BROOKSVILLE — As the Central High School reading coach, Marguerite Miele is clearly interested in promoting reading.
She is new to the school, having joined the faculty in mid October, and she got right to work, asking teachers to suggest students who might be interested in forming a literacy group.
The group was up and running by Nov. 1 and is called the Literacy Coalition. The 11 members try to ignite interest in reading at the school, but they also encourage Pine Grove Elementary School children.
"At the elementary school, they still think reading is fun, and that's what we want to do, keep it fun," Miele, 45, said.
Senior Joe Desario, 17, a Literacy Coalition member, said, "I agreed to do this because I like to read myself." He also likes reading to children. He said he loves little kids. "The looks on their faces are priceless," he said.
Senior and coalition member Sarah Bute, 17, said that on a recent trip to Pine Grove, they read to kindergarteners and first-graders, "which I think is a good age. They still laugh when they get into the story."
Sarah admitted that the lure of doughnuts at the first couple of coalition meetings was partly what got her there, but she's concerned about all the video game and computer game playing and the TV watching that kids do. "They're not focused on reading," she said.
Senior Stephanie Tavolaro, 17, said reading is important. She is interested in acting and enjoyed playing the parts as she read to the children.
The students plan a return trip to Pine Grove to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2. Another project, for the benefit of Central High students, is "book chats." They plan to read books and appear on the school's morning video announcements to promote them.
Joe said he likes to read things about martial arts. He also read the Twilight series.
Both Stephanie and Sarah are in advanced placement literature and composition and so have been reading classics. Right now they are reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Other books tackled in that class are Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.
Miele created a flier for the Literacy Coalition that states the benefits of literacy and the drawbacks of illiteracy. She wrote, "We believe that one cannot survive without being literate."
The other members of the Central High School Literacy Coalition are Halie Meister, Vanessa Lobo, Matt Fabian, Jasmine Koch, Donelle McClure, Layla Schuster, Alexandra Cario and Olivia Black.