Book Group in Dayton Kicks Off the Big Read

Sinclair Supports Springfield, MVCTC and Kettering Fairmont Tech Prep Readers
DAYTON, Ohio (02/22/11) - Three creative teachers, the Internet, and a great read just may have built The Biggest Book Group in Dayton. The group meets at Sinclair Community College on March 2 to kick off this year’s Big Read with their discussion of Rebecca Skloot’s bestseller, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Tech Prep biotechnology teachers Amanda Van Dyke from Kettering Fairmont, Bev Wolfe from MVCTC and Rachel Sanders from Springfield decided that all their students should know about Henrietta Lacks. 

Rachel Sanders said, "We selected Skloot's book so that our stu dents could examine a real world biotechnology situation. Our students didn’t just increase literacy skills with this reading project. They also took a look at bioethics and saw first-hand how an advancement in technology changed people’s lives and attitudes. This book gave us the opportunity to cover multiple disciplines from social studies to technology." 

The teachers assigned the book and set up a blog so that students from all three schools could discuss their reading. According to Bev Wolfe, "At first we (teachers) posted questions and students responded. But soon, the students asked to post their own question, taking the discussion in new directions. They took the project far beyond what we had imagined."

The connective tissue for the group is the Miami Valley Tech Prep Consortium. Designed to create college pathways for career-technical students, Tech Prep builds teams among Sinclair and high school faculties. This trio met as a result of consortium curriculum work, and their collaboration continues.

Other area high schools with Tech Prep Biotechnology programs include Centerville, Greene County Career Center, Ohio Hi-Point, Ponitz,Stebbins, Talawanda, Warren County Career Center, and Wayne.

The Biggest Book Group in Dayton meets in Sinclair Building 12, Charity Adams Auditorium, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Students from two of the three schools (MVCTC and Springfield) will have the opportunity to meet in person and discuss the book with each other and a panel of Sinclair professors.

For more information, contact Beverly Smith, Biotechnology Pathway Manager at the Miami Valley Tech Prep Consortium, 937-512-2198.

Megan Laughter
937/512-3050, office
937/232-9361, cell