The Schuler Program equips bright, motivated youth with the support they need to gain access to and succeed at highly selective colleges and beyond. Writing from thirteen schools located in the greater Chicago area in Lake and Cook Counties of Illinois, scholars reflect on their academic experiences, cultural exposures, college applications processes, and more.
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
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.