimes the most important things that I’ve learned while reading a book come from the things that sparked my curiosity to explore outside of what was on the page. With Sophie's World, my Scholar Coach and I worked to connect information that I gathered through outside research with information from the book in order to create time lines, Venn diagrams, and mini progress projects. This is what we call learning by producing. It is a good way to reinforce main ideas and to have them all in one place.

Reading Sophie’s World has not only exposed me to a new type of literature, it has also encouraged me to use my strengths as a reader to better understand the novel, which ties together history, philosophy, and English.  I get to cover all the topics we’re currently learning in AP European History as a review, and discuss them in more depth than during regular class time.

REP means more to me than just reading enrichment. It gives me a time twice a week to have an open discussion with no right or wrong answers and a place where I get to express all of my ideas and pursue my reading goals creatively. I look forward to achieving the goals my Scholar Coach and I have set for myself as I finish up my sophomore year.


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